Sound and No Sound
The contrasts are everywhere.
Poverty and deprivation alongside wealth and privilege. Modern, new developments sharing space with tired, run-down estates and crumbling, Victorian back streets. Clean and secure against dirty and dangerous.
And people. Of all kinds. Different shapes, ages, colours and backgrounds.
But perhaps the biggest contrast of all is when you notice, during those brief moments when the city decides to rest, that everywhere is quiet. Not the usual confused, disordered clamor of millions of people living and working together. But silence. Just silence.
The difference between sound and no sound.
When you walk the streets late at night and there is just you and no-one else, when the few noises you make bounce off lifeless walls, echo down empty alleyways and creep through open windows in sleeping tower blocks. Or when you find yourself somewhere, momentarily deserted, and know that you have a small, precious, respite from the throbbing mass of humanity that surrounds you.
I love the heaving, intimidating and exciting side of London. To be engulfed by people and to feel the very life that they bring to this urban monstrosity is exhilarating. But most of all, I find that it's the moments of peace that leave the biggest impression.