Cash-Happy London

If you haven't been to London in a while, you won't recognize it. The city hasn't seemed this aliveor expensivein years

In the mid-1990s, London was buzzing as the capital of "Cool Britannia." The international art world was in love with the YBAs (Young British Artists) like Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin, and Brit-pop bands like Blur and Oasis topped the music charts. It was also the era of Tony Blair, the Spice Girls, and avant garde fashion designers like bad boy Alexander McQueen. But then things sort of fizzled. Blair wore out his welcome, the Spice Girls disbanded, there were riots in northern England and the economy struggled, especially in the wake of the adoption of the euro across the rest of the European Union.

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