[London is] like the sight of a heavy sea from a rowing boat in the middle of the Atlantic . . . One lives in it, afloat but half submerged in a heavy flood of brick, stone, asphalt, slate, steel, glass, concrete, and tarmac, seeing nothing fixable beyond a few score white spires that splash up like spits of foam above the next glum wave of dirty buildings.
V. S. Pritchett (1900-1997), London Perceived