most of the deaths and destruction occurred underground and are not visible, or perhaps because it has experienced terrorism much more frequently, London seems to have resumed life after the bombings much faster than did New York City after 9/11.
An air of normalcy has enveloped the City of London. The streets are full, cellphones work, buses are running, and most of the Underground is functioning. Yet there are subtle differences from "the day before." Police congregate on street corners. There is the constant shriek of sirens, followed by speeding police cars and motorcycles. After 9/11 there were tragic flyers at Penn Station and elsewhere seeking lost loved ones. In London today, there are similar, frantic efforts -- on walls, on poles, in the local newspapers, on local television. At my hotel, there are now guards at the front door who interrogate every entrant (Should we do this in the States?). It feels like the calm before the next storm. [Left-click to enlarge image.]
I was three miles from Ground Zero on 9/11, and I smelled and felt the effects for months thereafter. Today I'm within blocks of the London bombings. The city is frozen, cellphones don't work, the tube is shut, buses have stopped, and my hotel is surrounded by police cars. Broadband is working (as it was on 9/11), and VOIP enables me to call the States from my hotel room. Yesterday, this city was celebrating its well-earned Olympic triumph. Today, it's as if yesterday never happened.
Update: There are reports that the police just removed a bomb from a bus, and the bomb squad detonated it -- one block from my hotel. Buses are now running, but irregularly, and people are queuing up in long lines all over the city, trying to get home. Numerous stores and restaurants are closed. Streets that were crowded yesterday are eerily empty today. In the hotel, there seems to be no other topic of conversation. [Left-click on image to enlarge.]