First of all, its subway system, officially called the Underground but known as the Tube, as extensive and rivalry-worthy as it may be to New York City’s, shuts down at night (except for New Year’s and other special occasions). The trains generally stop running at 1:30 a.m. and start up at 4:30 a.m. (It has to do with maintenance.)
Next, London does not have late-night movies. Most of its “last showings” start at 9 p.m., or even 8. In Times Square alone this weekend, more than a dozen movies can be seen after midnight, including “Hamlet 2” and “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2.”
New York has a 24-hour Apple Store. London’s Apple Stores close between 6 and 9 p.m.
Moreover, until 2005 London’s pubs closed at 11 p.m., when the party at many a New York bar is just getting started. The 11 p.m. closing, which was set by laws put into place during World War I, was loosened by ministers who hoped to end the nightly scramble to down as many drinks as possible before last call. The race at closing was thought to contribute to a binge-drinking culture, in contrast to that of neighboring countries like France or Spain, where alcohol is consumed in more moderation.