28/09/07

Questo weekend vado a... Canary Wharf

Canary Wharf e' il risultato del processo di riqualificazione della zona dei Docks di Londra (o Docklands), il porto commerciale da tempo caduto in disuso. 
Durante gli anni '80, il governo Thatcher decise che l'area ad est di Tower Bridge doveva essere sviluppata. Per facilitare il processo, dichiarò le Docklands "zona speciale", con la conseguenza che gli investimenti in essa contenuti avrebbero goduto di forti gravi fiscali. Grazie a queste misure, le Docklands cominciarono il loro sviluppo. 
Canary Wharf nacque come un progetto ambizioso di creare un nuovo centro (con affitti più bassi) per la comunità finanziaria che fino a quel momento era concentrata nella City of London, la storica zona delle banche e della borsa. I primi tempi furono alquanto difficili, in quanto era difficile trovare inquilini per lo spazio disponibile: la torre principale al centro della foto. Mi ricordo quando c'era solo lei, nel 1997. Le cose sono cambiate parecchio da allora. Ma bisognava prima di tutto raggiungere un massa critica.
Oggi Canary Wharf è un successo confermato. Molte banche ed altre aziende si sono ricollocate qui. HSBC, Barclays, Citigroup, Bank of America, Credit Suisse sono ormai tutte qui, e, recentemente, anche l'agenzia stampa Reuters si è trasferita. 
Ma Canary Wharf non è un posto solo dove andare a lavorare da lunedì a venerdì, ma è un'ottima meta per un giro nel fine settimana. La zona è ricchissima di pub, ristoranti e negozi. E ci sono delle viste stupende dal River Front. Ed in più si può ammirare la architettura dei vari grattacieli. 
Queste sono alcuni suggerimenti:

  • Chili's: questo è un ristorante messicano all'ultimo piano del centro commerciale di Canary Wharf. Ottimi hamburgers, ai quali accompagnare l'ottima birra messicana Sol
  • West India Quay: questo è uno dei vari Docks. A differenza degli altri offre una fila di pub e bar lungo il River Side. (Quay si pronuncia "key", che è anche come lo scrivono gli americani, ad esempio "Florida Key")
  • il ristorante cinese Royal China. Questa è una catena, ma questo ristorante in particolare offre una stupenda vista sul fiume. Niente di meglio per un Dim Sum domenicale
  • Narrow Street. In questa strada, che corre parallela al fiume, ci sono alcuni pub storici, molto vecchi. Uno di questi, The Grapes, risale alla fine del 1600. E' stretto e buio, ma molto caratteristico. Nella stressa strada c'è anche il gastropub omonimo, recentemente acquistato dal famoso chef Gordon Ramsay.
Un'ultimo suggerimento: ci sono due modi per andare a Canary Wharf, uno con la Jubilee Line e l'altro con la Docklands Light Railway (oggi più nota come DLR). Delle due, scegliete la DLR, che offre una bella vista di Canary Wharf mentre vi avvicinate. E sedetevi davanti al finestrino anteriore per la vista migliore (non c'è il macchinista, ma niente paura: il treno è automatico).

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Ciao, per lavoro mi han chiesto se posso ottenere un address a Londra, hai idea di come si faccia?
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