London: centre of the world and a 'capital' place
Exactly 350 years before yesterday's Olympic opening ceremony, on July 27, 1662, Samuel Pepys took his wife by water from the City to Westminster. From there, she went off to say goodbye to her father, "and I to walk in the parke, which is now every day more and more pleasant, by the new works upon it".
"The parke", of course, was St James's Park, in which the canal had recently been laid and filled.
If London's greatest diarist were alive to stroll in the same park over the next two weeks, he would encounter the Olympic beach volleyball which has taken over for the duration.