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DOME TAKES BACK SEAT TO PUBS FOR WELCOMING NEW MILLENNIUM

Down the road from where time is measured, the natives were getting restless. Never mind the Millennium Dome. Forget about the queen's party. Welcome to St. Christopher's Inn. Just outside Greenwich Park, it's a short walk to the prime meridian.

Inside, residents have gathered to share thoughts for the new year.

"It's ridiculous," declared Siobhan Kasting, nodding in the direction of the Millennium Dome, a billion-dollar mushroom on the site of a former garbage dump.

Call it a mad case of brownfields redevelopment, this glowing dome that could hold 18,000 double-decker buses, not to mention the Eiffel Tower, in its mouth. Yet Friday night's opening celebration also captivated the world.

Queen Elizabeth II and British Prime Minister Tony Blair threw the bash for 10,000 invited guests representing British citizens from all walks of life.

With 4 million others, Annie and Paul Freeman, residents of Greenwich for 46 years, took their party to downtown London.

The revelry spanned the Thames between London and Tower bridges.

Some say the view from the London Bridge was the best, but Benjamin Lloyd was prepared to go the distance at the Globe, located in London's West End.

"I'd rather die than be by the river," said Lloyd, sipping Guinness. "There's too many people."

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