But while its citizens are familiar with turmoil and hardship, this summer turned up the dial on the sense of danger and uncertainty. This is the first summer since the shock “Brexit” referendum to leave the European Union and tourist-filled streets have been bloodied by two major ISIS-inspired terror attacks.

And it is the staggering rise in acid attacks on its citizens that has taken so many by surprise.

The government is taking the incidents seriously, and earlier this month the Ministry of Justice ordered people entering courts to take sips from their bottles of water to ensure they are not actually carrying corrosive liquid.

 FROM JULY 16: London Acid Attacks: U.K. Lawmakers Consider Harsher Sentences 1:43

During just one night last month, five takeout delivery drivers were injured in the space of 90 minutes by acid-wielding assailants. Police are also investigating whether an attack on a man outside the iconic Harrods luxury department store this week in upscale Knightsbridge involved a corrosive substance.

Jabed Hussain, 32, was one of those attacked.

“I’m just shocked — using acid to steal a bike? What’s a bike worth, maybe 1,000 pounds? My life is worth more than that,” he told reporters at a protest outside Britain’s Parliament in July.

Figures released by police show that the number of reported acid attacks in London alone rose 80 percent in one year, from 261 in 2015 to 458 in 2016. And over 200 cases have already been reported this year. Police forces in other parts of the country report figures in the hundreds as well.

So to outsiders, it would appear to be a city in crisis, scared and on edge. But among London’s millions of residents, there appears to be a sense, across the generations, that while these are indeed unusual times, the metropolis would withstand them like it has so many times before.

On a cloudy and mild August evening, pubs remain full, main streets bustle and the overall mood typically giddy when NBC News visited.

Image: Motorcycle delivery drivers and motorcyclists protest
Motorcycle delivery drivers and motorcyclists protest in Parliament Square in central London. Niklas Halle’n / AFP – Getty Images

“People have short memories,” said 72-year-old Gladys Holmes.

“I was much more frightened of the [Irish Republican Army] than I am of anything now,” said the lifelong Londoner, referring to a string of attacks carried out by the Irish Republicans during a bloody 30-year campaign to end British rule in Northern Ireland, a conflict in which some 3,600 people were killed.

Holmes was resting after a day of shopping in Walthamstow, a multicultural area in London’s east. Her “chaperone” for the afternoon, Doug Walker, casts his mind further back.

“I was just too young for the Blitz but I saw the effect it had on London growing up,” the 71-year-old said, referring to relentless Nazi bombing that reduced swathes of the city to rubble during World War II. “My mother spoke about it for the rest of her life. Most days, really.”

More recent history weighs also on the minds of the city’s residents. The 12th anniversary of the London Tube bombings that killed 52 people was July 7.

“Sometimes on the tube at 8 a.m. I have these weird moments where I get a bit paranoid,” said Rebecca Harris, who works in public relations. “But I have to get to work so I take the Tube, don’t I?”

“You can’t change your whole life,” the 34-year-old adds, her words trailing off.

Image: A person lays a floral tribute after a vigil
A person lays a floral tribute after a vigil at Potters Field Park, near the scene of the attack at London Bridge. Clodagh Kilcoyne / Reuters

Stacy, Rebecca’s colleague and drinking partner in bustling and trendy Hoxton, continues the train of thought.

“I know it’s a cliché but life goes on, you have to live your life. London’s massive, something’s always happening somewhere,” she said.

Self-conscious London is a city that doesn’t like to be spoken for.

When the New York Times published a headline in June saying the country was “reeling” after after two terror attacks struck London in as many weeks, social media condemnation was swift and powerful. A tweet by the editor of the New Statesman magazine, Jason Cowley, captured the mood when said it was “absurd and scandalous,” and declared London “the city of the Blitz.”