The City of Splendors remains what it has been for centuries: a bustling, crowded, busy mercantile crossroads where coin is king, tolerance for outlanders of other races and habits is high (as long as they trade fairly), and folk play hard and work even harder, their lives proceeding at the fastest pace possible. Gossip is the grease that helps the daily lives of most Waterdhavians along in their endless striving to make ever more money. Wealth brings respect, respet earns influence, and influence is power.
Waterdeep today is a bustling center of commerce filled with around-the-clock stinks and noises, rumbling wagons south of Castle Waterdeep, and walled splendor to the north of the castle. The city is often swept by fads and fashions, and is dominated by wealth, trading and constant chatter about the latest news of events everywhere in the world (as well as rumors planted so as to sway public opinion and investment).