travel photo essay: saturday in notting hill.
“All that a city will ever allow you is an angle on it–an oblique, indirect sample of what it contains, or what passes through it; a point of view.”
“Mom, you have no choice. You’re coming to London.” Perhaps not every ounce of my strong will had been beaten out of me as a child.
But once the ticket was officially bought and hotel reservations confirmed (at the cozy-if-claustrophobic EasyHotel in South Kensington), the real fun began for me: planning the itinerary. And suddenly I was reminded of just how much there is to see in London.
We only had five full days, one of which would alone be spent in Kingston. I realized the best way to organize each day was by region: Kensington and Chelsea on day one, Westminster and the SouthBank on day two, Russell Square and Holborn on day three, and so on. Soon, though, I was running out of days and lamenting having to lob off entire areas that still seemed so necessary to “seeing London”: Camden and Regents Park, Brick Lane and the East End, etc.
With each new region we passed into throughout the week, my mom marvelled at how distinct they all were: “It’s like a different city every time you turn a corner.”
On Saturday, we braved crowds and Central Line closures and made our way to Notting Hill for the famed Portobello Market. It was one of the first touristy bits of London I myself visited back in 2008 and I knew we had to visit. “This is different, too!” my mother remarked as we wove our way through teeming streams of people, past hawk-eyed vendors and sweet-smelling waffle stands. I too couldn’t deny another simple truth.
That despite the interminable winters, despite protests and train delays and a sour economy, I still love London.