04 April 2006

Regent's Park is mine, by the way

so each time I come to London I remember how often I've been here and how much of the city I know, I walk, I have lived. it's odd, because when I'm away it's not like I long for the place, but when I'm here it's all about the neighborhoods I know and the paths Sam and I walked--the route from our tiny studio flat that summer in Soho to the British Library (new location near St. Pancras) and back. the Hampstead Heath where I lived for a few weeks. the walk from Victoria by Buckingham Palace through Trafalgar and Covent Garden, down Neals Yard through via the British Museum and Russell Square to the British Library. the run Sam and I did up from Soho past the BBC tower to Regent's Park and around and back. the run I've done the last few times I've been here along Euston road to Regents park around and back. Regents park has blossoms too, but without the pesky tourists and DC-ites worshipping them. (don't get me wrong, love the cherry blossoms. it's just really? do we have to make it a tourist trap? can't it just be, well, spring?) it has what I call in my head 'lovers' lane' because there are always two or three teen couples there hanging out, heads together, one sitting in the other's lap. the mud-pack track that runners use around the edge of the park. all this. and thus, Regents park is mine.

can't we own things through our memories of them? I think that's fair. we'll have to do some rewriting of Locke, but hey, he was due for one...

3 comments:

Transient Gadfly said...

Dude, you're a blogging fiend. Also, you couldn't have, like, had your London moment two weeks earlier?

dan said...

Thinking about my own move coming up, I returned to something that I've considered many times in the past and which you touch on here, I think, which is that when you live in a place for a short amount of time(s), it seems that your memories are stronger and more specific, and thus that they evoke a more emotional reaction when you visit. Whereas, when you're in a place over several years, time blends into itself and the specifics become blurred. I experienced that when I went to Dublin last year after living there for four months in ‘02. I felt like I remembered everything so vividly.

I stick up for the tourists/local worshippers of the Cherry Blossoms, partly because the blossoms themselves are so flamboyant and feminine and romantic and pink that I'm impressed that so many people get as worked up about them as they do. They're not just spring. They're an event! Worshipping is the right word to use. It's like a cultural ceremony or ritual. Plus, it's nice when everyone gets excited about something that isn't tied to a specific religious or political occasion and hasn't yet been absorbed into consumer culture (although, I don't want to imply that the Cherry B's are entirely culturally/politically neutral). Some people have basketball, some people have Cherry Blossoms.

Anyway, Regent's Park looks awesome. Own it. Work it, girl, that's right! Do yr thang. Yeah!

Ruth said...

You may have Regent's Park. But I get Parliament Hill, the top of the dome of St. Paul's, and the southeastern entryway to the Leicester Square Tube station.