04 September 2009

If Dolores Park and Pac Heights had a love child, this is what it would look like.

Primrose Hill has been on my to-visit list since...well, since I moved here a year ago, really. But it was also one of those places you can be like, 'I'll go next week,' and then next thing you know you're moving away and thinking, 'SON OF A!' So then you sprint over, camera in hand, and then think, 'Oh. I think we've got one of these in San Francisco.'

As far as 'parks on a hill with a view of the city' go, it was remarkably similar to Dolores Park. Except bigger. And with really wealthy, over-dressed people, AND the chance that you may run into Gwyneth and Jude (but not Madonna, who I hear kicks it in East London, but again, all hearsay, don't use this information on Jeopardy), and with a few dozen more tourists. 'They say' the best time to go is sunset, but this time of year that's 8:30, which means by the time the sun went down, I would have been too busy chewing off my arm to take a photo. I personally called it a day around 6:30 because HELLO, feeding time!, and headed down the hill to Lemonia on Regent's Park Road (which, by the way, was amazing, DO IT. Also, make a reservation, because then you feel like a stud when you pass the crowd at the door and get seated immediately).

Primrose Hill is an authentic London village, both in the denotative definition ('any neighborhood that doesn't have its own tube stop,' which is a definition people from Crouch End are quick to point out), and in the connotative definition (small, intimate, charming, self-sufficient). It's also one of the loveliest parts of London I've seen yet. It felt very...SAFE. And quiet. And all the dogs you passed were tiny and groomed, and the owners were smiley and gracious, and everybody appeared to know each other, and it made you think how nice it would be to live there and wear big sweaters and have your own stall at the annual street fair.

You can tell by the shops alone what sort of person lives here: the kind that are into pets, paper, and patisseries. Islington, where I live, is lined with vinyl shops and antique stores. Cool in a John Cusack sort of way, less cool in a stepping-around-piles-of-dog-crap sort of way.

For all of London's usually-appalling weather, there is a significant bike community here. Although some of the hardcore riders would be pressed to tell you that most of the summer bikers are 'fairweather posers.' I don't believe it. I mean, this girl above looks like she pushes her bike ALL the time.

Dolores Park? Or Primrose Hill? Wait. There aren't any drag queens. Definitely Primrose Hill.

This is the view you hear so much about. It makes you feel like you're a million miles away from London while being in the heart of it.

When you finally get to the top of the hill, you feel like this guy looks.

Yep. From up here, you can see the BT Tower, and the London Eye...

...and St. Paul's With Its Many Cranes...

...and my personal favorite: 30 St. Mary Axe looking for all the world like it's trying to hide behind some buildings. Come ON, St. Mary, we can see you back there. You're a giant GHERKIN.

My favorite row of houses...living here has GOT to be like permanent Easter.

Is it just me, or does that stroller look like a lawn mower? OMIGOSH, I just had A BRILLIANT IDEA: somebody should invent a lawn-mower-stroller! You could use it to cut the grass AND lull your baby to sleep, all in one go! I can see the commercial now... (fade into a tired mother, pushing an old, unwieldy stroller): 'How many times have you taken your baby for a walk to put them to sleep and found yourself circling the same park for hours at a stretch, while your chores list back home grows beneath your weary feet? Well, now you can knock off one of those chores while you're walking, using the LaMoStro--the one and only stroller that also trims your lawn! The humming and vibrating of the motor will sooth your little one to an instant slumber while your yardwork takes care of itself!' (switch to a view of the happy, invigorated mother next door, effortlessly pushing the LaMoStro around her pristine lawn, while her good-humored baby sleeps with a smile on his cherubic face. She waves merrily at Worn Mother trudging up her weed-covered drive.) (fade out to: 'Naptime will never be the same again: LaMoStro.')

Oh, this is gonna be GOOD. I can FEEL it.

And once the millions start rolling in, I'm SO getting this house. Primrose Hill won't even know what hit 'em...


little miss gnomide said...

Great photos, Sharona! I bet your sad to be leaving. I hope you get to go back next year.

Anonymous said...

It is amazing how similiar the two places are! Love the Easter color houses. In the pic of the aching back man, did you notice the two little kids with their arms around each other? How cute is that?!?!
You are an amazing photographer!
The lawn mower/stroller idea...you might have something there!

Anonymous said...

By the way, did you notice that the woman walking the bike has on high heels? Is it possible to ride a bike with heels?
I've got to know what the inside of St Mary's looks like. So modern looking! Is it a church? or am I just being horribly provincial!

Alissa - the Big Sis said...

Sign me up for one of the LaMoStros! That's a brilliant idea!