* * SPOILER ALERT if you haven’t seen the movie Closer!!! * *
After a nice walk through Notting Hill, Kensington Gardens, and Hyde Park yesterday with my cousins who are visiting London, I caught the Tube to the City to meet my husband and friends for dinner. Quite pathetically, I had confused the days (it’s actually tonight that we meet ), so there was a period of time when he was underground on the Tube when I was trying to reach him and figured he was in a meeting or conference call; to kill some time, then, I strolled across the street to Postman’s Park.
I’d always wanted to visit this park ever since I saw the film Closer with Jude Law, Natalie Portman, Clive Owen, and Julia Roberts. Once the lunch-break area for workers at the old post office nearby, the consequently named Postman’s Park is a sweet little haven from the bustle of London’s financial district, which also coexists with much tourism—in the case of the park, it is located very near the popular St. Paul’s Cathedral, but its low-profile entrances maintain it as a virtual London secret off the worn touristed path. In addition to its intimate seclusion, the charm of Postman’s Park lies in its gallery of beautifully hand-painted tiles that memorialize everyday heroes. It was founded by artist and philanthropist G.F. Watts in the Victorian era as a tribute to the self-sacrifice among common citizens, who all gave their lives in trying to save others. Gazing upon them in solitude, I was very affected by the bravery of ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances and marveled that so many of them were children. Be it rescue from drowning, fire, trains, or runaway horses, each individual’s selfless acts will forever blossom from those tiles.