Reel versus Real
(The following is an expansion of the post from Oct 15)
My sister and I visited Notting Hill some while ago. We were duly impressed by the quaintness, the understated luxury, and the posh young women pushing perambulators. We walked down and down, until we came upon the very outdoor market where William Thacker careened into fab actress Anna Scott. We searched for, and found, the bookshop door through which Anna walked, changing his life forever. Satisfaction on every count!
It was an awful lot of walking, to be sure. But two girls will put up with just about anything when searching for icons.
I returned to Notting Hill in October (Notting Hill, Hyde Park, and More Gallantry), and did not find just the same quaint outdoor market, or as many upscale young women with their babies. Something had gone, and I didn't figure it out, quite. A slight loss of Glitter would almost describe it.
I was at first sorry to see this because I wanted to feel again, firsthand, the way Thacker might have felt when he spilled the orange juice. Good stories are like that. You want them again and again, and will go long distances to find them. But Notting Hill, the Movie, was not really Notting Hill, the Place. The spotlight of Hollywood came, and then it went. But the Real Thing remained much as it had been, and no worse off for any lack of Glitter.
The longtime homeowners there are not sorry, for some things never change. I am told they are relieved. They wanted their old Notting Hill back, the Notting Hill few knew about and treasured. They were getting tired of all the attention and the rising prices of everything and the crowds.
Maybe now they can get back to their 'normal'. Maybe no one will notice their perambulator or their baby, or pay attention as they pass.
Maybe serenity is better than attention.
See you along the way!
photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/photocapy/4436605820/">Photocapy</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/">cc</a>