They go to see the Changing of the Guard and then, like ants, descend into the Tube in a mad scurry to Speaker’s Corner where they swarm in droves around ice cream vendors. And the world walks by unseen. Not for the People Watcher. No. For her, the best part of all is strolling down Bayswater on a Sunday afternoon in the Fall . . . Children’s laughter mingles with the crunch of autumn’s leaves inside the Park. Artists hawk blurry velvet nudes aligned like the beheaded along the fence; while punkers, three abreast, strut uniform weirdness, shoving innocents aside. Not for the Rambler. No. For her, the best part is turning toward the Serpentine on a Sunday afternoon in the Fall . . . Little boys in short gray pants sail paper boats while nannies scold and coax. Riders post in precision atop huge bay mares and saunter down historic Rotten Row; while women wrapped in hand-painted silk giggle behind veils of secrecy. They all bring cameras to record that they were there. They run from place to place to stand in front of monuments and pose — from Sloane to Trafalgar Square. And all the while, the world walks by unseen. Not for the Traveler. No. For her, the best part is in the knowing that she’ll be back for another stroll some other Sunday afternoon.
Reprinted by Marilyn Paluszak from a poem originally written in 1999.
My favorite city, London is filled with history and is visited by people from every country in the world. When you go there, be sure to leave time to stroll along the banks of the Thames some evening.