Thursday, June 7, 2018Subscriber update

green spaces

At John Soanes’ house, we asked one of the free-floating volunteer docents about the green square outside, and whether the small parks set between houses in this city are mostly public or private. We were surprised we were allowed to go in this one, that we could sit on a bench and talk under our breath about people’s outfits as they walked by, just like in any public park. The squares in London have always seemed to me as though they were part of a different world, some soft and kind-cornered parallel dimension where it’s eternally 7pm on a summer Friday. He told us more of them were open than used to be, but that in the wealthy neighborhoods like Mayfair and South Kensington, more of them are closed, private to residents. This fits with how I feel here. I long toward every park in the summer and in the same gesture assume them to be closed to me and beyond my means. It fits with how I feel in this city, an abundant and inaccessible green world.