Lauren in London: The Epiphany

By Lauren Dezenski, Staff Writer
@LaurenDezenski

What inspired the epiphany./PHOTO VIA Lauren Dezenski

It has always taken me a little while to feel settled. It took a couple months for that to happen when I came out to Boston from my suburban Minnesota hometown. I still remember the moment too – it was the first time I went for a run on the Esplanade and caught a glimpse of the Charles and the Boston skyline.

This moment certainly didn’t happen during a run, though I did go for a guilt-induced jog through Hyde Park today. Chock it up to one too many nights ending at Burger King. Whoops. I even got lost on my run and ended up at the Speakers’ Corner, where people go to pontificate about their beliefs and ideas in the open air (thanks, Wikipedia). My favorite part of the entire ordeal is that tons of people come to listen and heckle the speakers. Being the digital creature I am, I recorded a Vine while at the corner and actually caught one of the hecklers calling a speaker a “crazy antichrist.” I laughed.

The epiphany actually happened on a relatively tame Friday night. After a day of sightseeing, high tea and Kate Middleton impressions (okay, so I may have made my friend take a ton of pictures of me walking out of the same door Kate did during the Royal Wedding…), my friend, her sister and I decided to explore the South Bank.

The South Bank is a neighborhood or borough directly across the river from Westminster. Coming from the Crofton in Kensington, the easiest way to get there is to get off the tube on what’s technically the north bank — though no one calls it that — and walk across one of the bridges to the other side. We opted to get off at the Embankment tube station instead of Westminster (we had seen enough of Big Ben for the day).

We exited the station at around 10 p.m., so obviously it was dark out and walked up the stairs to a pedestrian bridge flanking the London Bridge. The view from the bridge looking across the Thames toward the City of London and St. Paul’s Cathedral was breathtaking. Electricians have to be rich in this town because all the structures along the river were lit up with these incredible colored lights, with the blue-lit arches of our pedestrian bridge to the yellow lights from surrounding buildings and this incredible pink and purple structure that I think was an art museum, with everything glittering off the Thames’ low tide. The notorious London clouds even parted to reveal a full moon behind the entire spectacle.

I kept raising my camera to capture the view, but ultimately keeping it down as I stood and just tried to absorb the view. It’s one of those moments when you try as hard as you can to take mental snapshots. For me, a camera can’t duplicate that sense of warmth, happiness and even peace that washed over me as we made our way across the bridge, stopping every few feet to soak up the view a little more.

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