A few weeks ago, when Kiri and I were exploring the South Bank of the Thames, we unknowingly stumbled across the infamous skater hangout (and such cleverly named)- South Bank Skate Park.
Covered in graffiti down to every last possible inch, it really is a living canvas of others' artistic expressions and a bewildering wonder to behold.
As we looked on, snapping a few artful photographs ourselves and watching the daring skaters practicing plunging down steep ramps (possibly also just showing off), and preforming complex jumps and flips on their boards and bikes; I couldn't help but ponder that the skaters are in fact as much of a tourist attraction as the graffitied walls of South Bank Skate Park itself.
Consider how eerie it would be if there were no skaters to show off their tricks. This beautiful urban display of art would not carry the same tenor with it. Would tourists be as attracted to it if they walked by just to stare at walls plastered with color but no human spirit to fill the void?
The same can be said with other "touristy" areas dotted throughout this spectacular city. Take Brick Lane and it's graffiti, Buckingham Palace, or any of the Royal Parks, the list is truly endless. While I admit it might be nice to have a whole park to myself, there's something to be noted about how the presence of human entity can truly alter and enhance any given area, not only in London, but around the world.
There is an unspoken need and comfort for the presence of human energy all around us. It's what we as humans crave, other humans. Not necessarily in an intimate way but their presence, their passion, likes, dislikes, appreciation for the big and small things in this life. It's what our hearts knowingly, or perhaps unknowingly, beat for. It's what makes this life so grand and so worth living.