After an hour-long journey on the tube and bus, it was clear we were no longer in London – we finally made it to Palmers Green, one of London’s many suburbs. We disembarked on a main road in the center of the community. This busy road was lined with chain stores such as Starbucks, McDonald’s, and Boots, and lots of foot traffic. People were going to and from their homes in order to pick something up from the store or grab a bite to eat.
After a while, we decided to go down a residential road to get a glimpse of where and how people really lived. The houses seemed to be duplex-style buildings that were all connected. Each residence had one or two cars in front of it; a few had small gardens or toys scattered on the driveway, indicating family homes.
We then left the residential area and went on a smaller business-slash-retail street. Here, the shops were smaller and possibly family-owned. We walked by a lot of beauty and hair salons, as well as all kinds of restaurants including Chinese, Greek, Indian, Middle Eastern, and Eastern European. There were a few people walking their dogs or pushing strollers down this road. Everyone seemed so different but it appeared as if the people in the suburbs got along quite well. The diversity was treated as just another benefit to living in Palmers Green.
Just an hour out of London, life seemed so different. The pace was slower and more relaxed, compared to the rush of the city center. Here in Palmers Green, you weren’t just an anonymous face in a sea of people but rather a neighbor and a friend.
Written by Michelle Zhang and Abbi Herrold