Postcard Pushpin: Trafalgar Square (London, England)

I’ve decided to start things off with something I truly love: photography. I’m introducing a weekly feature (tentatively titled “Postcard Pushpin” because aliteration seems to be a staple in blogging features) where I’ll post a photo (or photos) from a past trip or experience with a short explanation.

Photo taken: 10-July-2009
Location: London, England (Trafalgar Square)
About the photo: The foreground features one of the fountains in Trafalgar Square. St. Martin-in-the-Fields is the large church in the background. I snapped this shot as I wandered around Trafalgar Square after spending nearly 6 hours in the National Gallery (making it through the Renaissance before it closed). Trafalgar Square is never calm or quiet and the tranquility that the photo captured really struck me that afternoon.

It’s interesting to me how certain places in each new or old place I travel to stick with me. I visited the National Gallery for the first time when I first traveled abroad in 1999. I distinctly recall taking a photo featuring St. Martin-in-the-Fields (that was back in the days of film photography, so the picture is stored away now). Since that trip, I’ve come to associate St. Martin-in-the-Fields with Trafalgar Square and the National Gallery, and in a larger sense, with the art and culture of London and England. Each of my trips back to London has brought me back to this exact spot for a photo very similar to this one.

When I see St. Martin-in-the-Fields, I don’t think of a church or religion (like I do when I see Westminster Abbey, for instance), nor do I envision awe-inspiring or breath-taking architecture (such as the feeling I get when I enter St. Paul’s Cathedral). Instead, I’m always transported back to that first time I exited the National Gallery, turned to the left and saw St. Martin-in-the-Fields framed perfectly at the end of the portico, and realized two key things: 1) I loved art, and 2) I loved travel. It was a moment of realization that told me I was meant to do much more of this – traveling to new places and seeing new art. I was meant to discover my “St. Martin-in-the-Fields moment” in new cities around the world.

Where was your “St. Martin-in-the-Fields moment”? What does that place remind you of now?