Parsons Green community quickly gets back to normal life
For some, a recent string of terror attacks in the city had caused life to change somewhat
On the surface, little appeared to have changed in the west London neighbourhood of Parsons Green a day after the terror attack that injured commuters on a Tube train at the local underground station. Save for several camera crews loitering outside the station, and the free artisan coffee being handed out as a “keep calm and carry on” gesture from the cafe next door, the area’s well-kept streets were filled with the sights and sounds of its cosmopolitan local population embarking on their weekend. For some, however, a recent string of terror attacks in the city had caused life to change somewhat.
The family of Jesse FreitagAkselrod, for example, had started to take fewer underground journeys with their toddler.
Over a breakfast of smashed avocado and sourdough toast that supplemented a free coffee from District, the cafe next to the station, Freitag-Akselrod said he had initially distanced himself in his mind from the attacks earlier this year.
“When I heard it on the news I even laughed a little bit, but as the day went on it started to dawn on me that these were people running around with knives,” added Freitag-Akselrod, a German-British national who has lived for the best part of the decade in London with his Iranian-British wife. “Then yesterday felt much closer to home, and it literally was.”
Inside District, which was evacuated on Friday, its Australian-British co-owner Chelsea Finch said that the coffee was a way of saying “thank you” to customers. “All our usual regulars are here today, so it’s business as usual. “To be honest, I didn’t think that we would be open so soon. With all the police activity and forensics yesterday we were under the impression that it would take longer, but then when the station was reopened this morning we thought why not?”
Other locals included Richard Bent, who was passing the station with his dachshund Reggie, and insisted that life continued as normal in what he described as the area’s “village community”. He added: “I live on the Fulham Road and was getting ready for work yesterday when I saw four police armed response cars roar past. I also saw the police stop and board the number 14 bus a bit later on. We thought it was something to do with the local school.” Come Monday morning, however, he said that he might alter his behaviour a little when it came to the daily commute: “I’ll probably leave the earphones off and take a bit more notice of what is around me to be honest.”