Sunday, September 30, 2012

Doors of Notting Hill

Here it is, Hugh Grant fans: The door from the movie "Notting Hill."

Yes, the famous "blue door" really exists. At the time of filming, it apparently belonged to Richard Curtis, the movie's writer. Grant's character supposedly lived here and worked at a travel bookshop nearby -- a bookshop based on a real business that sadly closed last year. Until recently this door was painted black, but then someone clued in to the fact that the entire planet expects it to be blue, and obliged.

The bookshop scenes were filmed on Portobello Road, in a storefront that today is clearly labeled "Notting Hill" in the same typeface as the film's promotional materials, on a bright blue background. There's even a movie poster in the widow. Yet you'd be surprised how often I hear confused tourists trying to figure out which store it could be. (Strangely, it sells nondescript shoes.)

She's just a girl, standing in front of a boy, etc. etc. etc.

Here's another interesting show-biz related doorway. I just learned the other day that the former home of Dusty Springfield is within short walking distance of our flat! She lived here from 1968 to 1973, a time when she was already a big star and when she released "Dusty in Memphis," perhaps her best album.

And finally, this curious door is located on Princedale Road near Pottery Lane, named for the kilns that used to stand in that neighborhood back when it was a rough part of town. (Hard to believe now.) I'm not sure what's up with that face.

Does it mean something? Or is it just someone being goofy?


  1. I take photos of doors when I am on holidays and find that here are hundreds of different doors, many quite interesting.I discovered that a friend takes photos of door hardware when on holidays too. Your doors on this blog have an interesting history. Do you have other door photos or know of any other door photo sites?

  2. Yes! Doors are, of course, portals. And are often quite interesting. The doors in Mexico always beg to be photographed.
    Dusty Springfield was one hell of a woman. Have you ever read anything about her?

  3. Jennie: Door are ALWAYS great photo material. Like Ms. Moon says below you, they're portals, and as such they're always mysterious and ripe with possibility. Plus they get a lot of wear and tear which makes them photogenic! For more door photos, try these two groups on Flickr:

    Ms. Moon: I've read about Dusty Springfield through the years, and yeah, she sounds like she was one hell of a woman. Actually I'd love to read a real biography of her.

  4. Cool! And I think that the face door is just saying "whomever lives here is AWESOME!" Nice finds!

  5. Ooh, I love the doors. It's fascinating to imagine what's behind them. As to that last door maybe it's supposed to be a gorgon - scary!

  6. I haven't seen Notting Hill but perhaps I should get with the program and check it out. Love the blue!

  7. I might be the only person on the planet to dislike Julia Roberts! I've seen a few films of hers that I like; (Mona Lisa Smile; Erin Brokovch) otherwise I can take them or leave them. Hugh Grant is quite a different story! :) Lovely door tho!

    I too love taking photos of doors/doorways.

    Maybe the face on the door was meant to drive away evil spirits?

  8. I have no idea about the face but the second I saw the blue door I knew exactly what it was. I love that movie, as you know.

  9. i used to live in that last door, on the groundfloor there is an artist that has been living there for more than 30 years and he did that to that door, quite funky but no hidden meanings.