I went on a bit of an adventure today. You may have seen street art tours advertised online (I didn’t realise this is illegal until I ran into a notice stating that it is…odd, perhaps there’s a loophole.), which intrigued me…so I researched which streets had the best graffiti to nosey at, got my camera and my obscenely bad choice of shoes and headed up to Shoreditch. Loathe as I am to give up my cash, I figured I could probably take myself around to look at the pieces. And I did…this area is literally crawling with street art, you can’t really miss it unless you stare at the pavement. And even then you might see something. So if you’re strapped for cash, or simply saving up…you don’t necessarily need to spend money to see the best of London’s graffiti.
These are just a taster. I took the opportunity to head over to Brick Lane, where even more street art awaited – along with of course, the famous Brick Lane market. Despite having lived in London for over a year now, this was my first time. A Brick Lane virgin, one might say. And admittedly I expected it to be much busier than it was. I loved it mind. The brightly painted buildings and shop shutters, the music playing from various stalls and the chatting of various hipsters, and…well. There were a lot of hipsters.
But a huge variety of folk seemed to be out and about this Sunday (which for once lived up for its name, with lots of sun!) and I very much enjoyed browsing the things on sale, which did include a lot of second hand clothes, some awesome bargains – lots of your flannel shirts and jackets. In between of this I continued being a complete tourist, photographing the awesomeness street artists had left behind:
Before heading to the famous Beigel Bake for some sustenance. This is not to be mixed up with the Bagel Shop literally 2 doors down. In fact, just to make sure, this is what it looks like:
They bake their beigels on site, and they are delicious. Honestly. I wish this institution of beigel gorgeousness was closer to me, but I can assure you whenever I have the time I will be making a pilgrimage and buying a dozen. Because the other beautiful thing about this place? It’s cheap. The signature hot salt beef beigel is £3.70, I got mine with mustard and pickle – delicious. It was made in front of me, although the others were premade (within the store) – understandably considering how long the queue was. Smoked salmon and cream cheese beigels were £1.60, and also delicious. It was all just delicious. I know I am repeating myself, but tasty doesn’t do it and I have a bit of a vendetta against the word ‘scrumptious’ so I’m afraid delicious it is.
Being in the area, I felt I should use the opportunity for a little more exploration and so I head to Columbia Road flower market. The signs say it shuts at 2pm, but I didn’t get there until after 3 and even though they were starting to pack up a lot of the stalls were still going in full swing. There were some good bargains here too, and the whole street smelt of flowers and was bursting with colour and vibrance.
Finally I headed back to the Sunday UP Market at Brick Lane, passing through a whole little food village composed entirely of stalls – selling everything, Thai, Argentinian, baked goods, mulled wine…with tables where you could play chess or carrom. The UP market itself was full of vintage or original clothes, prints, jewellery and so on. They seemed a little pricey so I didn’t invest in much, but there were lots of pretty things for the more fashion conscious than I.
Most of the street art I found was on or around Brick Lane and between there and Old Street. Honestly. Check it out. It’s a fun cheap day at least…