Caution Infernal Traffic
On Sunday I caught the tube eastwards into the Shoreditch/ Spitalfields/ Brick Lane area. I have to admit that the most Cockney thing I found was the ATM. I’d seen a piece in the papers recently about one of the banks installing “Cockney” ATMs in a few places in the East End but didn’t realise I’d found one until I was getting money out. Sadly I didn’t get a picture because there were people waiting behind me and I didn’t want to pay more international transaction fees just for a quick snap. The markets in this area are very much about clothes and accessories. And Spitalfields is full of the cooler than cool looking for the next hot item to wear. On Sundays huge sections of the East End are given over to markets. I wandered through at least three of four distinct ones.
The first I came across by accident mostly because when you look at maps, the scale doesn’t always mean much, so you don’t realise how close everything is. Petticoat Lane was packed full of clothing racks of cheaper than cheap remnants and bulk lots. It wasn’t quite what I was looking for but at least I can say now that I’ve been there. Eventually I worked my way over to Spitalfields (which isn’t far away) and had a wander through it’s hallowed halls. Recently redone, it’s a very swish space with guidebook recommended restaurants and cafes. There’s a lot of nice things to be bought here and if you search hard, you might still get a bargain. Vintage/retro clothes and quirky accessories are the biggest buys but there’s lots of new stuff as well.
Just round the corner is the Sunday Up Market. Housed in a less polished space, it has a real market feel to it. The outside and inside food vendors offer a wide array of delicious, multicultural food. Although it does appear that some people have stalls at both Spitalfields and Sunday Up, the latter has a more gregarious, community feel to it. I really enjoyed having a look around and wandering the surrounding streets which were also covered in more markets. This pop up market lead up the road to Brick Lane, where there was yet another market in full swing. The Brick Lane market was far more diverse in its array of goods for sale, which was a relief because there’s only so many vintage dress shops even I can look at. In the end though I didn’t take many photos of the markets but I did take lots of pictures of artworks and drawings on walls. There is a strong street art scene in the area, which can be seen in my view of the East below.