I was getting my hair cut the other day at Frank’s Chop Shop on the Lower East Side and was telling my barber about Brick Lane market
in London. He’s never been to London but wants to go – mostly just to check out cool stuff like bands and flea markets and pop culture stuff. I was describing the scene in Brick Lane on Sunday afternoons and he said, “Man, you make me want to go get on a plane right now!” (haha). For real though, if I’m in London and the weather is nice on a Sunday, this is where you will find me. If you live in LDN or you’ve visited Brick Lane on a Sunday then you know what it’s like. If you’ve not been, I’ll try to describe it as I did at the Chop Shop…to begin with, there are 3 major flea markets going on in the area…the Sunday Up Market in the old Truman Brewery building, the enormous one in the Spitalfields Market building, and that one over by 93 Feet East that doesn’t really seem to have a name so crazily enough I call it “that one over by 93 Feet East”. Then there are loads of people who just spread out blankets on the side of the road in Brick Lane itself and sell crap, umm I mean valuable treasures. (This appears to be the real “Brick Lane market”. The other area markets are much better quality-wise but are technically satellite markets.) The real thing to do though is to go down to Brick Lane on a nice Sunday and just hang out and meet mates and ignore the markets completely. There are loads of food stalls (we always get a double order of tempura shrimp in a paper boat with homemade hot sauce) and outdoor beer vendors and impromptu band performances and people beatboxing and a vintage double-decker Routemaster bus that has been turned into a vegan cafe. Dray Walk and the area next to it is really the center of the action – the Rough Trade record shop there is one of the best record stores in London. There are outdoor tables but lots of kids get food and drinks and just sit on the sidewalk. Did I mention that the police presence and ID-checking and general roped-off rules and regulations that are common in NYC are virtually non-existent here? I’m just sayin’. Of course with literally thousands of cool London kids turning up in nice weather the outdoor fashion show is always a good time. This is one of my favorite places to shoot streetstyle photos in the world. Harajuku can eat their dust. More photos from Brick Lane tomorrow…xx eddie
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