Shoreditch area of London
I explored the Shoreditch area of London this morning. This area is basically where I went to school when I lived in London. My, my how things have changed.
This area used to be full of Jewish delis and shops. Gone. Now some areas, still student driven, feel more like Williamsburg while other areas closer to the Liverpool Station feel more like a new clean neighborhood. Lots of brand new stores fronts, some with tenants some without. A bit too new like a planned area.
We began at 91 Brick Lane which is located in the old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane. There is a little cafe called Cafe 1001 or the Story Deli. Pizza is supposed to be good at lunch time but we were there for breakfast. An open area where someone will make you a fresh breakfast. Perfect for a college student. 3 pounds gets you toast, eggs and sausages. I wouldn't go out of my way to get there but it is nice to know it is there if you happen to be in the area. Although I soon realized after heading out over the course of the day there are a variety of small food shops that have sprung up in the area. Yet, when I tried to do research for a great local (non-chain) breakfast/coffee place in the neighborhood, I came up empty.
After breakfast, Fred went to his meeting which was in the area and I walked down Brick Lane over to Chesire Street. Chesire Street, although only a few shops, each are small and unique. Really reminds me of the East Village 20 years ago but then the East Village was more punk, this is more refined like Williamsburg. People just doing their thing.
A few vintage stores, a store that only carries artists that work with clay, another hipster men's store (t-shirt driven) and the now famous, Labour and Wait. I've read about this store more than a few places. Labour and Wait is basically a 21st century General store. Cookware, utensils, soap, blankets, shirts, garden tools, thread, vintage buttons, random items, twine, bread bins, etc. Very clever actually. To me, the store represents where we are returning as a culture. In Brooklyn go to Marlow and Sons where they have a general store, more food oriented inside their restaurant and then a good old fashioned butcher that is run by them called Marlow and Daughters down the street. Back to community, back to basics, back to thriving instead of surviving (more on that later).
On the way back to the tube, I wandered into Tent London which is a design exhibit of the latest and greatest designers from furniture, textiles, etc. Slightly edgy and more emerging. The one thing I thought was clever was this bird cage that had a small video inside of the bird. A virtual pet, sort of.
I walked back to the Liverpool Station and strolled through Old Spitalfields Market where each vendor sells their wares in their own area. A bit like a flea market. The market is indoors and there is a Daily Grind for coffee and a few other stores. Kind of reminded me of a junky South Street seaport. I did notice that pizza and coffee are everywhere. But that puts us back to the basics in some ways. Not that expensive and fills our needs. It is like the burger craze in NYC. Simple stuff.
Hopped up the subway and went back to the hotel