I’m trying something new on the blog. I feel like I neglect my home city for more exotic locales most of the time, but I don’t really. I’m out and about in London all the time eating, drinking and exploring as much as I can, but I never get around to writing about it. So now, my lucky readers (ie, husband and kids), once a week I’m going to write something about London.
Let’s start in the East End. Why? Because I found these photos just waiting for me in a folder on my desktop called “Next Post.” Also, it reminded me how much fun I have showing people around London when they come to visit. No, I never get tired of it. Except I’m tired of the Tower of London Tour, because I’ve been 15 times. It’s still my favorite London sight, but enough is enough. The Beefeaters are starting to recognize me.
My nephew was part of the Summer 2012 Great Migration from the US to My Tiny Flat In London. He loves photography, wandering aimlessly through a city and has moderate hipster tendencies. My sweet Miss M was home from university and her “I’m going to be a farmer” stint was over. Clearly, a day out in the East End doing The Usual Things was in order…wandering the stalls of Spitalfields Market, hitting up the vintage shops around Brick Lane and enjoying some noms from the food stands.
The #1 priority was to check out some of the fabulous street art while we were in the neighborhood. I usually wander around with my camera and manage to find a few new pieces in unexpected places, but decided to take a walking tour with Alternative London Tours. You never know what “alternative” means in London, but this time it turned out to be a good choice. Our guide was a local, passionate street artist himself and was excited about talking the ins and outs of the street art genre.
You have to admire the dedication of someone who stands in the street and creates a masterpiece that may or may not be tagged, painted over or hauled off/destroyed eventually.
We ended up finding a lovely patch of wet cement on our way back from the tour and, feeling inspired from our afternoon of street art, created a little bit of our own. With a soda can tab and accidentally my foot. Look out, Banksy.
Things to Know
You can walk around the East End and Hoxton and find street art on your own. You won’t be disappointed.
The Alternative London walking tour was good, the group was small and the guide passionate. The street art scene changes constantly and having someone “in the know about the new” meant we got to see more without getting lost or missing out. It’s good value since they follow the “pay what you think it’s worth” model.
Thanks for reading!
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