Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Honoring the East End

I mentioned recently that Dom and I moved from London’s East End to West Hampstead.  I’ve moved around London quite a bit in my 17 months in the city, but in contrast, Dom has spent the past 10 years in London’s east side and nearly 5 years in this last apartment.  Moving was a pretty big deal.  In an honor to the artsy, edgy, raw part of town that Dom called his home for so long, we spent our last Sunday exploring and appreciating the hood by renting bikes and cycling all over town.  I was particularly interested in capturing some of the street art because I was pretty certain our new neighborhood wouldn’t be nearly as expressive.

We collected the bikes at the top of Brick Lane, a street lined with Indian curry houses that turns into a market every weekend. You can find food from all over the world and buy any odd trinket imaginable. Dom and I have spent many weekends strolling Brick Lane wondering how the merchants manage to sell this stuff (broken cameras, used bikes, coffee bean transport bags), listening to the two-man bands that set up on the corners and grabbing something unusual for lunch. It was only appropriate to start our tour here.  We then went south along the canals and ended up at the Docklands, an old port that’s been transformed into housing and set along the waterways.  Then back up the canal to Hoxton, through Columbia Flower Market, over to Broadway market and through a series of windy back-roads til we made it back to our starting point.

Here’s a collection of street art we saw on the way:

That's a real mailbox!


  1. after all the times i've searched "i moved to london" in a panic in the middle of the night - i have never came across your blog, until last night.

    i'm so glad i did.

    i've been debating going over the pond to study for a masters in hi-tech strategy for awhile now. london is my choice and my only choice. (i'm only applying there - so i can't back out at the last minute! :P)

    my point is, or what i'm trying to say - i'm so glad to be reading about your experiences. your stories are great and really inspiring. you put my mind to rest last night. and while reading, and after, i felt excited and jumpy inside. you made me feel as if i knew with everything that this is the right decision for me. it feels as if it'll all work out. as you said, "life is yours and sometimes decisions have to be made for yourself" - despite my family thinking i'm a bit off with this desire.
    thanks for sharing your stories with the web!

  2. christania’s “bike rental copenhagen” bikes are rolling across the city. The system, less than a year old, is funded by christania’s municipal government. It is currently only in one of christania’s 22 administrative districts. Although a 2nd generation system, there are 12 “Houses” in this district, each with around 40 bikes. The yearly subscription cost is the equivalent of $2 US, and allows the use of a bike for up to four hours at a time. In less than a year, there have been 6,000 subscriptions sold. There are larger 3rd generation systems in the world, which do not have a subscription to bike ratio as big as that.


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