“Your own exploration therefore has to be personalized; you’re doing it for yourself, increasing your own store of particular knowledge, walking your own eccentric version of the city. ”
― Geoff Nicholson, The Lost Art of Walking
I initially went to Spitalfields thinking it was just one new area to explore for a morning before finding something else to do. I’m thrilled to admit how wrong I was.
It turned out to be a several hour wander through East London since the Spitalfields Market, it turns out, rather bled into the Brick Lane Market. Which in turn fed into some other markets, which sort of carried over into bric-a-brac stalls lining whole streets, which wended their way through impromptu sales that merchants and shop owners threw up to take advantage of the crowds.
In the the end I basically threaded my way through official and unofficial markets – selling everything from some of the choicest garments on the planet to piles of rusting bike parts – all the way from Spitalfields to Columbia Road before finally hopping on the Overground and heading home late in the afternoon.
The smells of every kind of cuisine and street food blended into live music from buskers and performers. There were stunning and interesting things to explore around every corner. Even most grumpy of winter-weary Brits were awash with goodwill everywhere I went.