Sunday is one of the best days for living in East London. You have the Brick Lane Sunday Up market, parks to feast on, people watching galore, and one of my favorites, the Columbia Road Flower Market. All of this is just a hop-and-a-skip away from my doorstep. This past Sunday, July 26th, I had a very “lazy Sunday” day… I slept in, and then when I finally woke, I continued to stay curled in bed and read my book. Eventually I roused myself, made some breakfast (fried egg and black beans with rye crackers… how very London-meets-California.health.nerd)
Then I ambled down to Columbia Rd. as it was closing up shop. At the end of the day there are inevitably a few stalls still open, pertinacious in their aim of selling as much of their stock as possible. While the air was now clear of the Cockney ringing and sparring matches that jostle the senses more than the crowd pushing you into the ‘Peonies-for-ah-fiveah!’, I still found one or two resolute souls, campaigning slashed prices to the empty street, be damned if their lungs may just burst from the hours of effort. A few quid and two large bunches of lilies and sunflowers later, my arms were full and the clouds rain-heavy enough to tug my feet back towards my house. The rain started mere minutes after my arrival home.
After fussing with the flowers that were now casting a luminous glow about my flat, I hopped down to my regular work station and favored cafe, 157 Coffee @ Brick Lane, where Andrea and I met up with our mate Alice (my intrepid fellow music journalist) and a friend of hers from the States. Warmed by my Earl Grey tea and good chat, Ang and I ambled home in the sprinkling twilight (welcome to summer in London), where I again curled up on my bed, the windows bursting with fresh air, and finished my book… I had started reading John Steinbeck’s ‘Travels with Charley’ when I first arrived in London, but months ago lost it, assumedly abandoned accidentally at the cafe. A recent spring cleaning of the flat exposed its enduring possession to my excitement, and that inflated energy felt like it returned once again as I read the last 40 pages of the book, which were some of the most moving of Steinbeck’s words I had read to date.
The book is his account of a trip around the States, accompanied by his large Poodle Charley, and hopes of finding for himself some thoughts on what and where America was. His travels occurred in 1960, and the last stretch of his journey was through the South. Here he came upon the most political unrest, the most violent convictions he had encountered yet. The blatant racism and social tension was just near boiling point, and with his outrage his writing rose to the occasion. I had enjoyed the book thus far, but it was his emotionally honest yet adroit handling of this intense set of experiences onto to page that conclusively turned me into a Steinbeck admirer …You see, until now I was decidedly not a fan of the author’s style, but something seems to have shifted in my taste, and now I’m excited to read more of his work.
Anyway, here are a some snaps I took along the way while out of the streets on this very lovely slow Sunday. Cheers.
(click to enlarge/hi-q)
who once wrote with a request, “…take a photographic diary for me of all of your favorite places around town, like step by step from front door to favorite bar/park/museum/to whatever so that when i feel lonely i can walk the streets of london with you.”
So, my darling, this is for you, with more to come soon. x