Tuesday, 30 April 2013

London Bridge to Brick Lane

This walk leads through parts of London’s industrial history south of the river, past the rapidly growing financial section that is the City to the north and out to the East End that will one day surely be swallowed up by the expanding tentacles of the City developers.

Hays Wharf in the Pool of London, once known as ‘London’s larder ‘, is now a shopping mall and tourist attraction providing access onto HMS Belfast. This side of the river is also home to City Hall home of the Mayor of London, currently Boris Johnson. This is not to be confused with the Lord Mayor of London who lives in Mansion House in the City and is currently Roger Gifford. This post was created in 1189 when Henry Fitz-Ailwin de Londonestone was made the first Lord Mayor of London. While it may feel as though Boris has been Mayor since the 12th century the post was only created in the year 2000 with Mr Johnson being elected in 2008.

St Catherine’s Dock, once the site of public executions, is now a marina for the superrich. It is also home to a few historic boats such as the former workhorse of the river, the Thames Barge.

Brick Lane is the centre of some of the best Asian restaurants in London. The area has been home to many immigrant communities such as the Huguenots, a Jewish quarter, the Bengali’s and now some of the best graffiti artists and night life London has to offer.  The perfect example of the ever changing ethnic diversity of this area is the Jamme Masjid Mosque. In 1743 it was a place of worship for French Protestants and in 1898 it became a Synagogue. It has been a Mosque since 1976.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Art tour

I never thought I would see this. A guided, graffiti art tour of the East End. The ‘curator’, the guy in the shades (of course) is explaining the finer points of Brick Lane graffiti with all the authority of a guide in the Louvre. Hats off to a fine piece of opportunism but yet another step on the slippery slope towards the gentrification of the old East End.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Record Store Day

Today was Record Store Day and from the queues at Rough Trade records in Brick Lane it looks to be a rip roaring success. Paul Weller and the Strypes played live in the store.