Saturday, February 21, 2015

A day of Street Art and Architecture

I must confess to having a bit of a lazy airbnb hosts are away in France this weekend so I decided to go downstairs in my jammies and make coffee - something I'd never do normally.  Then I discovered "Summer Magic", a Hayley Mills movie was on telly so I settled in with my coffee to watch it.  Finally about 10 I headed off.

My destination?  The East End.  Due to weekend engineering works my trip got a bit complicated and I had to take a rail replacement bus from Shadwell to Whitechapel.  From there I walked down Whitechapel road seeing a bit of street art and more along Brick Lane although I had seen most of it previously.... Much quieter on a Saturday than a Sunday as not many markets open. 

The Beigel Bake, a 24 hour bakery that specializes in.,..yes bagels or beigels...take your pick on how to spell it...I like their bagels but not enough to stand in the long line up that is usually there at weekends.  I hadn't had much for breakfast so enjoyed my first bagel and cream cheese since I left home,,,,while eating it leaning against a counter in the bakery I had an interesting conversation about the place with a fellow who has been coming there for the past 15 years.  He told me about a good pie and mash place to try so maybe I will do that when I am back next month...I guess pie and mash is an acquired taste.  Silly me thought it was meat pie with mashed potatoes on is but just a bit different.. Just meat, no spices and the mashed potatoes are lumpy. Hmmm..on second thought!  The pies were made from eels (ewwww...) when the Thames was full of them but now the pies are made from beef,  It comes with a liquer that has parsley in it - in the old days it had the liquid left from cooking the eels....not anymore...still, I think I'd like to try it.  It's been on "the list" for years now but have never seen an authentic place when I was hungry enough. (and I think I will have to be really hungry!!!).

From there I found more artwork in the Shoreditch area - now a trendy area where the "hipsters" hang out.  The streets I wandered along were all new to me so that was fun. 

Caught one in action - he asked for his face not to be shown..some have permission, others don't

This one was huge!

By this time I was getting close to Liverpool St...heading into The City.....well those 300,000 plus people were GONE so all the stores in the area were closed.  It was almost surreal.  However it does not pay to keep your store open if your target market is not there....the stores would be empty on a Saturday.  I was pulled to the area by The Gherkin - official name St Mary Axe but known as the Gherkin for obvious reasons.  I love this building and one of my "must do someday" things was to see the building close up.


I noticed the Walkie Talkie building was just a couple of blocks away so I went there too walking through the beautiful Leadenhall market on the way. 


In front of the Walkie talkie was Leadenhall Market - full of shops - ALL CLOSED. - only open Monday to Friday


Walkie Talkie building at ground level.  It has a rooftop garden that is free but you need to book online and it's totally booked for months,,,no more bookings accepted for now.  :(.

I then got the tube from Aldgate East station and headed to Surrey Quays thinking perhaps I could catch a movie...I couldn't even find the damn movie theatre despite instructions from two different people.,  I did get good views of Canada Water though...I was through this area on a walk several years ago as I recognized it immediately...

Then back "home" to relax...I realized I hadn't sat down once in six hours except on public transport - no wonder I was tired!!!   What a great day though!

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