Monday, 19 February 2007

Brick Lane & Columbia Road Markets

Yesterday being a Sunday and a boring day so I decided to go and visit Brick Lane market in East London, it is one of the oldest street markets in London, it is situated in an area famous for its immigrant population.
It still retains some of its Jewish character as the street is dotted with Bagel cafes that have huge queues of people queueing to get a salt beef bagel, I really wanted to buy one but just could never be bothered to Que for food.

I arrived their early at about 10 am, the market opens every Sunday between 9 am & 2 pm, it was still not very busy, in my long years of living in London this was my second time there, the first time being only few years ago.

This market is famous for selling just about anything, from dodgy videos to rubbish old furniture, in fact some stands have piles of old clothes that you would not give a second look yet many people seem to be buying them.

Brick Lane if very famous for its Bangladeshi population, so much so that most of the streets have their names written in English & Bengali. After I took the above picture I noticed the Fax number starting with 071! this central London telephone code changed from 071 to 0171 in the mid 90's then changed again to 0207 in the year 2000, these cheapskates have not updated their numbers yet :o)

This stand was selling fresh crusty bread and pastries, really nice

These people were literally selling dodgy electrical goods loaded at the back of this van, one of them got angry when I took a photo and kept asking me if I was a market inspector, I kept saying I am a tourist but he said: mate you do not look like a tourist.

A Libyan home dream! all sorts of pots & pans, every shape and size

Here they were selling these massive carpet rolls, I have no idea how people that buy them would take them home?? They must weigh a ton!

The market has a huge fruit and vegetable section but I did not bother to check it

This section specialises in bicycles and their spare parts, some of the bicycles were old some new, I bet many stolen bikes end up here

This stand was selling these really weird tops for women, they looked like they were made out of paper, this woman could not take her eyes off them, I would not like to imagine her wearing one :o)

Fishing Tackle stand

Remote control anyone?

This is the entrance to Beyond Retro, which is a big shop that specialises in designer second hand clothes, it was not that cheap and some of the goods were OK but I could never buy second hand clothes, as I say to my friends I have an image of a poor guy getting run over by a bus or shot dead then his clothes end up in one of these shops, I have two friends who like buying second hand clothes, I always make them feel sick when they tell me they bought something because I keep saying check for stab marks and those stains must be blood, this person had a horrible death how could you wear his clothes :o)

inside this shop the first thing I noticed was the many Ra Ra skirts hanging everywhere!

Lots of second hand shoes probably belonging to dead women :o)
Have you noticed what is hanging at the top right corner? yes more Ra Ra skirts

more second hand clothes and yes you guessed right more Ra Ra skirts, if Ra Ra skirts make a come back this shop is going to make a lot of money, they have them everywhere even in the men section!!

Cowboy boots and hats!!!
I found this Asian man selling Peacock feathers at £2 for 6 feathers, I really thought that no one buys them anymore, I mean they are really horrible :o)

This shop is called HEBA !

This stand was selling fresh sea food at a reasonable price and had a long queue, this was the end of Brick Lane market, it was an enjoyable walk but there was nothing there for me to buy, the market is not as popular as it used to be, it is mainly full of rubbish, even the people that go there have changed, it used to be full of all ethnic minorities especially the Bangladeshis now it is full of Eastern European mainly Polish Bulgarians & Romanians, I suppose coming from ex-Communists countries where everything is still very expensive, this market must seem like heaven to them.
I decided to continue walking towards Columbia Road Flower Market which was only a few minutes walk away but a completely different world, the area starts to look better, you see beautiful small streets with lovely houses.

The Flower market was very busy and very well stocked with flowers, indoor and outdoor plants sold at a bargain price, the first thing you notice is that the people here are mainly middle class English people out on a Sunday buying flowers and plants and generally enjoying the atmosphere.

All sorts of plants were on sale, this section had beautiful Palm trees

Here I was pretending to be taking pictures of the beautiful Cactus plants but the truth I was trying to take a picture of this dog! but it kept turning its face away from me, it was a black Pug with a very ugly face but cute at the same time.

More beautiful narrow streets with cafes

This band was there entertaining the crowd

Shop selling garden ornaments :o)

More garden furniture

By then the market was too busy for me to walk and it started to feel like a street in Cairo so I decided to go home
You can avoid the crowd like I did by walking on the pavement, most people would be walking in the middle of the road to look at the plants, well it was another good and entertaining day in good old London, I hope you enjoy the pictures.


life's cycle said...

really very beautiful pics seems u had a nice wonderful day at least u can go out i am stuck in work and then home here the snow is about 50 cm long can u believe it .... enjoy ur time ... best wishes :)

cofman said...

story line, 37 pics, 6 links, and “ mate you do not look like a tourist ”?

AngloLibyan said...

I had a lovely day Life's cycle thank you. Snow is part of living in Canada, I am sure its got its advantages :o)

I posted 37 pictures?? wow no wonder I was there for ever!
thank you cofman and emnawar be-wjoodak :o) did I say that correct?

Ema said...

It looks like a long journey, but obviously great fun, i loved every picture, GOD i wash i can get to the UK again, this reminds me og the english streets and the life there.
thank you anglolibyan :)

Ema said...

that was a "WISH" up there, sorry lol

Lebeeya said...

Lovely pictures!

Just reading this post and looking at the pictures felt like I spent the day in London :)

I want a Ra Ra Skirt!

AngloLibyan said...

Ema I am glad I gave good memories of being here and InshaAllah your wish comes true.

thank you lebeeya, this shop will never run out of Ra Ra skirts, so you are in luck :o)

Chatalaine / شاتالاين said...

Thank you for sharing your London again. What a lovely day you had.

AngloLibyan said...

Chatalaine I hope you come to visit London to enjoy it, it really is a beautiful city, thank you for your comment.

lovelytripoli said...

It seems as you have the same hobby that i have taking photes to anywhere and to everything..
i enjoyed looking to them...
You have to send me the map to that place in london ,so,when i go this summer to london i can go with mom visting that Place..

best wishs 4 u and all ur family.

AngloLibyan said...

thanks lovelytripoli, yes I do enjoy taking pictures, I hope you get to visit all these places this summer.
here is a page with information on how to get to Brick Lane market and maps, the flowe market is only few minutes away.
click Here

Living Away said...

hey dear friend...pretty nice weekened you had there!?
i love to walk in the middle of the crowd and i miss it so much!!!
i have no problem about buyig second hand clothes, but sencond hand shoes no way...dead people....that's good!!

AngloLibyan said...

yes thanks living away, you would enjoy this crowd then.
I know that most second hand clothes do not belong to dead people but its a feeling I get :o)

MaySoon said...

It wasn't a boring Sunday after all, thanks for taking us with you :o)

Chatalaine / شاتالاين said...

I just dropped by today to see if you had a new post.. Then I saw that picture of the bread again! It reminds me of the bread in Tripoli! Oh my!! That does look good. Finding bread that is crusty on the outside can be hard here in the States. But I must say bread it is getting better here.
Thank you again.. I think I better go eat breakfast you have made me hungry! LOL

AngloLibyan said...

it was a good day, thanks Maysoon.

Chatalaine that bread counter was absolutely delicious, here in Lodon we have all sorts of international bakeries with a huge selection of bread, enjoy your breakfast.

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