Brick Lane Baby

Oh Brick Lane, you visually and aurally assault my senses with a legion of random things to look at and listen. Walking up this often over populated stretch of east end road you are bombarded with a whole host of stimulus.

Layer the saliva-inducing smell of curry with the alternative sounds of street buskers and vendors shouting at you to buy their two bob hand-me-downs. Then add into the mix a smattering of so-trendy-it-hurts vintage shops and bars full of the cool kids, spilling out onto the streets, you end up with an eclectic mash-up of different cultures, subcultures, tastes and smells.  It’s like a festival has mated with a car boot sale and then vomited all over a back-end street in Delhi.

That’s its charm, for me at least. This little area has an uncanny ability to contain so much in such little space and cover it with an aura of cool. You could spend a good few days exploring the shops, markets, bars and restaurants, convincing yourself that you are as hip as the retro-inspired residents, traders and regular dwellers.

During the day passers by swagger down the street clutching plastic cups filled with beer, amble into famed vendor of records Rough Trade East, or eat a lunch time curry (‘excuse me madam, 3 course meal and drink for under a tenner?’ – yes please mate.) Look a bit harder and you can find some good examples of street art adorned across the walls of the side streets and next to car parks and drinking spots.

At night the area is home to a veritable mix of Londoners, yes the Peaches and Pixies of the world have been spotted grinning for the cameras around here, but don’t let that put you off. There are several great live music and club venues and endless quirky bars for the discerning Sailor Jerry’s drinker.

Rough Trade East often have in-store gigs on, the Holloys are playing a free admission gig next Wednesday from 7pm. 93 Feet East host a range of club nights and live music, and The Brickhouse has everything from stand up and jazz to Burlesque (amongst other such shenanigans.) Add to this a host of other venues, with more popping up all the time, and you have an entertaining Saturday night out.

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