Monday, October 10, 2011

Market Day

Sunday is a big market day in London, and we took in three of them -- the Queen's Park Farmers' Market just up the road from Spooner's flat, Columbia Road flower market, and Brick Lane market. We wandered our way down through the East End from Columbia Road to Whitechapel Road, passing through Arnold Circus, starting at the top of Brick Lane and weaving our way in and out of the crowds, back and forth on various side streets -- Bacon, Sclater, Hanbury, Princelet, Wentworth -- checking out the streetart along the way. I'd read a lot about the East End over the winter, including Child of the Jago, The Worst Street in London, On Brick Lane, and re-reading parts of East End Chronicles. I always have in my head dozens of spots that I want to see, and streets that I want to explore, and I never seem to get to all of them. Having now done this on a Saturday (last year) and a Sunday, I'm not sure which is better -- on Saturday, the streets are rather quiet and less interesting, without any stalls, vendors or many people, but on Sunday it's too crowded in places and I get so overwhelmed with just trying to navigate through the hordes of people that I often forget the various places I want to go in my effort to make it through the mob and not get separated from Spooner.

We stopped into two different galleries -- the one that's in the old Rochelle School in Club Row (Arnold Circus) and the Whitechapel Gallery. I'd wanted to go to the Whitechapel to see the hall of mirrors by Josiah McElheny, but was somewhat underwhelmed -- or it was just over my head because I didn't know enough about the intellectual premise behind it all. However, there's a fabulous exhibition in an upstairs room -- the selections from the Government Art Collection, curated by Cornelia Parker, called Richard of York Gave Battle in Vain. Throughout the upcoming year, different people will be selecting pieces from the vast art collection of the British government, to be arranged around a theme. The works in the current exhibition are all hung salon style, according to the color spectrum -- Richard of York Gave Battle in Vain is a mnemonic for ROYGBIV. Have a look at the exhibition booklet to get a sense of the range of pieces and the humorous juxtapositions. We enjoyed seeing which government ministry owned particular pieces.

Our evening was a quiet one spent back at the flat -- a glass of wine, a hot bath, and dinner.

£3 raisin walnut loaf from farmers' market
£4 Map of Spitalfields Life, bought at Labour and Wait
£5 Lunch at Meraz Cafe in Hanbury Street
£1 juice

19,216 steps
7.58 miles

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