a full day in london
Fred and Jessica came in this morning. The gang is all here. Jessica and I started off the day getting a quick pedicure. Hands down the worst pedicure ever and the strangest. We are so spoiled in NYC in this arena. I won't go into the details but if you don't need one while you are here, then don't have one.
We met up with Fred and Josh at Fifteen, Jamie Oliver's restaurant. This is the restaurant where he began his mission to raise the awareness of healthy eating particularly in regards to children. He also employs people who are homeless or unemployed with the hopes that they will get their life back together and create careers for themselves in the restaurant industry. I love what he is doing. Have yet to be impressed with the food at his restaurants. The first one we went to was in Melbourne, although far from home, it was not very good. Fifteen was not that impressive either. The food was okay, the service was super slow but as an entrepreneur, he ranks up there with the best. Above is the pizza bianca which we all split. Layered cherry tomatoes, ricotta, greens, pesto and pine nuts over a round piece of pizza bread. Clever but not great.
Josh and Jessica were exhausted. Josh was hooking up with some friends from cooking class so they all returned to our place. I continued onward. What a day. When I was in a Junior in college, I took a semester abroad at the City of London Polytechnic which I did through Beaver College in Pennsylvania. The school is located near Brick Lane. This area was much grittier when I lived here. Kind of like Orchard street in NYC used to be before it transformed into what it is today. Hip and cutting edge. That is basically what has happened to Brick Lane too.
I wandered down Pitfield Street and stopped in an adorable store called CA4LA. All hats. I love hats and was in need of one before I get too tan walking around the city every day.
Next stop down the street was the CycleLab & JuiceBar They fix your bike, give maintenance courses, have workshops, have free wifi, serve up breakfast and fresh juices and smoothies. Super cute and great idea.
Wandered over to Hoxton Square. A small green park that is a block surrounded by cafes and stores around the square across the street.
White Cube is on the square too. One of the original pioneers in the art world of London. The exhibit was called Between Thought and Action. Over 200 works on paper of significant artists working today. There was a fold out that showed each wall and number of every art piece in the exhibit. Interesting to go through and see all the different works. Particularly when you are drawn to something and I found myself having an aha moment to myself when it was an artist that I knew. Works from Chuck Close to Fred Tomaseli to Gabin Turk to Lucian Freud to David Hockney to Anselm Kiefer to Richard Prince and Gabriel Orozco. This picture is of the main room.
I liked this piece because it made me laugh. I know that I repeat myself. It is terrible. Maybe it is age, not sure what, but I could relate to this piece by Harland Miller called Repetition is not! I say not!! To be repeated.
Down the street was a Colette sign. Did Colette from Paris have a shop here that I didn't know about? I walked in and found a pop-up shop. KK Outlet is doing a swap with Colette. They are in a small area of Colette in Paris right now and a mixture of stuff from Colette is in their store at the same time. Only a few t-shirts, candles and some accessories. No reason to run to get over there but they also had a few art installations from KK. One from Irina Dakeva which was a wall of small watercolors.
The other is from Darcel, a graffiti artist. He had a few posters to buy but this sculpture which is his tag made me laugh. It is called Summer in New York is Fucked. Knowing how extremely hot it has been there, I thought the sculpture was right on the money.
Continued over to Brick Lane and stopped in the Foxton Boutique and picked up Emily a headband.
I made a right on to Shoreditch High Street where stores and pubs are everywhere. The first shop I wandered into was Present. An excellent mens store. Josh and Fred must come back with me. There were many mens stores in this area which is something NYC needs more of.
Next stop was Maidenshop. Reminds me of Alphabets in NYC but hipper. Clever tsotkes. The guy who owns it is absolutely adorable.
I walked down RedChurch Street where there is one store after another. Sunspel is a mens line that has been in business for 130 years but this is their first store. They make their own fabrics and create their own styles. Simple stuff. Women's clothes coming soon. Another place to return to with the boys.
Right near there is Caravan. Flea market chic for the home.
The Boundry Hotel, Conrans place, is right here. Conceptually I just love this place. Had dinner in the restaurant last time we were in London. In the basement. There are rooms to stay in, a place to buy bread and items for the kitchen, an open trattoria on the first floor and another restaurant/bar on the rooftop. So smart.
Found the need to buy something there. I got this cookie which is huge. Not that tasty but I did love the size.
The last store before I got to Brick Lane is Aubin & Wills which is a combo of things. A gallery, a store and a cinema each on a different floor. Cute stuff, mostly their own brand.
Eventually I got to Brick Lane where my first stop was the bagel shop. Got a few bagels for Saturday morning breakfast. When I lived in London we would go down to the bagel shop daily. I am not sure this was the one because the configuration is completely different. We'd get a bagel with cream cheese and salmon or salt beef ( their version of corned beef ) and we would feel like we were home.
The stores here are pubs, coffee shops, galleries and vintage stores. I wandered in to a few galleries. My favorite was East Gallery representing emerging artists.
Luna & Curious. Another flea market home store. This piece in the window was cool. I thought about picking it up for the kitchen but I was having a very difficult time at this point making any decisions.
Last stop on Brick Lane that I stopped in was a store called 127.Brick Lane. This particular store carried high end brands like Rick Owens and Martin Margiela. Everything was on sale, end of season. But it was interesting that a store that carries this type of merchandise chose Brick Lane to open on. I wonder how their business is. The area is geared towards the young hipsters who don't exactly have that kind of cash to spend but also aren't really looking for that look even if they have the cash. Does this store represent gentrification to another level. Who knows, just an observation.
Had to walk around the corner to see Labour and Wait, one of the original stores that opened in this area.
Off to the Tate Modern to meet Emily.
We went to see Exposed, Voyeurism, Surveillance & The Camera. A fantastic exhibit. I literally looked at every photo and read each description. The exhibit is divided into five sections. Voyeurism and Desire, Witnessing Violence, the Unseen Photographer, Celebrity & the Public Gaze and Surveillance. It is about the relationship between the camera and the image that crosses the lines of privacy and propriety. An interesting exhibit as we live our lives in the public. This image is from Philip-Lorca diCorcia. This series of photos were controversial because he set up a camera in Time Square and took photos of people who had no idea that they were being photographed.
Emily and I had a drink at the cafe and then went on to meet the rest of the gang for dinner.
I’m exhausted just reading this and you haven’t even eaten dinner yet? Que!? ; )
that was my reactionshe did most of this while i slept off my jet lag
Great post – wow, you covered a lot of ground! Thanks for the link to the Tate exhibit on photography & voyeurism – would love to see that. Is there a catalog? Funny (or not?) how politics has politicized photography…
There is a catalog. Photography has come a long way. There are even photosfrom the late 1800’s.
Holy cow! You really got around.Did you compare the “beigel” places? Maybe you used to go to the one next door with the yellow sign. I think the bagels are better at the white one (the one you went to), but the salt beef is better at the yellow one. So is the mustard.Now I’m feeling need for a London trip.
Hate to tell you. They are owned by the same family!
I loved looking at the shops! Thank you.
I did my my Metallurgy Diploma in 71/72 at Sir John Cass / City of London Poly. Used to love walking down Petticoat Lane from Liverpool St. Station also having lunch in The Minories 🙂 Great posts thank you for sharing your experiences. Maybe you will visit Cambridge next time!
Yes…Petticoat Lane. Wow. It is all coming back. Very different now thanwhen I saw in school. I did a day trip to Cambridge when I was in schoolhere. Beautiful spot.
I’m got a cookie just like that one after I came from a sample sale.