a walk down brick lane

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If you want to have a quiet stroll, going at your own pace and taking time to look around at all the little details — stay far away from Brick Lane on Sunday.

If you want bustle, color, variety, and noise, then there’s no better time to visit Brick Lane than a Sunday, when numerous street markets set up shop along its length, and hordes of clamoring people flood into the narrow road.

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These markets sell all sorts of things. There’s a basement warehouse devoted entirely to vintage clothes and accessories; other vendors, like those found at the Backyard Market, showcased art, jewelry, collectibles, and other curiosities. One vendor sold old cameras, and her stand had a miniature dark room built into it. Another sold pendants made of real leaves that had been coated in copper and colorful metallic finishes.

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The best thing by far is the international food, of which there is a seemingly endless selection. I walked past Mexican, Lithuanian, Ethiopian, Indian, Japanese, and Korean cuisine, just to name a few. You can also get a good, old-fashioned coffee or giant sausage in a baguette if your tastes run more toward the simple.

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As you walk, you’ll get a good look at all the things that characterize Brick Lane. Hole-in-the-wall restaurants, mostly featuring western and south Asian food: Bengal, Indian, Turkish. Graffiti slathered on any spare piece of wall and down every alley. Artsy, hipster shops tossed in amongst the grittiness, including Dark Sugars, the hot chocolate place I raved about last week, and Kahaila Cafe, which doubles as a charity and a community space.

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(Kahaila makes a great soy chai latte and even better cakes.)

So I came to Brick Lane just wanting to sit at a cute cafe & get some work done, and ended up staying hours longer than I intended as I stumbled into all these markets. I’m going to return later and take a closer look, but I’ll have to make sure I come back hungry.

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3 thoughts on “a walk down brick lane

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