East London has a story to tell. Like many big cities, it’s the part of town where historically immigrants settled. For years it was overcrowed and bustling, a hub for the fabric and clothing industry and millions of newcomers. Eventually the area became run down and many of the buildings abandoned as businesses moved elsewhere. For the past 10 plus years, East London has been working hard to reinvent itself and become the center for contemporary art, design and all things trendy. It’s a great place to shop. You won’t find the big chains or see Hollister or The Top Shop on every corner. Well, if you head over to the fabulous Westfield Mall that was built for the Olympics you’ll see them, but on the narrow streets and alley ways and in the open air markets that are packed on the weekends you’ll find new and upcoming designers selling their creations; beautiful clothing, jewelry and works of art for those who seek quality but don’t want to wear or own what everybody else has. The selection and craftmanship are excellent and the prices fantastic. It’s also home to creative vintage shops full of resale clothing and items displayed as new. Well known markets and shopping areas include Spitalfields Market, The Old Truman Brewery and Brick Lane. The neighborhood also boasts great restaurants of many different ethnicities and is just a fun area to roam around. Pop into a little boutique and see what you can find. On the weekends there are several big open air markets for flowers, food and veggies, clothing and gift items. We took the tube to the Liverpool station and were on our way.
This is also a great neighborhood to enjoy public art and architecture. You’ll see rows of old Victorian era houses that were run down and neglected now beautifully restored and no longer on the cheap real estate list. I would have loved to have taken pictures inside some of the boutiques and shops, but they did not welcome photos. I guess if I was a new designer I would not want people snapping pictures of my creations either.