This past weekend was great. I was off the full weekend, which is uncommon for me with my shite work schedule (rotating shifts with no real pattern) and with the good weather I did stuff! On Saturday I went on a Alternative London Tour with boyfriend, and a friend. It was in the East end of London and it focused on street art.
I’ve been in London for almost 3 years (in September) and prior to this year ventured out East very little. I remember looking for a place just a month or so into living here and seeing a couple places east. That was enough for me to stay away from the entire area. Of course I wasn’t looking in the cool trendy hipster area, because…well I didn’t know it existed. A Canadian friend who lived here at the time was the one who took me to the east end. Even after that I didn’t venture that way much. I stuck to mostly North London (at the time) and a little bit West. As you may (or not) remember for those who’ve read this blog for a little bit I now live in South London. It’ll be a year soon. This is the longest I’ve lived in one place. In less than 3 years I’ve moved 5 times. I digress.
SO back to the tour. It last two hours and started close to Liverpool street station. It is hailed by Time Out as one of the top 5 free things to do in London. Our tour leader – Gary – has been living in London for quite a long time though he is not a native Londoner. He like so many who move here have a real passion for the city and his was evident on the tour. It was cool because it was mainly if not all Londoners who came out for the tour, no tourists. He gave us a good background on 3 waves of immigration that have shaped the east end and some of the changes/struggles that are continuing today. When you go to East London the street art is everywhere so this was nice to talk about who the artists are. We even ran into some artists creating.
Enjoy some pictures below:
So the great thing about this tour is that it will change constantly as artists add or paint over existing work. I was east a few weeks ago and when on this tour a wall I had taken photos of was being painted over. So if you are in London and care at all about street art, or if visiting then I highly recommend this tour. Also, check out Exit Through the Gift Shop for a documentary on street art. It’s by Banksy.
This summer is shaping up to be one where I spend a lot of time in East London. I’m going to a festival in July that will be held in Victoria Park which is east. I suppose it’s time to catch up as east has a lot to offer – even if it is hipster central.