If you follow this blog, you probably do it wearing sunglasses. I’d put them on now, if I were you…
Emerging from the Tube station, the first big surprise is that the street is real. When Eddy Grant sang ‘We gonna rock down to Electric Avenue,’ he was referring to the Brixton riots of 1981. I was only 14 years old, and although I watched Britain burning on the television, I later failed to make a connection with the song, or the widespread hatred for Margaret Thatcher.
Brixton today is bright, loud and colourful, chaotic and multi-lingual. Round-voweled posh girls called Chloe and Esmé rub shoulders with Polish market traders and Rastas. The ghost of past tensions seemed to be long gone, as we explored the buzzing street market and had brunch at a cafe in the ancient arcade. The sheer energy of this place is exciting, jumbled and bohemian. This is Old London.
As my hairline recedes, I find myself strangely drawn to shops like this. I’m thinking the little Andy Warhol number, maybe…?
The metal edging on Tube station steps always reminds me of The Fifth Element, for some reason. Here’s some advice for you: never stop on busy steps while taking a picture looking down at your own feet. You might end up at the bottom ahead of schedule.
This character wandered around all day, and it wasn’t until he coordinated beautifully with the Butcher’s behind him that I managed to steal a picture. Colour and accessory being key here, to street fashion. Not an entirely ethical background, but a good strong patriotic livery.
‘Fear the fruit,’ this man seems to be saying, but he beamed at me when he realised I liked his stall enough to photograph it. Always helps to actually buy something…
Have you noticed how I always seem to be hanging round street markets taking pictures? Or if there’s a tiled mural anywhere, I’ll be there, snapping away. It may be off the beaten track for most tourists, but if you haven’t seen Brixton, then you haven’t seen London.