Funky Brixton

If you follow this blog, you probably do it wearing sunglasses. I’d put them on now, if I were you…

Brixton market robot tiles

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 Street Signs

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.

Brixton Village arcade

Robot Tiles BrixtonThis was tucked away in a corner near the entrance to Brixton Village, the kind of detail any photographer would pray for. I think it’s a robot or something, anyway I love it.

Old Top Hat Brixton   Humorous shop sign brixtonIn the Arcade, it looks like The Artful Dodger would sell his hat for an aspirin…

Coloured Wig displayAs my hairline recedes, I find myself strangely drawn to shops like this. I’m thinking the little Andy Warhol number, maybe…?

Tube station Steps brixton londonThe 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.

Brixton Street MarketThis 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.

Fruit stall brixton market

‘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…

Brixton market fruit stall  Brixton market robot tiles

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.

Check out part one of my trip, London’s Buzzing.

See The Daily Prompt for ‘West End Girls‘ 

Categories: Photography, Random, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , | 30 Comments

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30 thoughts on “Funky Brixton

  1. Clarissa

    You have captured some of the most amazing shots of Brixton area which I have ever seen. Thanks for sharing.

    • Very nice of you to say so, Clarissa. I felt very relaxed taking pictures, and nobody seemed to mind when they realised I was friendly.

      • Clarissa

        Yep, its quite easy to take photographs; if we gets mixed up with the atmosphere as it creates a warmth among people and that can results in wonderful shots like as you have taken.

  2. Great post. You should send a link to the local MP – this promotes Brixton beautifully.

  3. Frivolous Monsters

    It looks a great place to take photos!

    • Yes, you would love it! You can’t go wrong with Brixton – so much character. When I was snapping fruit stalls, the girls asked me to stop so they could fix their hair first… great place.

  4. Love the Mad Hatters hat.

    • It is the Mad Hatter, isn’t it? And he’d want something much stronger than an aspirin….

  5. Your funky blue shoes match the funky blue steps. And you’ve hidden your funky blog title in there too! That’s my favourite funky photo 😉

    • Well spotted, Ziggy! There’s also a stall in the arcade with my logo on it, which is about as real as the blue on my shoes (I’m experimenting with colour and contrast in iPhoto…)

      • I had a hunt around to see if you’d hidden the logo elsewhere. Didn’t spot that…damn. And what do you mean you don’t have electric blue shoes?

      • My trainers are actually grey! When I raised the blue levels in iPhoto, all these details jumped out, including my shoes. It looked a bit arty so I kept the effect, but the original is a bit dull…

        Tube Station Steps the vibes

  6. Fantastic photos – love um 😉

  7. Stevo

    You get about mister. the coolest places and some fab pics. I want that hat!

  8. Gotta love anything bohemian! I love the wandering character photo and the robot too. 🙂

    • Thanks, Sheila! I loved your Summertime on Cape Cod post, and one day I’m coming over to take some pics and (try to) paint like Edward Hopper! That would be the ultimate. But for now I’m happy with London which is always a bundle of fun. 😎

  9. Hi Mark thanks for stopping by and liking my post! I realised I’d not seen your posts for a while and popped by to see how things are going. Seems WordPress has neglected to update me on some of the blogs I follow and yours is not the only one. I wonder if you are finding that also?

    Me no likey seeing as I almost missed out on this fabulously stunning piece on Brixton. The colours are dazzling, you’ve captured sunshine where I thought there was none! 🙂

    • Hi, I think something might be up with WordPress. Since the new tumblr-style reader came in, a lot of people have been complaining about a lack of hits. My readership has halved and it hasn’t coincided with getting my own URL. You might want to search the forums to find out what’s wrong, but the lack of email alerts could mean that everything comes through your reader (under ‘Blogs I Follow’.) Actually I’m subscribed to myself so I can monitor what my subscribers see, and WordPress keeps unsubscribing me. Weird.

      I’m glad you liked this post, and although there wasn’t really any sunshine that day, I boosted everything to get rid of that stubborn English grey light which also washed out my visit to the Houses of Parliament (coming soon) I really should go and live in Spain!

  10. I visited Brixton a few years ago when my daughter was living nearby. It was an amazingly colourful area full of all sorts of people and I loved it. I wasn’t brave enough to whip out my camera in case someone felt exploited but I have heaps of inner pictures to remember. Top of the heap was the guy dealing from under a bus stop seat. He gave me an enormous grin when he saw my astonished face, and carried on as if it was apples he was selling. I never felt unsafe, but it was a real culture shock coming from my little city in New Zealand.
    Thanks for dropping by at my blog.

    • Hi there, I think there’s a dilemma whenever people are in the shot, but as an amateur and a tourist I hope I’m not exploiting anyone. I see everything as a blog photo-opportunity now! It sounds like you had a similar experience to me in Brixton, and I’d go back there tomorrow – I love the atmosphere.

  11. Love the pictures mate. I spent an afternoon wandering through Brixton this summer too, albeit without a camera 😦 That one of the guy in the red, white and blue robe outside the butchers is brilliant. Such a great, natural shot. Love it.

    • Mark

      Thanks, it looks natural but I stalked him for a little while, determined to get a good shot. In another picture, you can see the butchers giving me the strangest looks!

  12. Pingback: Bright and Sunny Brixton | Cheeky Jaunt

  13. No shades necessary. I live in Mexico, where color is king!!!! Nice shots…

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