Up to Spitalfields, to discover that the Fruit & Wool Exchange has been mostly demolished, in the cause of redevelopment. From the developer’s website (and, yes, I know that isn’t always a reliable guide…), it doesn’t look like too bad a scheme, and certainly far from the worst example of facadism in that area.
A Saturday afternoon trip to Spitalfields for the Independent Label and London Craft Brewers’ Market. I’m not sure how long this event’s been going, but it was pretty rammed; funny to consider that what seems a pretty obvious combination wouldn’t have been possible 10 years ago when there were only half a dozen breweries in London.
The stalls were a bit on the small size, I thought, particularly for the labels that had a decent range on offer. With a few it was hard to tell if they were presenting a particularly austere and minimalistic aesthetic, or if they really did just have a couple of 12″s and a box of CDs for sale.
My initial response to squeezing through the crowds to look at the music was that I’m now so used to trying music out online that to see it presented with virtually no explanation or context seemed almost bizarre; inefficient at least. A few samples of the beers changed that reticence a bit, but the experience really highlighted the need for record labels to have an identity and a sense of purpose in order to stand out.
The atmosphere was good: Old Spitalfields market, despite it’s increasingly chain store, extension-of-Bluewater feel, was a pretty ideal venue. There are worse ways to spend a Saturday afternoon; I’ll go back if they put it on again.
We went up to Spitalfields Market, by tube and DLR; the latter gloriously deserted, allowing an uninterrupted front seat view from Canning Town to Tower Gateway. A walk up Middlesex St revealed full Sunday market mode, all looking very different from the weekday lunchtimes I usually visit it on.
Lunch in the market followed (adding butternut squash to my list of Unnecessary Pizza Toppings), then a walk up Brick Lane, where the fashionable youth were carrying out a sort of Easter Parade; shuffling along, not really looking where they were going, and wearing variations of tweed.
Next we failed to get into Spitalfields City Farm, where a festival of some sort was taking place (featuring the Oxford and Cambridge Goat Race at 4pm). Queued down the street, it was clearly a popular do (you don’t usually see people clutching cans of Foster’s on their way to the petting zoo).
Home via the East London Line (London’s most civilised transport offering). When we emerged at North Greenwich it was snowing, as though mocking last night’s change to British Summer Time.
The working day much improved by a stroll through Spitalfieds, and a hot pie for lunch.
Christ Church glowing in the low winter sun; a sight that never gets dull, and a reminder that I need to take the camera inside the church sometime soon.