WANDERLUST; London (II)

On Friday I transferred to a hostel in Camden. I still went back to Oxford Street a few times – it has a magnet which pulls serious shoppers back there with it’s promise of Londenesk style – but I enjoyed the eclectic demographic of Camden.

Camden is in northern London and a hybrid of Sydney Road (the Brunswick end) and Fitzroy. There are a lot of pubs and music venues. I stayed at St. Christopher’s Inn which is a hostel above a pub on High Street.Whilst sitting in the ‘chillout room’ I met a fellow Melbournian, who mixes in some of the same social circles I do and who had been travelling for a few weeks previously with a friend I was supposed to see on Tuesday when I arrived in London – but didn’t. A little bit of home never goes astray when on the other side of the world.

I also made friends with a guy from Washington D.C. We went to a gig together at Koko in Camden. Koko is a really beautiful venue; similar to The Forum but much bigger. Washington D.C seems quite similar to Melbourne in regards to nightlife and the demographic of gig attendees. As I have mentioned in a previous post, Londoners seem to go out for the sake of going out – but Melbournians are more likely to go out for the music. Eric and I both agreed that we cannot stand to be in a place where we don’t like the music.

A band similar to Warpaint, called Bleech, playing at Koko:

Fashion Street feat. Street Art:

On Sunday I went to the Brick Lane Markets. Brick Lane has a lot of Indian restaurants and trying to find a coffee proved a struggle. Everyone was drinking booze from the ‘Offey’ (Off license – basically a grocery store or milk bar) in the street, which I found so strange, as that’s not the culture in Melbourne’s inner suburbs near where there are bars and pubs.

The Brick Lane Market are so rich with vintage and new clothing, shoes, bags and jewellery; I wanted everything. There is also food of nearly every cuisine.

After the market I met an internet friend for the first time IRL, Amber, who I have been friends with online for about four years. We became friends on Myspace when I was still in high school. Amber was wearing the Underground Creepers I had been eyeing off, so I took it as a sign that I was supposed to have them. We couldn’t find my size anywhere in Central London, but I was resolute I would buy them before leaving London.

Amber and her boyfriend took me to Shoreditch; a Eastern suburb of London which has a lot of amazing vintage stores and is a less touristey than Brick Lane.

Yesterday I finally explored Camden’s shopping. I purchased the Underground Creepers  in Camden for 15 pounds cheaper than Urban Outfitters price.

The actual ‘Camden Markets’ aren’t very good – similar to the Victoria Market in Melbourne, but if you venture along to the other three markets over the river (see map below), they are great and you could spend all day in there. You can buy nearly anything there, including cheap vintage, beautiful jewellery and delicious food of all cuisines.

There is a multi level rave store in the Stables markets called Cyberdog. On the weekend girls dance on podiums in the store and a dj plays downstairs. I’ve never seen anything like it, but couldn’t take photos as there are people everywhere inside watching you and large signs saying ‘no photos’.

I’m currently on the train from London to Liverpool, travelling with Virgin Trains. The carriages are so clean and the train is quite long; there are 11 carriages. The English countryside is so green, and quite similar to country Victoria in the forest parts.

To view the rest of my photos click here.

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