|The Women's Library at Aldgate|
So we stayed local again this week and based our choice of markets and cafés around a trip to The Women's Library, which is part of London Metropolitan University. Today was the penultimate day to see this free exhibition by French installation artist Françoise Dupré. It was a small exhibition, but so lovely. Loads of colourful creations made from unusual fabrics such as plastic laundry bags, tights and citrus net bags. I wandered around promising myself I'd find time to do more sewing in the next week or two. It was rather inspiring.
Once we'd finished admiring the art, we headed for Spitalfields market, close by, but instead turned a corner and found ourselves in Petticoat Lane market, which I used to go to in my lunch hours when I worked nearby. I had completely forgotten about it. We didn't stop to look closely at every stall, but there was plenty to fill our senses, and loads of fantastic looking cafés to tempt us in for coffee. Petticoat Lane is a clothes and fashion market, set in streets full of fabric shops and dressmakers.
What's not to like? Although there were a few bits of weirdness too, including a (yellow painted) shop which sold real human hair. Really quite disturbing.
We resisted the lure of Petticoat Lane's cafés and continued on towards Spitalfields market. This is a market I've been coming to ever since I first moved to East London fifteen years ago. In this time it has changed - become more gentrified and chic, and less battered, comfortable old East End. But...it is still lovely, and I still go every couple of months, on a Sunday morning, for a prowl around.
On a Friday morning, however, the market felt empty and quiet. There were some clothes stalls and cafés open, but not many people. We went to Leon for a very tasty drink and cake, and sat and gazed at these handsome but still surroundings.
I think we will need to head back here on a Sunday to show you the market at its busy, bustling best. We headed slowly back down Commercial Road to Aldgate East station, and the tube home. The pavements pulsed with heat, and we squinted in the midday sun. It was hot out there today.
|Commercial Road in the September heatwave|