One of the things I'm loving about London is how there are all these parts of it that operate and feel like small villages rather than a sprawling metropolis. While the city is enormous, it feels less overwhelming than New York to me because of all these bite-sized pieces you can break off and explore.
I spent a recent sunny day exploring Camden. It's an eclectic, odd place with tons of markets selling all sorts of good junk. The canal-side Lock Market and the formerly equestrian Stable Markets sprawl across town, with an odd assortment of storefronts on high street connecting the two markets.
Predictably, it's a mob scene, and it offers great people watching. The vendors in the stable markets were kind of blah, but if you wind your way further back into the stalls there are some great vintage clothing shops, including a woman who had an amazing selection of vintage furs that, even though I would never wear, wow'ed me.
You can really get lost in here, in the best possible way.
While it had a lot of ho-hum junk- the same hippie clothing and crude-phrased t-shirts could be bought at every other booth, it was a worthwhile exploration.
Most of it was just so tacky, you couldn't help but stop and stare.
This was the place to go if you want to get that tattoo that everyone else has, and dubious-looking pot brownies while being offered dimebags of limp, sad little buds.
I did spy this amusing vintage pet store awning that is now re-purposed as a bakery:
When the thumping bass and incessant consumption of top 40 music got too much, it was off to Regent's Park, a sprawling green space.
The odd thing about Parks here are that they are generally huge, and mostly vast lawns with a pin-straight walkway with tall trees cutting through the center.
It's almost disorientating to be in the middle of such a vast lawn. You really can't judge distances well at all, and even in February, the grass is so green it hurts your eyes.
I can't wait for it to dry out enough for a picnic. I foresee a glorious summer of picnic-only diets ahead.