Rather predictably, I did get a whopper of a cold as soon as we got moved in. This happens every time I move- the combination of much stress and brand-new germs always gets me. Not that this has been a particularly stressful move. I think it went quite swimmingly. Still, it sucks to be sick, and I feel as though I've managed to slick snot on every possible surface without even trying, and every time I encounter another person I know that yes, they are probably amused at the fact that I probably have something hanging out of my nose. Also, no one has been murdered within eyesight recently, I love it when that happens!
It's been raining a brutal amount lately. Whole towns are underwater south of here, and to keep the Thames from flooding London, all the excess water gets spilled out to the 'burbs, and those are under water as well. All those storms burying the East Coast of the US with mountains of snow have been blowing across the Atlantic and battering the UK.
On the occasional sunny day, I choose a neighborhood and get out to explore. Recently, it was to Shoreditch and Spitafields in East London, which have an insane amount of markets on the weekend.
London is shopping mad. There are open-air markets going on every day. It's hit or miss- there are a handful of unique vendors always, but they you have to really wallow through a lot of tacky t-shirt vendors and hippie clothing sellers to get to them. Spitafields had some unique clothing vendors and designers, and the area around Spitafields market had tons of upscale vintage stores.
Further in, near Brick Lane, there is a car park that turns into a food market on Sundays, and there are tons of other markets popping up in the area as well.
Londoners are like Parisians where it doesn't matter how cold it is out, as long as it's not raining, they will sit outside.
It was pretty awesome to see so many different ethnicity represented in the food market. Caribbean, African, Mideastern, Southeast Asian, Mexican and lots of American BBQ. In fact, that seems to be the trendiest food in London right now- Fried chicken and slow-cooked pulled pork and ribs and brisket. I have yet to give it a try as I've been on a vegetarian kick as of late, but I'm curious about it.
On Brick Lane, next to the dozens of curry houses, there's a remnent of the older jewish neighborhood before that, and you can get bagels and "salt beef", which I determined to be corned beef. The bagel places had long lines snaking out onto the street, so I gave one a try. It was...disappointing. Not a New York bagel. I have to stop this habit of comparing everything to New York; it's ruining things for me.
Finally, a walk through the Columbia Road Flower Market.
Everyone is dreaming so hard of springtime here.