I live very close to Brick Lane, which most people who aren’t from London will recognize from the myth of great curry (if they recognize it at all). While there are loads of Indian and Bangaladeshi restaurants on Brick Lane, they’re pretty mediocre, although they offer cheap prices. There’s also a passable Mexican (more like Tex-Mex) restaurant there as well, which I experienced Friday.
At night, especially on the weekends, it reminds me a bit of what I’d imagine Williamsburg would feel like if they effectively shrank Bedford Avenue. Not so much because of the feel of the restaurants and such, but because of the people – a lot of London’s version of hipsters. A lot of drunk people. And the occasional mini cab attempting to drive through what is essentially a pedestrian thoroughfare at that point.
On the weekends during the day its full of a ton of different markets. There are these amazing food stalls with cheap and very tasty food – Mexican, Indian, Chinese, Moroccan, Ethiopian. Everything. And loads of stalls where people sell their homemade wares and other things. Plus vintage stores (which are there during the week as well) seem to expand and pop up in different spaces. Today I found a coffee shop that has really comfortable seating, makes a decent cup of hot chocolate, and just has a generally relaxed atmosphere. It may become my new study locale on Tuesdays and Thursdays (i.e., the days when I don’t have to go to campus).
Just above where the main part of Brick Lane ends there’s an arts and theater space that shows first run movies but also has free jazz on Sundays and hosts other events.
It’s great to be so close to such a vibrant neighborhood.