One of my funniest and fondest memories of London is of the early Sunday morning market that stretches down Brick Lane and Cheshire Street. There was a summer quite a few years back when we used to find ourselves walking through this market many more times than we intended. We had some friends who shared an amazing flat on Cheshire Street which was the scene of many an unscheduled party, all really good fun but the one drawback was that we would have to make our way home on Sunday morning in an unhealthy hung-over state and negotiate our way through the most random selection of stalls and produce that I’ve ever seen. There were some great things on sale, but if I tell you that I once saw someone selling sets of dentures (used!) from a suitcase you’ll get an idea of how bizarre it could sometimes be.
The whole area has changed a lot now, of course, and many of the things you’ll buy there will be much trendier and therefore far more expensive. I’ll always remember how unique and inspiring it was. To get a flavour of it please have a look at this blog from photographer Phil Maxwell which is full of poignant images from this area and beyond.
You can imagine that I was pretty intrigued when I saw that a vintage sale called Brick Lane BCN was being held today. The venue was a vintage Vespa hire shop called Via Vespa on c/ Princesa at the top of Born by the park. If you want to hire a Vespa when you’re here in BCN, you could do worse than check them out, they also run organised Vespa tours around the city, which look like a lot of fun. Sadly I don’t have a driving license, so I’ll just have to be content with admiring the vintage Vespas for their looks.
When we arrived, I was a little bit confused, I’ll confess. There were only a few rails of stock (not sure if there had been more that had already been sold) and there didn’t seem to be anyone trying too hard to sell what there was. This may have been because there were more people outside smoking and drinking wine than there were inside looking at the bags and shoes. I may be being picky but I like a lot of things to rummage through and there really wasn’t any rummaging to be had. I thought that the prices may have been set a tad high; in this eBay driven age we can all find this stuff a lot cheaper if we really try.
I’m going to investigate the charity shop culture here in BCN over the coming weeks to see how it compares to the vintage scene. I’ll let you know what I discover, as well as bringing you more information on boutiques, specialist shops and any quirky stores that I may find. Let me know if you have any recommendations for me to check out. Please feel free to say hello anyway, my comment box is feeling unloved. To find out what we did with the rest of our day you can read His Nibs blog.