I got out today with my friend & host to meet her friend in her part of town i.e. Brixton. It wasn’t initially on my agenda, but it turned out to be a great place and in a away I think I ended up seeing a little bit of London on each side.
My friend and I started the day with visiting the local farmers market. At around 10-10.30am it was a bit sparse. The food smelled amazing. I got myself a brownie while she had a bacon sandwich. It was great to see different people from the community come together and do this. Also something interesting to note was, the police in the neighborhood come and help repair bikes for locals, it’s their way of interacting with the community, what a wonderful idea.
My friend is really fond of gardening, so we went to a local gardening store. I can imagine being fond of gardening in this part of the world, where things are so pretty, accessible, there is knowledge on the subject and you have the time to invest. Back in India, people have started to do a little bit of organic farming, mostly in their homes. But it isn’t so well established like it is here. You really have to go out of your way to get things done in India, or you call the maali but it’s still a different level of interest here. We spent some time in that garden shop. Some corners of which were really nice. We then took the oldest Overground (tube) to Brixton.
It was a great clear day and having company made it even better. There are some friends who you make in life, where no matter how far you go, how long you haven’t spoken and how much distance there seems to have come between you, you always end up right where it started when you are together. K (not writing her name) but K and I have had that friendship through our time in college. She’s always been supportive, amazingly honest, outspoken and partially bossy throughout her friendship. All of this I truly admire and cherish.
We made our way to Brixton and met L (name undisclosed) at the station. I was super thirsty on the tube, and as luck would have it, there was some promotional drink being given to people exiting and entering the station. So that was nice. We started walking towards Brixton market. Since we had got there around 2.30, both K & I were pretty hungry. We decided to eat some Mexican food, with a side of Margaritas.
The market itself was amazing. It seemed like a maze and each side had a different color. Lots of vintage shops, curio shops, organic food shops and food from different cuisines was spread all around. One of the things I like about London is how people bring their dogs out. They have their extremely well behaved dogs on leashes and take them along in Tubes and in markets wherever they go.
So K, L & I sat down to eat our Tacos & Burritos with a Margarita each. It was a lovely outdoor sitting. I hadn’t seen L in ages, but I had such a great time with her. We then walked towards a place called Pop Brixton. It had this festive air to it, there were colorful bunting all around, light bulbs hung criss crossing each other, one could have a quick bite from lots of food stalls or get a drink like a beer or some cocktails from the multiple bar stalls. All in all, its a wonderful place to spend a Saturday afternoon and not to mention it was the 90s R&B Hip Hop music scene that day. Always nice to know the lyrics to songs, and remember those you heard when you were younger.
Trivia: Pop Brixton is a temporary project that has turned disused land into a creative space for local, independent businesses. One can discover South London’s most exciting start-ups working in food, retail, design and social enterprise.
After having a really good time chatting & drinking, the three of us decided to wander around a bit more. Street markets seem to have always had a place in London’s history, each market reflecting the character of its neighbourhood. Having been to the Portobello street market yesterday, this one had a very different vibe to it. I’d like to say it was more buzzing, young and had a more local flavour to it.
We then walked our way to the Ritzy Cinema. It was situated at a junction and had an open area outside. The sunset from there was beautiful and the building itself was charming. One of south London’s oldest picture palaces (it originally opened in 1911), today the Ritzy though restored still has a little of that old world grandeur. Also to add, its name Ritzy is a pet name of mine. Many friends have called me that over the years, so I had to love that place. We had the liveliest of conversations there and we didn’t even realise when it was over five hours that we had already spent with each other.
We finally decided to have a small dinner before we all left our separate ways and ended up at an Ethiopian restaurant. The food was alright honestly, it felt like a massive Appam placed flat down on a thaali and in the center was a chicken pieces in a thick chicken gravy. It was interesting, but not something I would probably have again. On the opposite side of this restaurant was a restaurant called Calcutta. Seems like India is never too far away.
We then said our goodbye and walked towards our respective tube stations. I was pretty tired by the end of it. It was a Saturday well spent. Tomorrow is a Sunday, let’s see what it has in store for me.