Here’s a video of (most of) the talk I did on This Other London at Brick Lane Bookshop on 3rd October 2013. It was a great night, bad weather, big friendly crowd, good questions in the Q&A (sadly the battery ran out on the camera at that point), and pints in The Pride of Spitalfields afterwards.
Dragged the family out for a wander around the vicinity of Brick Lane.
The boys weren’t that enthusiastic but I promised them some kind of adventure.
The usual parental instruction to ‘stay close’ and ‘hold my hand’ was loaded with the added tale that these streets were known to consume people, that you could stop to tie your laces, your friend would wander into one of these lanes and alleys never to be seen again.
‘Where do they go?’, the boys asked
‘They’re devoured by the city itself’, I said
‘That’s just nonsense’, the eldest retorted
‘Yeah, just stupid’, added the little one.
We have a set of Bob and Roberta Smith letter blocks at home.
Heidi and the boys admired this mural and concluded that it would have been better if Bob had done it.
There was an absence of graffiti tourists today – no lumbering parties touring early Banksy’s and derivatives.
We had the walls to ourselves.
The C18th Huguenot doorways of Fournier and Princelet Streets kept them occupied.
There was a big bonfire out the back of Christ Church Spitalfields sending great plumes of smoke over the rooftops.
We grab bagels in Brick Lane then walk down Bethnal Green Road under a full moon to the tube station.