Brick Lane, Sunday – Cultural Contrasts

I had a plan to take some street portraits last weekend.

Plan vs. reality…    Friday late night – no camera, saw lot’s of cool people. Saturday – camera, got soaked in the rain. Sunday – camera, saw no cool people…

But I do have a couple of interesting images to share from Sunday.

The first is a hackney carriage mobile coffee shop. Isn’t it a perfectly cute package of a traditional London icon and modern city culture?

Sometimes I regret the dilution of traditional culture. I remember visiting London when I was really young. The vibe that Camden used to have. The greasy spoon cafe’s. The old vans and cars. The time when London really had it’s own style. Nowadays, huge swathes of London are ‘generic international city’ zones with international chains like Pret etc.

On my last trip to Tokyo I was so annoyed to see a Fernandez & Wells store open in Omotesando. A coffee / light food etc. chain from London. I desperately don’t want to see my favourite parts of my favourite cities diluted to the same look, feel, behaviour, culture.

Development and change is good, but we desperately need to support individual style, culture, small businesses etc. and stop proliferation of generic, bland chains everywhere. There is a place for these in demand businesses, but surely they don’t need to take over every corner of our cities.

Rant over…  :)

As usual around East London I also saw some of the ever changing street art. I saw a load of people taking selfie’s in front of some art below one of the rail bridges near Shoreditch High Street.

I was thinking it’s another interesting contrast. Street art must be at least in part about making an individual statement, customising an otherwise regular wall into something unique.

Are selfie’s not the opposite?

Self portraits that by the nature of the phone camera / angle tend to look similar and are usually taken from a shallow perspective of showing off.

Are selfie’s so unartistic that maybe they become a valid candidate for contemporary art!

OCD photography tip – it’s so important for me to get the bridge line starting from the corner :)

 

 

3 Comments

  1. It is an unfortunate development in our opinion too that cities have genericized. Just look at the shopping. They are always the same chain outlets in every mall. Smallholders find it extremely hard to survive with rising rents and what not. And as entire neighbourhoods get made over, we lose these with little in the way of getting them back. How do you think to support them?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not surprised you would also feel this way Mel & Suan.. It’s a hard thing to change, one thing I’ve see is small creative areas of independent shops, but these tend to be hidden away in lower rent areas… How to fix the main shopping streets and busy malls… Hmm, I think government should take a roll to say property owners must allocate certain space to local independent businesses.. And maybe there is a cultural awareness training in schools about protecting local culture… Promoting entrepreneurship could also help… Lots of ideas but hard to implement!

      Liked by 1 person

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