Tales from the City- London Old and New


One of the things that I love about London, is the contrast. Here is a little shop near Spitalfields Markets. It looks as if I stepped back into time to take this photo. The only clue that this is 2014 is the girl in the far right hand corner wearing trainers.  I was heading off to the  Spitalfields market on a Thursday, as Thursdays are antique days. I love mooching around old stuff. It’s not only a fun way to spend an afternoon, but I love seeing history in the flesh. Some of the everyday objects now sold as collectibles, are indeed more than dust collectors, they are a tangible part of our past.

Photograph of London by susan sheldon Nolen

After a few hours in the market, it was time to head back towards the tube and I just had to look up into the sky and marvel at the Gerkin soaring upwards past the Victorian Rooftops. This view is a perfect blend of modern and old. I love the name–– The Gerkin. I’ve head the building called the bullet, the Rocket Ship, but a 180 metre high pickle in London is beyond perfect. I wonder how the architects feel about these little nicknames. In Seattle we have the Ban Roll On building and it does rather look like one of those deodorant roll ons.  But I have to say that The Gerkin sounds far more interesting than its current name of 30 St. Mary Axe. The Gerkin was built on the former site of The Baltic Exchange and  our pickle is the sixth tallest in London. Hmmm…now I am wondering about St Mary and her Axe!

About susan sheldon nolen

It’s rare to catch me without coffee, a form of camera, or my beloved wire fox terriers. I love the history, the art, and it’s a massive part of my life, as I either paint, write, or get interrupted by my dogs, reminding me of the real world. I hope you enjoy your time here. It’s such a privilege to have readers.
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6 Responses to Tales from the City- London Old and New

  1. smackedpentax says:

    Brilliant. When I was 15 (in 1970) I left home and hitched to London – I stayed somewhere near Portobello Road and lived with a stripper for awhile (we were flat sharing – not ‘man and wife’ sharing). I only stayed about 6 months or so but I remember a little shop similar to that where you could buy all sorts of everything – sadly these shops are a rarity now…Fantastic capture Susan, you brought memories flooding back!

  2. Thanks! I really couldn’t believe it when I walked past. Everything else around me was so modern. (even the Spitalfields market has name brands now. That sunlight hitting the shop! I felt as if I was stepping back into time– A Brigadoon experience indeed!

  3. Cameron says:

    That photo of the Gherkin is just wonderful! And there’s one more contemporary clue in your first one. A family-sized pack of either paper towel or toilet paper amongst the goodies! Thanks for the peek into London. Someday, I will come back…

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