I decided to stick close to my apt for my final day in London and explore the Shoreditch area….but I had a quick stop to make. I had stumbled upon Cicchetti in Covent Garden and enjoyed pizza Monday in London, but it got me thinking. Is there a Raab, Egan, Brennan or Collery establishment in London that I could go to? I just assumed there’d be one of the latter three, being so close to Ireland and all…but, alas, the only one I found was Raab’s the Bakers. It was only a mile from my apartment, so I walked over there for a breakfast pastry before continuing my exploration of the Shoreditch area.
Apparently back in the day, as I’ve been told by many who lived here, Shoreditch used to be the sketchy part of London and not someplace you’d want to visit. Now, as in so many places in LA, SF & NY, it has been gentrified and the groovy, hippest place to visit. There are vintage shops, edgy places to catch a bite to eat and, one of the biggest draws (no pun intended) to the area, the street art.
I saw no less than three walking groups with a guide looking at the street art, a la Banksy. So, what makes it street art as opposed to graffiti, you ask? I happened to watch a show on it while I was relaxing one morning in the apartment. Graffiti is mostly associated with deviant behavior, marking your territory and graffiti artists have no interest in whether the public likes it or not. Street art, on the other hand, is specifically done as an expression of something to share with others. Street art has also become more main stream and, especially in Shoreditch, has been encouraged (sometimes even commissioned/paid) with some areas cordoned off for artists to create on the side of buildings. In short, graffiti can sometimes be a bit offensive & the person doing it does not have “art” on their mind, whereas street art is done by an “artist” to convey a feeling or story to be shared with passers-by.
It was another long, wander-ous, day of walking and exploring, but by 5:30 I was back at my apartment, packing and getting ready for the plane flight home tomorrow. Another great country, another great adventure…