Punk. Hipster. Artsy. Yuppie. Gothic. The average Joe. And everything in between. That is Camden Lock Market. Located in London’s borough of Camden, it is a place where many diverse and different personalities meld together to form this interesting market full of food, shops, and street vendors. It’s a bit different than Camden, NJ.
The market is right off the subway (or should I say underground) stop. It was a sunny, Sunday afternoon so the place was packed! Incense filled the air around Indian and Oriental shops filled with colorfully designed scarfs, rugs, blankets, mini-Buddha’s, Hindu deity statues, incense burners, and everything a child of Woodstock would enjoy. Small simple hipster boutiques which displayed different attires of clothes on mannequins sat next to a bustling Chinese noodle stand. A small store selling stained glass lamps and plates was placed against a tacky souvenir shop full of postcards, double-decker bus magnets, I LOVE LONDON shirts, shot glasses, and hundreds of mini-Big Ben replicas. Street vendors were scattered throughout the whole place. Jewelry shops, craft shops, stores dedicated to the purchasing of artwork, and old book stores were found throughout. You had plenty of food to choose from. There were the regular restaurants, the open air bars, or the street vendors. Street performers went from magic acts to music, hoping to make a few pounds from passing shoppers. And of course there were a few brand name stores sprinkled throughout. From a birds eye view of the packed crowd you could see mohawks, baseball caps, neon pink hair, and the occasional clown. The blending of all these unique characteristics and personalities make Camden Lock an official unofficial tourist spot. A spot I was pleased to experience. (For larger images click on images).
I remember accidentally running into place of the similar atmosphere in Japan (where people dressed up like dolls and comic book characters). These places certainly are interesting and enjoyable. These “different” places are where to get those unique and different gifts to bring back home. It was Sunday so locals and tourists alike were enjoying their food, Starbucks, beer, or cider near the river. It was a regular afternoon for many of the people there. They were just sitting or standing near the small river talking with friends enjoying their ice cream or cigarette. The relaxed European Sunday mood I always hear about was on full display. Sunday here is truly a time of rest, leisure, and relaxation. Many of the places around where we are living are closed and if they are even open at all close very early. Maybe something we need to bring back to the U.S.? Where people always comment on how busy they are and where no time is found for downtime. Perhaps it is time to learn something from our “older brother” England and incorporate leisurely Sundays into our life.
Interested in learning more about this unique spot? Click here to find out more: http://www.camdenlockmarket.com/getting-here/