Thursday, June 25, 2020

Back to Portobello

Yesterday, feeling a bit doughy and in need of exercise, I took a long walk down to our old stomping grounds in Notting Hill. You may remember Dave and I lived in Notting Hill, off Portobello Road, for three years after we moved to London in 2011. I hadn't been down that way in a while so I went to see how the ol' neighborhood looks.

It was 87º F yesterday, with a bright sun -- a bit warm, but good walking weather and an opportunity to soak up lots of Vitamin D.

The graffiti above, on Portobello Road, memorializes the same three street artists who I mentioned in my post two days ago -- Lover, Trip and KBag.

While on a bridge over the Grand Union Canal in Ladbroke Grove, I saw this woman feeding bread to the swans. Talk about a waterfront apartment!

Portobello Road, a celebrated street of shops and an outdoor market that in normal times can be quite chaotic, was quiet but typically colorful. Many of the vendors seemed to be open as usual, and I saw gourmet mushrooms, produce and bric-a-brac for sale.

Beneath all those tags and a discolored sheet of Plexiglass, there's an artwork by Banksy. It's looking pretty bedraggled. I photographed it nine years ago (!) in better days.

You gotta love a restaurant with a name like this. I was tempted to buy lunch here, but I wasn't very hungry so I just kept walking; I wound up not eating at all.

When I got home I plotted my route online and it turns out I walked about 8.5 miles. It felt good to get some exercise. Now that I'm not walking to work every day, I feel like I'm sitting around a lot!


Yorkshire Pudding said...

"Eggslut"? Is it just a mis-spelling of "Excellent"? The sign writer should have gone to school. The term "TORY DEATH ZONE" caught my eye. Given the government's tardiness, mixed messages and general confusion they should seriously consider painting that in huge letters on the white cliffs of Dover.

Moving with Mitchell said...

What a great walk... and photos. This pandemic is awful, but with it now come opportunities to see neighborhoods without the usual crowds and activity. Of course I’d prefer a cure but I’ do enjoy seeing things so differently. That’s a lot of walking in that heat. Much more comfortable here. You’d probably make it to Málaga!

The Padre said...

Feeling A Bit Doughy, Brilliant - Thanx For Taking Us Down Memory Lane


Michael said...

I loved the colorful pictures! I go on a five mile walk every morning. It is good for the soul. Egg slut is an interesting and creative name for a restaurant!

Ms. Moon said...

You know, you can easily download a pedometer app to track your steps and miles. The Health widget that comes on your iPhone gives you a rough estimate of your daily steps.
Can you imagine living right over a canal? How interesting. The scene would change every minute.

Mary said...

How bad is it that all I could think of when I saw that apartment over the water was-- flooding?? Guess my brain is slightly geared for catastrophe these days. Not feeling that way in general, but can't say I'd want to be on the ground floor...maybe the 1st or 2nd. :)

And wow, Portabello Road definitely looks naked compared to most times I've been there. Chaotic being the right word choice under 'normal' circumstances.

Sabine said...

Ah wonderful. So many memories. I bought my wedding dress at Portobello road market from a stall selling used theatre costumes. My daughter has worn it to bits over the years as it landed in her dressing up box. It had bells along the sleeves.

Red said...

Yes, keep on walking. make it a habit. I have got to get back in a walking routine.

ellen abbott said...

I can understand tagging on something like the first pic but I don't get why taggers feel the need to deface artwork like the love birds and banksy's piece when there is plenty of other places to tag.

that would be a cool place to live on the water like that as long as, you know, water didn't get in the house. I would think that the water would erode the foundation and bricks.

Sharon said...

Isn't is a crime to damage a Banksy? That really is a shame. Great, long walk. I know how you feel. I'm sitting around way too much.

robin andrea said...

Eight miles!! Wow that's a lot of walking. You do get to see some very cool and interesting stuff. eggslut! Now that's quite a name.

Edna B said...

The name of that restaurant would keep me from going in and ordering anything. I also think it was a shame to disfigure that Bansky photo. As for the apartment over the water, I love it! As long as it did not ever flood. Wow, what a treat to be able to feel the water birds so up close and personal. Enjoy your day, hugs, Edna B.

Linda Sue said...

8.5 mile walk, well done, I bet you do not feel doughy now! What an opportunity, to walk around Portobello without being in a mob- to walk around London without crowds! Excellent photo ops taken advantage of. I love it! Living on the canal would be lovely, damp, threatening maybe- life is but a blink so why not! I would eat at Eggslut- would feel right at home.

jenny_o said...

That was an "eggslut" walk (to use YP's interpretation of the word) :)
I need to somehow get more walking in. It has turned very hot here and normally I would walk around sunset but I've been working evenings due to number limitations in the office so I'm not getting out at all.

Linda Sue said...

Road Trip?,6X4NX,W4MIEI,RTCV0,1

You would not even have to leave the island!!

BethB from Indiana said...

We visited the Portobello Market in 2000 (my last trip overseas), and loved meandering through the crowded stalls, shops, and streets. I bought an antique ring with a very small ruby between two tiny pearls. Hubby bought an old concertina that still worked. We still have both items (we don't get rid of much). Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

Andrew said...

That is one long walk. Sad to see a Banksy defaced. A very amusing name for the cafe.

Steve Reed said...

YP: Yeah, I noticed that "Tory Death Zone" graffiti too. I'm not sure whether that means all of England or the UK or just North Kensington (home of Grenfell Tower).

Mitchell: I should have hydrated more carefully, but oh well. "Walking to Malaga" sounds like a book title. :)

Padre: It's amazing how one long walk did away with that doughy feeling!

Michael: Five miles every morning?! That's impressive!

Ms Moon: I didn't even think to check my Apple Health app! Funny.

Mary: Believe me, I thought about flooding too. But I gotta say, in all the years I've lived in London, I've never seen the canal flood. I think the water levels are fairly well controlled...? I'd be more concerned about steady, creeping dampness.

Sabine: That sounds like quite a dress! I'd love to see a picture sometime!

Red: When I was walking Olga steadily it WAS a habit, but now that she's slowed down in her advancing years I don't get out with her as much.

Ellen: I completely agree about tagging artwork. It's obnoxious. But some graffiti artists are into that "wrecking" mentality. And yes, I wonder about the foundation too, especially long-term.

Sharon: It's really just the plastic covering that's damaged. I bet if they took that off the artwork would be fine. (Which I guess is the point of the covering!)

Robin: There's something unusual around every corner in the naked city!

Edna: I know! But I thought about your warning not to feed ducks bread -- she was definitely feeding bread chunks to those swans.

Linda Sue: It was nice in some ways, but part of the fun of Portobello is the crowds. I actually missed them. Thanks for the link about Rutland. I'd only barely heard of it before. Of course I'd have to get on public transport to go there, and I'm trying to avoid that.

Jenny-O: Yeah, it's hard at this time of year, even with all the increased daylight.

BethB: What cool memories, and how great that you still have your purchases! I first went to the Portobello market in 2003, so you were there before me. :)

Andrew: A lot of graffiti writers hate Banksy because he is such a dominant force in the street art world, and he represents a more artistic approach rather than old-school graffiti. His pieces often get wrecked right away. This one is probably fine beneath that plastic covering.