Before I even started to put in travel notices, I knew I wanted to hit up London’s Camden Market. After hours of clicking around on its website, Camden Market romanced me with its food-stall and clothing-boutique come-hithers.
Let me preface this post with saying I am nowhere near done with this market. If anything, today’s trip with Tofunmi was a reconnaissance mission.
Here’s something you need to know about English culture (besides this cheeky post): rushing out of the Tube to wait by the entrance, shift from foot-to-foot nervously and apprehensively phone the person you’re meeting up with is English culture.
I’ve done this every day this weekend. At first, I first I felt self-conscious. I felt as if New to London or Clueless American was stamped across my forehead.
But once I stepped back from my anxiety, I realized this process is a local pastime. Bonus points if your lunch date or coworker or mate got here at the same time as you, but just followed the “way out” signs to the wrong side of the station.
We arrived and left within this time frame. So we ended up using the bus system to make our way home instead.
Next to TfL’s policy, it’s clear that Sunday is a poppin’ day for the market. What interested me the most about my initial walkthrough, though, were:
1) the wealth of shoe stores,
2) the punk / goth / hardcore / Victorian goth / early 2000s goth / dark pin-up demographics,
and 3) the intersection of the two.
The selection in a store called New Rock definitely caught my eye.
Undeniably, New Rock is here to cater to some old school (1800s-inspired) goth needs. Also, in every cheesy / quippy T-shirt store, you could find fedoras, phone cases, key chains and a wealth of hats outfitted with kaleidoscopic steampunk goggles. Go figure.
Looking around, I also felt Dr. Martens’ presence heavily. No wonder: the brand opened up its flagship store in Camden recently, replete with a customization station and a mini music venue. It also houses a few offices.
Walking deeper into the heart of Camden, I saw full-fledged Demonia platform boots and every T.U.K. creeper your heart could desires. If those name drops don’t spark something within you, then you just don’t know.
If a Tim Skold- or Trent Reznor-produced record doesn’t mean anything to you, then you just don’t know. These stores are probably not for you.
In the same way punk culture seemed alive + well around Camden, so did adoration for Amy Winehouse. Turns out Camden was one of her favourite parts of London.
There was also a statue of the legend in the heart of the market. You can find endless streams of people there to take pictures with Winehouse’s steeled likeness.
On a lighter note, I was happy to step into Skinny Dip London’s shop.
I had always admired the brand’s cases and bags on ASOS. The physical store turned out to be a cheeky, glittery, iridescent femme’s dream.
In terms of eats, I grabbed a churro and a latte. The churro? Because I hadn’t had one in ages. The coffee? Because I need one every day.
We wandered around a bit more. I managed to snag a scarf for £1 (because New Look had me tight!) and a pair of sunglasses that I got for £5.50 through bargaining.
“Is that the New York City in you?”
“No, honestly, it’s the African.”
We also ran into this really neat store called Jekkah. The brand self-identifies as African-inspired streetwear. Imagine the acid-washed denim skirts and bomber jackets and club-ready-crop-tops and overalls and bucket hats of your wildest ’90s hipster dreams. Then a dash of kente cloth and other African fabrics.
The store is definitely worth another look.
We finished with orange + ginger juice from a stand. I have been really poorly as of recent. So I’ve been chugging tea, chugging orange juice, chugging tea + orange juice at the same time. Putting turmeric on everything. I’ve taken cough syrup, tried out cough drops and finally, took some allergy medicine for the symptoms.
Apart from swallowing proving an uncomfortable task, it’s the sinus pressure that’s really gotten me. I almost didn’t write this post.
But I told myself I’d write every day I could. I didn’t have service in Germany and I didn’t bring my laptop, hence last weekend’s hiatus. But feeling like head’s about to explode? Pfft. No excuse not to update the blog. So here I am. Fingers crossed I get this sorted out soon.