Sunday, 11 March 2007

Hunting Banksy in East London

With a friend in town wanting to see London, we set out to pack as much into our Saturday as we could manage. Of course with engineering work on all the trains in the underground it hinder our touring quite a bit.

We set a plan, I wanted to see the changing of the guards which we have attempted to see many times. We got up early to go into the city and turns out they weren't doing the changing of the guards yesterday. Then I wanted to take the tour of Westminster and see the famous tombstones. We literally showed up the second they were closing the doors for the day. We walked around Buckingham Palace which was nice. We headed over hoping to catch some people shooting off their mouths at Speaker's Corner, which I might add we've been into London trying to catch three times now. Of course, there was no one there. Not so much of a loss though as when we were walking out I caught the picture above. I have passed this before and should have taken the picture. So this time I took the opportunity.

Next we went shopping and we found the area that is full of used book stores. I am on a hunt for first edition British Harry Potter books, I know, I'm a nerd. I didn't really want to subject Ben to used book stores. So we decided to go to our next step, which was Brick Lane in East London so I could hunt down some Banksy art work, since he frequents this area. With three trains closed for work we had to take the long way around. When we got to the third train we found the stop that we needed was closed permanently and because we didn't have time to find an alternate route I had to give up my Banksy search and take the train needed to catch our walking tour.

We had a plan to take the Jack the Ripper tour near the Tower of London. The tour was fascinating! I was really excited about it because I was disappointed about not being able to check out the Banksy spots. The guy that gave the tour was so animated and interesting. He added a lot of intensity and extra acting to an otherwise routine speech. While hearing about the many theories of Jack the Ripper we walked through the creepy cobblestone alley ways of East London.

There was one alleyway that the tour took us through, that had two pieces on the wall. The one to the right above is arguably Banksy's Jack the Ripper. On the left is also arguably Banksy. I loved the doves though. I thank Josh for this shot because we were walking through this very narrow alley with a group of about 30 people and I was on the far left. I saw the Jack the Ripper, but missed the doves. Josh grabbed me and we ran back to get the picture. I snapped them so fast and it was dark, getting them developed today I was so nervous that they weren't going to come out. With the exception of a slight shadow at the bottom corner of Jack the Ripper I was quite pleased with the results. We had to run down a few streets to find the group again. I almost ran into a few people on the run. :) At the end of the day, Banksy or not, I caught some of the street art I was hoping to find. I guess it just proves that it is better to happen upon things rather than searching it out.