London Day 2: The Hunt for Street Art in Shoreditch

Woohooo we’re in London!!! Well actually we were in London in June which seems so long ago! But it is good that I am finally getting around to posting all these photos. However things are picking up here in China, I have joined a couple of choirs and recently started boxing lessons! Yup, I am a badass. Also on Sunday we are taking a cruise to South Korea and Japan during national holiday so there’s that. OH and there is typhoon headed our way which means lots of rain and gusts of wind. I kind of like it.

Right, back to London!  

tower4After a deliciously low-key first day in the city, we were determined to see more of London. So of course we slept all morning (YES) and walked to the Tower of London after a lazy noon-time breakfast of yogurt and coffee. Randomly in the middle of our walk, my neck seized up and I was paralyzed by a shooting pains running from my neck to my shoulder. Sitting me down a bench, Carina rushed off to buy an ice cream cone which tasted delicious and helped soothe the (emotional) pain while I comically kept my neck completely still. Awkward. We did however get a few photos in front of Tower Bridge. Again with the awkward, “I can’t move my neck and I’m gritting my teeth because this hurts” pose, but it works.

tower3Although I wanted nothing more than to go back to the flat and wallow in self-pity, we had already signed up for an Alternative London Walking Tour. This tour of street art in Shoreditch had come highly recommended from Tasha so we had to go. At 3pm we met our guide beneath the goat statue and away we went like hipster detectives on the hunt for street art gold.

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As we walked around Brick Lane and other areas around Shoreditch, we learned about the history of the area and about the signature style of various street artists. It was fun to try and figure out which artist had done what based on their own style.

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artwalk6artwalk7Some of the street art was very loud and commanding. This mural of the crane was even commissioned for the Olympics. Check out that detail, amazing.

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Other street art was very subtle. My favorite were the artists who placed stickers over street signs, like the photo below. Do you see it?

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Bowdoin polar bears! Represent!

artwalk14artwalk15Do you spot the small statue below?

artwalk16Honestly the details of each piece escape me and I am sure Carina took much more thorough notes on the subject. I just enjoyed finding beautiful murals or figurines hidden in alleyways or on top of lampposts. It was like a fun game of hide-and-seek and our tour guide was obviously passionate about each piece.

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The story behind the Star Wars piece below was that the artist dressed up like a construction worker while he illegally put it up in broad daylight. Awesome.

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The artist created the face below by covering the wall in plaster then drilling away sections piece by piece… till viola! A face! Absolutely incredible. I literally cannot comprehend artists like my girl Carina and how they can create beauty out of nothing. It is an amazing talent.

artwalk22It was a lovely tour, but really long. By the time it was over, the sun was setting and the wind was picking up… it was COLD. Huddled in our thin coats, we rushed back to the flat to get all fancy for our friend Val’s school conference. It was part of her master degree graduation presentation where really smart people talked about really smart things. So Carina and I flocked to the open bar and I ate a few bugs (no joke, they had baked good made from crickets and they were actually good!). Then we joined all the graduates at a place called Canal Bar, hidden away in the middle of a quiet residential area. It was too cool for school.

artwalk23It was very LONDON evening and I have never felt less posh. But no matter, we had a good day despite the pain in my neck. The next day promised to be a full out touristy day complete with embarrassing photos with One Direction merchandise and I was EXCITED.

YES, BRING ON THE 1D MERCHANDISE.


Catching up? Don’t miss any posts from Eurotrip 2014. 

6 thoughts on “London Day 2: The Hunt for Street Art in Shoreditch

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