For my six credit class, we have taken a couple field trips. The one I want to talk about is the trip to Brick Lane. Only two classes got to do this, so if you're from a class that didn't get to go, I suggest you go when you have the chance.
In class, we are learning about cultural differences, which is why we went to Brick Lane. This area has been home to native Londoners as well as French, Mexican, and Bangladeshi immigrants. Each ethic group provides a different flavor to the area that makes it special. All of the nationalities are coexisting and working together in this area.
In addition to the many nationalities, Brick Lane has had a dark history. This area had always been an extremely poor area of London with slums and high crime rates. The crimes included the work of Jack the Ripper, gangs, and pirates. You can actually take Jack the Ripper tours at night in this area if you are interested.
This once poor area is now becoming subject to gentrification (the process of renovating a district to conform to middle-class or upper-class tastes). This is prevalent in the many expensive shops that are coming in and replacing the affordable shops. I visited a high-end chocolate shop in Brick Lane that is a part of this gentrification. It was some of the best chocolate I've ever had, but I definitely wouldn't go there every day. Anyway, this sort of thing has happened to other areas in London, including King's Cross, and it's interesting to watch it happen right before your eyes.
There is also a great art scene in Brick Lane. Artists come here from around the world for a number of reasons. Some come to express their feelings on different subjects, some post propaganda, and some post their work to see how it deteriorates over time. Below are a three of my favorite pieces.
The first is what looks like a bubble on a sheet of music. I thought this was interesting because it was done with spray paint on an antique sheet music page.
The second is a piece done by "drseØ" who is a practicing surgeon, which I think is awesome!
The last one is a zombie dog or wolf made by a Mexican artist. This one is the coolest because it is a linocut print. "Linocut is a printmaking technique, a variant of woodcut in which a sheet of Lino is used for the relief surface. A design is cut into the Lino surface with a sharp knife with the raised areas representing a reversal of the parts to show printed" (quoted because I can't explain it well). Because the image is about the same size as a medium sized dog, the artist must have taken a long, long time to make this. That is why it's my favorite.
Well, that's the most interesting points I have on Brick Lane. If you get the chance, I would highly recommend going there, even if it's just to see the art or get some expensive chocolate!
Talk to you later!
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<p>My name is Rachel Wichlacz and I am currently a sophomore (second year) college student interning abroad in London. I have previously traveled to Poland, Slovakia, Smokey Mountains in the US, Florida Keys in the US, Rocky Mountains in the US, and several other places where I have photographed scenery. This travel blog will focus on my day to day life in London for my internship so readers, like you, can see what it is like to live here for two months!</p>