If the title didn't give it away already, I've had a fairly intensive and interesting day!
It began this morning with an informative tour of the Tower Bridge area. We explored the areas we had talked about in class, and it was easier to see how crime would have flourished in this area early on in London's history… The boats, morning fog, shipyards, narrow and winding streets, the flurrying populace, and the ever-present River Thames would have made this a criminal's paradise. On a related note, We also walked through Jack the Ripper's stomping grounds and sat in the courtyard where his last victim was found. Slightly creepy, but it was also historically thrilling to be sitting in the exact spot where history happened, walking the same stones as people in the 1800s did.
Post-tour, I hit the gym again and then went home to make a lunch of yogurt with a super wrap: pan-fried salmon filet with a few chorizo slivers, a touch of Brie, and half a bag of spinach (heat-wilted in the pan). It didn't last long.
In the afternoon, we toured a set of market areas (Petticoat Lane, Spittlefields, Bricklane) I've come to know and love for my Cultures of Empire class. It was really interesting to hear and see the layers of history that lay under the structures of today. This was especially interesting in the Petticoat Lane and Bricklane areas, where the early structures and markets were created by the Jewish population in London and today is dominated by African & Asian vendors and Indian, Bengali, and Muslim populations respectively. It is always interesting to consider what all of the areas will look like in fifty-plus years as the city continues to layer histories and cultures over time.
After the tour, I went to an Indian restaurant called Sweet and Spicy, which came highly recommended as a place for locals who want authentic food without fuss. It was amazing, definitely some of the best Indian food I've ever had, and was quite reasonable price-wise as well. I got a samosa, Sikh kebab, cauliflower curry, and two puris for under five pounds. I also snagged a medium chicken curry and a naan for an additional few pounds. I left the restaurant full and happy, with the soul-filling feeling only Indian food can deliver.
As if that wasn't enough for one day, I also made my way down to see a production of Much Ado About Nothing by the Royal Shakespeare Company. It was Bollywood-style, which was a phenomenal treat and matched my dinner quite well. It had the actors in full Indian costume and featured a few dance numbers. All in all, a wonderful show that was the perfect way to top off the evening.
Pictures below, per usual. Enjoy!