Legends from our own lunchtimes

Friday, September 17, 2010

Antique Tees

Lest we had done it a grave injustice by lamenting it's demise prematurely, we decided to see if Portobello Markets were any more to our satisfaction on Friday, the day when "the street comes alive with hundreds of traders with their antique wares". There were certainly a few more traders, although we didn't see the Russian dolls this time so perhaps they've moved on, and one or two stall holders were selling their Auntie Maud's or perhaps their Mum's silver which was at least partially gratifying. There were significant displays of second hand apparel of the kind worn on the cover of Sergeant "Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" which to be fair did hark back to the good old days somewhat but still nothing that struck a chord as novel or new (in an old sort of way of course).

Perhaps age has indeed wearied them. Age and "Made in China".

One of the "New Cockney" traders told me that he'd hardly sold a thing, which meant he would barely have anything to send home to his Mother in Karachi this month, confirming my suspicions that perhaps he didn't get his tan in the East End.

So we thumbed through the antique tee shirts and posters imploring us not to contract Chlamydia and the set of six fish knives with five matching forks for twenty five pounds, and wondered for a minute if a new "Portabello Road" of the world would pop up where we least expect it. We don't think so, Ebay and Etsy and Cafe Press have replaced them and there's no need to brave the elements and the pickpockets to find one's personal bargain.

The little artists co-op gallery we stumbled into on the walk home put some nice icing on our cake-walk, to say nothing of keeping us out of the autumn chill for half an hour or so. Thankfully in a city this size there is always something new to stumble across and discover without having to rely on the tired old half dozen spots on which the tourist brochures have relied for half a century.

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