Today I decided to explore the East London neighborhoods of Hackney and Shoreditch. I work in Shoreditch, so I’m there every day, but I’ve never really taken the time to take a closer look outside of work. The exterior is gritty, not pretty, but it’s arguably the hippest part of town and, on closer look, I saw why. The shops and markets and street art are terrific. I found a row of Vietnamese restaurants and stopped for some delicious bun cha, and then stumbled into the Backyard Market where I met an artist named Mia Hawk who sold me a colorful kingfisher print for my dining nook.
When evening came, I hopped on the bus to South Bank and saw the National Theatre’s stage adaptation of Pinocchio. I didn’t quite love the music, and the audience was younger than seemed appropriate for the dark tone, but the stagecraft and puppetry was magical.