Weekend London.

The NY Times is running an article today about two of our favourite aimless-wander spots in London — the Regent’s Canal, and the gorgeous and happy-making Columbia Road flower market.
Les and Stian took us to the latter one Sunday. The salespersons at the flower stalls are all big, burly men, looking like they’d be more at home slouched in a velvet pub booth, or henches in a Guy Ritchie movie. But, instead of running card-trick scams or botching heists, they are screaming and bullying you into buying flowers. Yeah. “GET YOUR PEONIES, FIVE POUNDS FOR A BUNCH [or I'll smash your fucking face].” I got a giant lavender bush, and Les bought an olive tree. Maybe spurred on by the delicious olives we ate at one of the many cute little stalls selling non-flower things.
Columbia Road puts Avenue Road in Toronto to shaaaame (ooooh, four flower shops in a row!). I dragged Saty out to the huge Covent Garden wholesale flower market early one morning, sure, it was shockingly huge, but Columbia is more humane.
You know what though? The magic of these places is not really even about the flowers or the artisinal cheese or the mint condition tat — that’s sort of not the point. The article’s author says:

“… as they said their hellos under a bank of trees four stories tall, I felt that I was looking into the future, to a time when cities are gentle and everybody is friendly.”

And I think that sums up how we feel about these places too! We came to London for the amazing creative scene, but were expecting the general population to be cold — Dickensian hard-asses, coloured in 1960s black and white. But all these generous hoods and alleys and circuses consistently prove us wrong.
Read the full Times article here.
P.
P.S. Okay, okay, so not all of the flower sellers were burlies, some of them were super cute tweens.

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