I went to Camden Town on Saturday to visit some of their famed markets.
The tourism sites always refer to them as "vibrant" and I can see why. It's not just that they're crowded (they are), but they're full of color and food and other interesting things and people to look at. Scents of incense, cumin, onions, vanilla-waffle-cone, kielbasa, hot crepes, mulled wine and spiced cider swirled about in the air. Along with the ever-present cigarette smoke, which comes with the outdoor territory in London.
I fought my way down Chalk Farm Road and Camden High Street. The vibe is sort of Haight-Ashbury, only more skater/steampunk and less mellow/hippie. Anyway, definitely alternative and young.
I walked a few miles back to my flat with the owl dress I bought rolled up in my bag...along the towpath of Regent's Canal, which snakes around the north end of Regent's Park before heading west to Little Venice.
People live on these brightly painted narrow boats, and moor them along the canal. There are tiny gardens of potted plants and tool sheds along their bit of the tow path. Another piece of the London subculture pie.
I spent hours and hours outside and it was a glorious day in London Town, with a clover honey afternoon that moved soft and slow in the sun. I think many of us in the Northern Hemisphere have been running low after a stubbornly long winter, so these floods of light help wake us up as much as they do all the green singing things.