Today was filled with the juxtaposition of color and darkness. The East End of London is now home to some of the most profound street art and “funky” boutiques in the city. The living conditions of the Jago or Old Nichol during the Victorian Era were on more of the less colorful side of the spectrum.
Being able to see the progression of the city thanks to our tour guides pictures, really put things into perspective for me. It makes me feel more fortunate, reminding me how hard it is to make it out of poverty. Children like Dicky weren’t to blame for their actions; they were only a product of their environment, surviving the only way they know how. Now known as the Boundary Estate, people who live in the area are thankfully not subject to the same living conditions and are no longer reminded of the dark history now that they have reconstructed the area.
Spitalfields Market was marvelous; the food, the atmosphere and the people all made this a memorable experience. Even though the structure has changed since the late 1800s, I can still sense what it was like back then. People gathered, buying and selling goods to make ends meet. Immigrants from various parts of the world trading their goods. A true reflection of what the market is like in modern times.
Speaking of immigrants, what was most interesting to me was how the same building was used as a Protestant Church for the Huguenots, then a Synagogue for the Jewish settlers and now it stands as a Mosque for the Bangladeshi people. The change in settlers can easily be traced through the types of religious buildings and stores around the city. East London has always been home to immigrants trying to make a living in London for centuries.