EAST END

Went on a walking tour of London's East End. Gritty and colorful, it's full of history and great shopping. 

 Rough Trade on Brick Lane 

Rough Trade on Brick Lane 

After getting some much needed sunglasses (it hasn't rained once yet!) at the vintage markets, I stopped into Rough Trade and had a nice listen to the Adult Jazz record in the listening booth. 

FUN FACT OF THE TOUR: back in the day, London was filthy and gin was cleaner and cheaper to get than drinking water (and kept folks warm during the Great Winter of 1739).  The gin they were making was super strong (80% or 160 proof, today it's 40%) and it was usually cut with other cheap toxins, so it often straight-up killed people or put them in a coma. The coma-ridden would be declared dead after 3 days but would sometimes wake-up later, buried alive and banging on the coffin. They started burying people in "safety coffins" that had a bell in them that the buried alive could ring to alarm cemetery night-watchman to save them. Hence, we have gin (and not Zack Morris) to thank for the phrase "saved by the bell".