white straight ciswoman mid-20s-ish. surrounded by telly. likes words,
I have a hole punch, let's not get big-headed now.
keppps << shallitellyouastory
As I emerged from the Brixton Tube Station, a steel drum band greeted me on the corner. I stayed to listen to the music, but as it was cold, I finally started walking.
The first thing I spotted was the open–air market, which reminded me of a typical African or Caribbean market—lots of starchy tubers, grand pieces of meat, exotic veggies and fruits, and a ton of random stuff, from socks and bedding to key chains?
But where was the covered market?
Before I headed toward where I thought the covered market was, I spotted a stand selling fresh juices and Jamaican snacks, including beef patties. I decided that a patty would be my introduction to food in Brixton.
I would later regret wasting my appetite.
As I entered the covered market, the first eatery that caught my eye was a small cupcake shop. Then I saw a diminutive gourmet brick oven pizza joint. Then, a Caribbean food and goods place, a hamburger restaurant, a tiny shop selling hair weaves, three Colombian restaurants, a braid shop, a vintage clothes shop, and finally a home-style Thai restaurant. And that was just the beginning.
The restaurants weren’t big, either. Most appeared to be between 100 and 200 square feet. But their size didn’t deter the people. I saw dozens of customers eating on benches in the arcade’s breezeway, which was pretty darned cold in early February.
I was confused.
Where was I? In what kind of place can you find intimate, approachable, and clearly very good restaurants alongside weave and ethnic food shops?
Clearly, the Brixton Village Market. And I felt quite comfortable. The hair shops and African/Caribbean goods appealed to my practical need of those things—my blackness. The intimate, affordable and high-quality restaurants featuring food from around the globe appealed to my expanded worldview, my love of others cultures, and my foodie tendencies.
The Brixton Village Market also represented the “new” Brixton, one quite far along on the path of gentrification, but still maintaining its black roots.