I’d love to be richer and smarter, but I never wish I were younger. Well, it would be nice to have the 25-year-old thighs back, but I wouldn’t part with the 52 years of experience to have them.
Except when I find myself in London’s coolest corner: Shoreditch. Then I long to be 25 again and living there. Dating serious young men with tattoos and full beards. Dressing head to toe in 1970s vintage. Having a long fringe. Eating in pop-up restaurants.
No amount of telling myself that I spent that part of my life in the equivalently cool locales (and outfits) of my youth works. Just thinking about all the groovy stuff going on in London E2 right now, that I’m not in on, makes me feel past it. Like a club I can’t get into.
I can’t bear to feel left out of anything, so the only way to get over my E2 angst was to face it off
As the youngest of four siblings, I can’t bear to feel left out of anything, so the only way to get over my E2 angst was to face it off. I spent a day checking out the shopping and found some spiffing new resources that will now be part of my regular beat.
To my surprise and great delight, the charming young people who work in them didn’t make me feel like an unwelcome drop-in from Planet Wrinkly. (Which would not have been true in our day, eh?)
The really gorgeous bit of this area, which makes me want to immediately move there, is the pocket bordered by Redchurch Street, Shoreditch High Street and Calvert Avenue.
A stroll around that mini-hood will yield many delights, including some excellent shopping venues that have other branches (such as Margaret Howell). But I’m going to stick to the unique ones: see Maggie’s guide to the Shoreditch shops worth visiting.