I don't know if any of you watched Bedknobs and Broomsticks as a kid, but I certainly did, and it's a great movie. If you haven't yet, you should really check it out. It's kinda long and about a lot of things (a hilarious woman living in a small English town taking an at-home witchcraft course, the Nazis invading England, and children being orphaned during the war...among other things), but one of the main highlights of this movie (and there are many) is their visit to this amazing market on Portobello Road.
As it turns out (I had no idea until this trip), this market is actually real. My dad pointed it out to me while we were sitting in the temp apartment and so, plans were made to go see this market.
There is a great song in the movie (yes, it's a Disney movie, and yes, it is one of those movies where people randomly burst into song, as is their standard for movies from that era), that basically says,
"Portobello road, Portobello road
Street where the riches of ages are stowed.
Anything and everything a chap can unload
Is sold off the barrow in Portobello road.
You’ll find what you want in the Portobello road."
So I was totally excited when we were going to go to the real Portobello Road market. I figured it wouldn't really be anything like what was shown in a 1971 Disney movie, especially re: the amazing ethnic dancing that happens, but I at least pretended that I would find fantastic antiques and other goodies of the sort.
And luckily, I was not wrong.
There is indeed an antiques section there, and though that's not maybe the main section of the market anymore, there is indeed a huge selection of goods to be found and in general a good time to be had.
Basically tons of clothes (used and new), antiques, jewelry of all kinds (used, antique, new, otherwise), British souvenirs of any kind, random household goods, produce vendors, and food vendors (mostly crepes, oddly enough, but there were others like quiche, Ghanaian food, vegetarian, pizza, and some bakeries).
When the weather is warmer I plan to go back and buy clothing (I was in no mood to disrobe in any fashion to try on things, no matter how cute or cheap they were), but other than that, things were pretty much there and available for you to buy. Loved it, absolutely loved it (as I tend to love most markets). It was somewhere less than a mile long, and apparently happens everyday except Sunday (well, the antiques don't happen on Sunday but everything else does).
Overall, I totally recommend this. Great place to find gifts for people, especially in the weird antiques section but also in the new sections as well.
Sorry no pictures, the cold and overall interest in goods did me in. Hopefully will resume my photodocumentary skills momentarily.
Looking good Don, I'm starting to see my future unfold with you. :)