Memories from June 2014 …
Although, I failed to make a blog while I was actually traveling I did mange to keep a written journal of my experiences abroad. Here’s a look at Brighton in East Sussex, England!
During my one day trip to Brighton I visited North Laine and Brighton Pier.
North Laine –
“What I really love about them… is the fact that they contain someone’s personal history…I find myself wondering about their lives. I can never look at a garment… without thinking about the woman who owned it. How old was she? Did she work? Was she married? Was she happy?… I look at these exquisite shoes, and I imagine the woman who owned them rising out of them or kissing someone…I look at a little hat like this, I lift up the veil, and I try to imagine the face beneath it… When you buy a piece of vintage clothing you’re not just buying the fabric and thread – you’re buying a piece of someone’s past.”
― Isabel Wolff, A Vintage Affair
Oh, North Laine! Where do I even begin? North Laine is a place for the young and the curious! It is streets after streets of vintage shops and independent cafes. At first glance many of the houses and stores will look tattered and old but do not be discouraged. Part of North Laine’s journey is creating a story in your head of what this place used to be while wandering around. You create your own memories and experience. This is also the place for shopping, if you want to avoid the mainstream stores, such as Topshop and Berska. A lot of the shops and cafes offer student discounts; therefore, utilize them! Most of the stores are located near Gardner and Sydney Street! Upper Gardener Street is structured as a flea market as all the stores are placed in a narrow alley and many of the vendors sell items outside rather than a store.
I visited out a cafe called, Milk No Sugar, which, is an independently run cafe by two college students and it was packed in the morning. They offer substantial food such as breakfast platters, sandwiches, soups, and salads. As any other cafe would they sold the usual pastries, coffees, teas, and smoothies. What brought me into this cafe was the line of books and magazines they had on their wall. As a fan of reading and killing time in the cafe, I entered and was also impressed that they had free wifi for their customers. This would become the next pseudo-Starbucks. You can study, catch up with friends, and just relax in here. Having a sweet tooth, as usual, I ordered a strawberry smoothie and a chocolate chip shortbread for breakfast! The shortbread was a mess to eat for a klutz like me but I did find the texture fascinating. Rather than it being hard like a cookie it melted in my mouth like a chocolate scone would.
Having only a day to spend here I did not want to waste my time shopping; therefore, I only visited two stores and I was glad to choose them! The first store I entered was called Vacant, which I went in because the 10%-20% student discount sign lured me in. They also had cute clothing items for both female and male customers. The second store I went to was Flax Emporium! I went to this store because I am a huge scarf fan and they specialized in scarves! They had an abundant amount of scarves, varying from texture, color, and pattern! It was difficult choosing for one specifically but I settled for a lightweight cotton white colored camera patterned scarf! Although, I bought this a little over two years ago, I am still wearing it on a daily basis and receiving tons of compliments!
Since Brighton Pier is near the water I was finally able to find sashimi in this small Korean restaurant called Namul. Lewes is great but it was limited in food options. Everyday I found myself eating a plain sandwich, greasy pizza, or falafels. I missed my weekly sushi trips back home and longed to have a bite of salmon. Luckily, leaving Lewes allowed me to satisfy my cravings. The restaurant was small with limited seating but most of their food was packaged to be taken out! Service is friendly and quick — if you have limited time but want a healthier option rather than greasy pub food, check this cafe out and order your food to-go, if need be!
Walking towards Brighton Pier I came by a street that was filled with art on the walls.
“What are walls if not to put your thoughts”
Touché. I wholeheartedly agree. Similarly, what is the point of paper if it is left blank with no ideas and thoughts written on. Walls are an additional source of public display to unveil the truth. On the other hand it should not be used to create a barrier ever. After all, the Berlin Wall fell down because no barrier can last long enough and if a wall is used the wrong way, peace will be disrupted.
For me Brighton Pier was nothing special and out of the ordinary. Coming from New Jersey, which is filled with beach and lively entertainment during the summer, the pier did not amaze me as it would others. In fact, I find Ocean City much more exciting than Brighton Pier! Both offer arcade rooms, food stands, and a mini amusement park; however, the amusement park in Ocean City offers more ride and variety in food!
Lastly, can’t forget the fish and chips when traveling to the United Kingdom!