Brick Lane

I’ve been a proud East Londoner for just over a year now. There’s nowhere else in London I would rather live than this eclectic melting pot. Co-inhabited by British Bangladeshis, latte-sipping hipster, code-punching techies, serial entrepreneurs, and everyone in London who has a beard, it’s a great place to call home.

Boutique shops and brunch spots aside, E1 has a rich and diverse culture. Walking the streets is one thing, learning about them is another. So last weekend, I did an Alternative London walking tour to learn a bit more about the history of the area. And also to get schooled in the awesome street art that Brick Lane and the neighbouring streets boast of.

Brick Lane Brick Lane Brick LaneWe walked all around Liverpool Street, Spitalfields and Shoreditch on the tour, but the next day I strolled back to Brick Lane with my camera. This single street exemplifies the diversity of E1.

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Street Art in Berlin

Anne Frank CenterYou don’t need to walk into a gallery in Berlin to see some of the best art this city has to offer. From murals and stencils to graffiti and paste-ups, Berlin is brimming with striking street art. Just stroll around Mitte, Kreuzberg or Friedrichshain to see works from popular artists. While some iconic works (like the Kreuzberg Spaceman and Blu’s murals) are now Berlin landmarks, the street art scene is constantly evolving, largely thanks to the short life span of paste-ups.

I joined an Alternative City Tour to check out the underground culture of Berlin (which I would highly recommend, especially if you don’t know the who’s who of the Berlin art scene).

One of the most popular street artists in Berlin is XOOOOX. His work usually draws inspiration from fashion, but he puts a social commentary spin. Look for his tag stencilled next to all his work.

XOOOOX XOOOOX Berlin

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Melbourne’s Graffiti Walls

Before I went to Melbourne, many of my Aussie friends told me, “Roop, you’ll love Melbourne – it’s so artsy!”

I have seen cities and neighbourhoods drown in an overdose of forced artsy-ness, so I was slightly skeptical as I started exploring Melbourne’s CBD. But, my worries were misplaced. Melbourne is the right kind of artsy: the buskers are in love with their music, the street art is organic, and the thriving alleyways are rich cultural communities.

During a short free walking tour of Melbourne, graffiti walls grabbed my attention. After the orientation, I grabbed a map indicating the city’s most impressive graffiti walls, and set out on an afternoon of exploration with another Canadian.

Here are some of my favourite shots:

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