Portobello Road in West London. We are in the borough of Kensington and Chelsea where one of London’s most famous street markets is located. It is 1.5 kilometres long and well known for its antiques. Yet, Portobello Road was not always like it is today. The origin of the market dates back to 1870s when its earliest traders, gipsies and vagabonds, sold their stuff.
Today, this time has long passed. Known from various movies Portobello has become a hot spot for tourists and the people in search of West Londonish atmosphere. Yet, it is Sunday and so the street presents itself in a different light. I’ve just walked from the road’s north-western to its south-eastern point. With approximately 18 minutes a fairly short walk. It is the casual life that I see. Families, friends, lovers. Residents occupy the road. Still English is only one of many languages spoken. The audience is far from homogeneous. It is that vibe of an openhearted bourgeoisie that flows through the streets as long as it feels safe. The world where the multicultural survives as long liberal market structures succeed?
But I am getting ahead of myself. Join me on my walk through Portobello Road by listening to the following field recording; let’s explore it together on this blazingly sunny day!