London for the day – Image #99

Today Dee and I went to London to look for some specific items. We went to Camden Market looking for Tibetan Singing Bowls: we found some but decided not to get them as they seemed a little pricy. The market itself was buzzing, but not overly busy.

We then travelled south of the river and met up with my brother at Samye Dzong, which as well as having two Buddhist shrines also has tea rooms and a shop. We found and bought a singing bowl there, spent a couple of hours chatting over tea and spent a bit of time in Mindful Meditation.

A bus ride from there brought us to Denmark Street, near Tottenham Court Road. It’s also known as Tin Pan Alley and is renowned as the place to go for musical instruments. Even though it was late in the day, several shops were still open. You know you’re in the right spot of place when you can talk about a brand of bass they don’t have (but know of), ask what strings are best for the style of music you’re going to play and then spend the next 10-15 minutes hearing about the relative merits of the various options. As for the basses they did have – I could have spent a fortune!

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Unfortunately, due to commercial pressures I’ve heard that much of the street is to be torn down so new modern buildings can out built instead. Music shops which have been there for decades will doubtless have to close and find somewhere else. I for one think it’s brilliant having so much variety and choice in the same stretch of 100 yards or so. If they do have to move, I hope the proprietors club together and open up in the same premises, a bit like a big department store perhaps. That would be awesome and would continue to bewitch us punters I’m sure.

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