Yesterday was a wonderful day. My task was to go to the Convent Garden area and explore the streets of Seven Dials. The woman I am interning with Laura Dawson is looking for a retail space and wanted me to scope things out. So instead of heading to the studio yesterday morning I took the tube to that area of the city.
I arrive very early, much to early for the stores to be open and since my task was to locate retail space to let and get a feel for foot traffic and consumer profiles I needed to wait for a bit. I wasn’t sure what I would do to kill time, I thought maybe have a coffee or just sit on a bench… but as I wondered down another side street I saw a sign that read in bold letters, “FREE MENS HAIR CUTS”. Instantly they had my interest, as I have needed a haircut for some time.
I mulled it over in my head and thought to myself, I have needed to get my haircut since I left home…. But I didn’t want to spend the money. So I went inside to ask about it. The woman at the desk informed me that it was a beauty school and salon and that the students do free male hair cuts for practice. So I agreed to have my hair done.
I had a wonderful little British girl, about 17 who wanted to be a barber and specialize in hair coloring. She was delightful, slightly rebellious and a very interested in conversation. We talked about how I wanted my hair cut initially, but soon our conversations went to the US and the UK and the similarities and difference and then to life goals. She was very sweet and I started to realize how timid she was with the scissors. You could tell she really wanted to do well but was still searching for her niche.
It was nice to actually have my hair cut and not worry about cost. And I think it was great experience for her because she got to do another cut and she seemed really eager to chat with someone from America. I really learned a lot from talking to her and I felt so much better having a new haircut… I’m very happy with her work.
I then wondered down more streets. Like an endless maze, I would wind down one street and magically get back to where I began without ever crossing the same path twice. London’s like that though, an endless maze of nonsensical paths.
At one point I turned a corner and there in front of me was a store called Mysteries. Instantly intrigued by its withering, hippy-esque exterior and Zen like energy radiating from the front door… I decided I had to go in. The slightly off kilter, retro punk dressed boys sitting on the bench furthered my fascination with this little den of “Mystery”. I just had to see what waited inside.
Once I stepped in I was greeted with warm smiles and a million new things to look at. Crystals, candles, cards, posters, jewelry, anything and everything you could think of! Literally there was rooms of new age, fluffy stuff … and the little sage burning, black hat wearing pre-teen “witch” in me wanted to touch everything! But I contained myself and reverently inspected each room.
There were two rooms that called to my spirit. First was the room that wasn’t really a room, but more of a sanctuary. Off of the crystal room there was a small conservatory like space that had been made into somewhat of a shrine filled with a fountain, and tons of Buddhas and other spiritual statues, crystals, idols and spiritual paraphernalia. It exuded a high vibrating energy that resonated deep inside of me; a sort of deep rooted, tranquil, almost lulling quality.
Then I made my way to my Second favorite room and that was the area that was filled with hundreds of decks of tarot cards! So many decks to see, and touch and pick through and of course I wanted every one of them. It gave me the chance to see a lot of decks in person that I have pinned after for years!
The most exciting part of this little adventure to Mysteries was the “coincidence” of me finding it. A fellow blogger and talented writer Prince Le Normand, from http://princelenormand.blogspot.com/ referred me to the store and I had plans to visit later on during my trip, but as fate would have it… I found it before!
My adventure ended with lunch at, of all places, Pizza Hut. It was a very nice, peaceful and solitary lunch. I ate in alone because I felt it would be nice to just sit and relax and I had a wonderful salad and some pasta… not to mention a very attractive waiter. All the while I people watched out the large window that faced the street (a new hobby of mine since I ride the bus, etc… daily). Saw a beautiful vintage double decker bus too.
Afterwards I made my way back to work. I had a lot of cutting to do. But I felt amazing. Fresh hair, fresh perspective and I was ready to go. Sometimes you need a day out to clear your head. I was happy to see yet another part of the city. I will defiantly be going back to maybe do some shopping… who knows maybe I’ll get another hair cut!
Oh and did I mention that I stopped into Dr. Martens to look at their boots… and now I cant stop thinking about their 1914 black leather boots that I want so bad. I tried them on so that I could imagine myself in them in the mirror and it felt so right. Someday
Well I hope everyone is doing well… enjoy the photos… and enjoy life
© Shaheen Miro 7/1/2011