Sunday board games in Brick Lane
I photographed these two men playing Carrom at the top of Brick Lane on Sunday. This curious game was new to me and I can only describe it as a hybrid of drafts and billiards, in which the objective is to push your opponent’s counters into the corner pockets. Not only is it absorbing for players, as my picture illustrates, but it is also a stirring spectator sport, demonstrated by the excited crowds that quickly gather to watch in Brick Lane. Rob, the gregarious proprietor of the Carrom Cafe which provides the boards free to market visitors every Sunday, explained to me that it is an ancient game which exists all across Asia and was brought here from India, but of which the origins are lost in time.
Then I walked on down the Lane and, at the Hanbury Street entrance to the Truman Brewery, I met Luca and Sam happily playing chess on a home made board, with paperclips in two contrasted colours bent into different shapes for each of the different chess pieces. Luca and Sam were amusing themselves whilst having a slow day at their stall selling t-shirts which they design under their own label smudge the bear but, judging from the witty ingenuity of their chess set, I predict big success for these two engaging young men.