A man walks east in the clear winter sunlight, absorbed in his smartphone. Another, seated in the coffee shop, notices my taking a sneaky street shot and smiles.
The "cheap" in the street name is from the Old English word for "market" and Eastcheap was the site of the main meat market of the City of London in mediaeval times, consisting of Great Eastcheap and Little Eastcheap. Great Eastcheap extended west from the area of the Monument, but disappeared with the construction of King William Street in the early 19th century. Only that part formerly known as Little Eastcheap remains, leading east in an elegant curve into Great Tower Street, at whose furthest reach the church of All Hallows by the Tower stands proudly silhouetted against the rising sun.