Olympics spotlight east London

Updated 0852 GMT (1652 HKT) August 7, 2012
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A man walks past graffiti depicting 'Mandeville' (R), one of the official Olympic mascots, in east London two days before the start of the Games. AFP/Getty Images
East London has long been home to the capital's working, criminal and creative classes. Brick Lane market is a testament to the area's diversity. AFP/Getty Images/FILE
The East End was also home to the notorious cockney gangsters Reggie (right) and Ronnie Kray, who shot a man dead at the Blind Beggar pub in Whitechapel in 1966. Getty Images/FILE
The five official Olympic boroughs in London are among Britain's poorest, and billions have been spent on regeneration projects in these areas. AFP/Getty Images/FILE
Stratford, where the Olympic Park now stands, was until recently an industrial wasteland and relic of the capital's manufacturing era. Getty Images
After winning the bid to host the Games back in 2005, work began on clearing the brownfield site full of derelict land and dilapidated buildings -- more than 200 were demolished to make way for the Olympic Park, say organizers. Getty Images
More than 4,000 trees, 74,000 plants and 300,000 wetland plants have been used on the 500-acre site. Getty Images
Virtually anything you could want is just a bus ride away in London. Here, shoppers fill the Columbia Road flower market near Hackney Road. AFP/Getty Images/FILE
Last summer's riots in Hackney and across other parts of the capital were a reminder that gentrification hasn't solved deep-seated problems with poverty across east London. Getty Images/FILE
The epicenter of the chaos in east London was in Hackney, where residents fled their houses and rioters looted stores while battling police. Getty Images/FILE
But the day after, when hundreds of volunteers turned up with brooms to help clean up east London's broken neighborhoods, showed an extraordinary sense of community. Getty Images/FILE
While billions have been spent regenerating the areas around the Olympic park, doubts remain as to what the long term legacy of the games will be for east London. AFP/Getty Images