Sunday, 1 March 2015

City Daily Photo Theme Day: Ageing

Julie in Sydney has chosen the City Daily Photo Theme Day topic for the first of the month. It's Ageing

Above is a 1915 postcard of Oxford St in the heart of Manchester, complete with trolley buses, a Cook's Tourist Office (Thomas Cook?) and cobblestones. How has it aged one hundred years later, after two world wars and a revolution of social change? See for yourself, below. 

Much is still surprisingly recognisable. The towers of St James Building and the Refuge Assurance building (now Palace Hotel) remain.  The cinema below left - the Paramount, later an Odeon, opened in 1930. I thought I spotted it in the postcard above but there is a similar, different building. (It's the first white building on left below, which closed in 2004 and is awaiting demolition for another bland office block). 

I would love to be able to return in another 100 years to see how this view changes, in fact I would like to return to see what all my city daily photography friends' locations look like in 2115...

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Friday, 27 February 2015

Bert's green bikes?

I walked past these bicycles in Albert Square yesterday morning and assumed they were new- this morning they had all gone but the bike racks remained. I was in too much of a rush and couldn't read the company's name. It would  be good if they were to supplement the bike rentals at Piccadilly Station and were being rolled out across the city.  Better still would be a safer city centre that banned cars- I voted for the congestion charge a few years back but was overruled by the majority. I really do feel that the city centre should be pedestriansed more and there should be a bus, taxi, electric cars and delivery-vehicle only policy implemented. A few car parks dotted around the outskirts for commuters and then a free shuttle bus or free tram to bring the workforce into the city each day- that would be my personal choice of a policy. 

Thursday, 26 February 2015

#FutureEverything Festival music and film @FuturEverything

The 20th Future Everything Festival launched last night at the RNCM, where all the music and film events take place. There are several other festival hubs around the city too. 

The festival (running from 25th to 28th February) is "an award-winning innovation lab for digital culture...exploring the meeting point of technology, society and culture which lies at the heart of the digital debate. Through a community network and regular events it makes connections between thinkers, developers, coders, artists, designers, urbanists and policy makers – inspiring them to experiment and to collaborate in new ways.
The Future Everything festival brings people together to discover, share and experience new ideas for the future. Pioneering the practice of city-wide ‘festival as laboratory’ it combines a large scale cultural event – encompassing art, music and discussion – with new technology, novel research methods and playful social experiments. It has been named by The Guardian as one of the top ten ideas festivals in the world."

Tonight I am unsure as to watch electro ambient Icelandic composer and performer Ólafur Arnalds or go to a separate, non-festival,  gig-Malean band Trio da Kali. I also plan to see two late films at the festival this evening - Delia Derbyshire's The Delian Mode followed by the late showing of Soviet film Elektro Moskva. It might be a tight squeeze getting everything in... but that feeling of cultural overload is part of the joy of festivals.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

"G" is for Gorilla Filmmaking Productions' great win @BFI #FutureFilmFest

ABC Wednesday gets to “G” and it gives me great pleasure to write a post about Gorilla Filmmaking Productions. This group of Manchester teenagers have been writing, shooting and creating innovative short films and adverts since an early age.  At the weekend they were worthy winners of the BFI (British Film Institute) 2015 Short Film award in the 15-18 age range.

It was part of the three day Future Film Festival at the BFI on London’s South Bank in London. Their dystopian short film O2 was shot last September out on the atmospheric moors east of Manchester. You can watch it here.

Along with a cheque, trophy and huge kudos, this will surely encourage the Gorilla Filmmaking Team to ever more creativity in the future. Keep an eye and an ear on these stars of the future, at their website and Facebook page. Congratulations to Sam, Alfie, Henry, Tim and the others who give up a lot of spare time and energy to produce high quality works of cinematic art.

Alfie, Sam and Tim of Gorilla Filmmaking Productions.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Tunnel vision at Salford Central

It's amazing that there can sometimes be quiet and solitude in a busy transport hub such as Salford Central Station. It opened an astonishingly long time ago (177 years ago in 1838) and underwent two name changes before the current moniker was coined in 1988. Previously it was Salford Railway Station and then Salford New Bailey Street. Around a third of a million passengers use it per year. Taking part in Our World Tuesday.

Monday, 23 February 2015

Monday Mural: Sleep on the Eighth Day @EighthDayVeg

This window of The Eighth Day is always innovatively creative and stops me in its tracks. 

Behind the glass in this section of the vegetarian healthfood shop and cafe is where vitamin and health expert Ursula can be found, surrounded by nutritional supplements and cruelty-free cosmetics. I  popped in the other week to have a chat with lovely Ursula, who advised me well (Biotin to help hair growth, since you ask!)...

I liked the way the reflections of the park's trees opposite blend into the photo and the owl could almost be living out there in All Saints Park. Sadly so could the sleeper- there are about a dozen homeless sleepers to be found in sleeping bags each morning along a short stretch of Oxford Road. Conservative/Lib-Dem Britain has clearly failed in so many appalling ways (unless you are the uber wealthy and greedy) and there needs to be major change locally, nationally and internationally -  now and at the May elections. That's why I am campaigning for the common good with the Green Party - the only real constructive alternative option in my view-  and standing as a Green Councillor in Salford.

My contribution to this week's Monday Mural.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

#Whitworth weekend 2: #CorneliaParker

Cold Dark Matter: An Exploded View

So much to see and take in at the Whitworth Gallery. 18,000 people visited last weekend when it reopened. In the week it was busy but manageable and I was blown away by the Cornelia Parker exhibition. The war room draped in paper poppy offcuts was symbolic and moving. The blown up shed (Cold Dark Matter: An Exploded View) caught in mid motion was artistically brilliant. To catch , freeze and display a moment in time of such movement is genius and ingenious. The hovering crushed cutlery and musical instruments (below) also made you think and captured the imagination.

2015 is going to be another great cultural year in Manchester.

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Whitworth weekend 1

There were huge lunchtime queues midweek at the reopened Whitworth Gallery - this was to have lunch in the new terrace cafe overlooking the park. I shall pop back to try the food when it is less busy. 

It was, however, a good opportunity to have a quick browse around the lovely refurbished galleries though- the landscaping does add a feeling to air and openness and at one with he trees outside, which is all well and good for an inner city gallery. Art here tomorrow!

Friday, 20 February 2015

Skywatch Friday at Cross Street junction

On Cross Street the sodium light and the menacing sky can create a dystopian view to my eyes. 19th Century elegance vies with late 20th Century glass and sloped roofed while below in the streets the masses march past, numbed, to the tune of destructive consumerism. The same tune is played, from Manchester to Montreal, Malmo to Mumbai.

A contribution to Skywatch Friday.