Friday, 28 November 2014

Skywatch Friday: Misty city from Brazil Street

Looking  towards Whitworth Street from Brazil Street on a misty lunch hour last week- it seemed rather quiet and quite atmospheric. My contribution to Skywatch Friday.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Thursday Challenge: Berlin Wall will finally fall (in Manchester)

The lonely leafed trees at each end of the dreaded wall make this a rather forlorn entry to this week's Thursday Challenge of leaves. Once upon a time Piccadilly Gardens, behind this wall, was an urban oasis of flowers and trees, with subtle leaf blossom in spring, bright colours in summer and auburn tinges in autumn.

The hideous "Berlin Wall" was commissioned by Manchester City Council years ago and has been hated by millions ever since. It may block out some of the noise and fumes from the bus station when you are in the Gardens but why it was never decorated with street art or plant life I will never understand. After many long running campaigns, finally a Manchester Evening News survey was listened to and things are gonna change. The wall will form the inside of retail units, which is not the answer but it's a start. To knock it down would cost at least £50,000 evidently, although I know a thousand Mancunians who would do it for free...

"For 12 years a big slab of grey concrete has blocked the view of Piccadilly Gardens from the south-east of the square. The wall, designed by acclaimed Japanese architect Tadao Ando as part of a refurbishment exercise after the 1996 IRA bomb, has long been compared unfavourably with the most visible symbol of the iron curtain.

Earlier this year the Manchester Evening News launched a campaign to get rid of the wall, after three-quarters of its readers said they hated it. The structure was also blamed for Piccadilly Gardens being dubbed one of Manchester’s worst tourist attractions by TripAdvisor."

Come the revolution, that disgusting concrete wall will be the first thing to come down. Until then I suggest covering it with hanging baskets or creeping plants or something,”"
 More at the Guardian

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

ABC Wednesday: "T" - from toilet to Temple

ABC Wednesday  finds time for "T" as we look inside The Temple of Convenience, a former underground public convenience that was transformed from a toilet to a bar in the early 1990s. It later dropped the "of Convenience" from its title. I was here the other week to discuss an exciting project with my artist friends Polyp and Eva Schunkle.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Gluhwein time of year

The slippery slope to the end of the year starts here. I have enjoyed my first gluhwein of 2014 at the Manchester Markets - in Lincoln Square as Albert Square gets too crowded at night. Cathedral Gardens is another good one, i.e. quieter, to head for. Last year's mugs all sold out as they celebrated the 15th anniversary of the Manchester Christmas Markets. This year's design is pleasing enough but the mugs are, necessarily, rather chunky and heavy, so I always get my deposit back rather than take one home!

Monday, 24 November 2014

Monday Mural: loyal dog @PeteMcKee

I love this part of Tib Street- three of my favourite places all in a row - coffee house, bars, eateries: Wood, Simple and North Tea Power. Then you step out into the evening to see some fun street art. This worried dog carrying a magazine is by artist Pete McKee.

Linked to Monday Mural at the Oakland Daily Photo blog.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Weekend Reflections & Inspired Sunday:: Elizabeth of Hungary

At Gorton Monastery each statue of a saint high on the wall has a handy information plate situated down below. Elizabeth is a patron saint of hospitals, nurses, bakers and brides- quite a heavy load for one woman, I would have thought. Taking part in Weekend Reflections and  Inspired Sunday .

Saint Elizabeth

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Across the miles: American Authors & Mike Dignam @aauthorsmusic @mikedignammusic

Brooklyn band American Authors played their first ever Manchester gig at the Academy 3 on Wednesday, and Tim Sutton-Brand was there to capture these great photos. The alt-rock band played tracks from their Oh What a Life album and stated several times how they'd always wanted to play Manchester- its reputation as a music city must be well known in the New York borough they are from.

Thw support act was local Lancashire lad Mike Dignam from Preston, who also went down a storm, and both acts stayed behind to meet the fans- a nice touch- Mike's off to play Paris, Munich, Hamburg and Berlin next while American Authors return to gigs in the US of A.Hope they both go far...

Friday, 21 November 2014

Skywatch Friday: Taking things for granted

You could walk past Albert Square most days, as I do, and end up taking it for granted. It's good to make time and concentrate on areas of it to relish the architecture, just as I would if I were walking around Bruges. I spoke to a macaroon vendor trading in the square who usually trades from Bruges this week, hence my comparison. Taking part in Skywatch Friday.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Thursday Challenge: Architecture- Making a grand entrance at UMIST

The main building at UMIST is, I believe, one of a range of large buildings from the 1890s to 1960s that are up for sale since amalgamation with the University of Manchester. 

This grand entrance is part of what I have been told (by a colleague at Visit Manchester) is the largest brick-built building in Europe, with 8 million bricks used. The delicacy and grandeur of the stained glass is what I'm focussing on today though.

Taking part in The Thursday Challenge, which this week has the theme of "architecture".

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

ABC Wednesday: "S" is for stars and rainbow stripes

ABC Wednesday reaches the letter "S".The stars and rainbow striped flags outside New York New York bar. You'd have hoped homophobia was a thing of the past in any country that purports to be civilised but sadly not, as the mindless attack on two gay men who dared to sing a song on a tram on 1 November illustrates. There was however, a wonderful show of support from the majority of people, culminating in an LGBT choir singalong on the tram this week.