Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Blue day at the Green Room

The Green Room has provided performance art, often with an an alternative twist, for almost a quarter of a century. With a theatre, gallery space and bar, it has been an integral part of the Manchester arts scene.

Sadly, due to changes to the Arts Council portfolio for 2012-2013, The Green Room closes its doors under the railway arches today. http://www.greenroomarts.org/
Its history is celebrated at http://www.greenroomutd.org/

Monday, 30 May 2011

Holiday Monday six a side

Hooray- it's the Spring Bank Holiday Monday in the UK- a public holiday. This photo was taken on the last Holiday Monday, on 2 May. It's the annual weekend-long Junior Six a Side football tournament, for girls and boys, held at Altrincham Football Club. I like the colours of the girls team playing on the far side in this photo - luminous pink.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Vimto monument

The wooden Vimto monument (by Kerry Morrison) was erected in 1992, opposite the place where this soft drink was first made in 1908. 

Invented by John Noel Nichols (1883–1966) as an temperance drink alternative to beer, Vim Tonic was its original name. It was a squash and later a carbonated drink, made of raspberries, blackcurrant, liquorice, herbs and spices.

This photo was taken last month, but I looked on Friday and saw the 10ft (3m) monument had been taken away leaving just the circular stone base- no mean feat. Hopefully it has been removed just for maintenance, as it's a staple photo on every Manchester blog! 

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Fields of mellow yellow

All over the countryside the past month have come bursts of yellow, in the form of rapeseed oil plants peaking. These are in fields near Ashley in Cheshire.

Friday, 27 May 2011

Chancery Place

In the heart of the Business District is this relatively new workspace called Chancery Place. Its publicity proclaims that "Day and night the soaring glass elevations of Chancery Place bring drama to the streetscape." Fair enough- the reception and inside space is pretty cool and modern too. But that's for another posting.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Hurricane on Beech Road

A shop called Hurricane on the ever bohemian Beech Road in Chorlton cum Hardy.

The Chorlton Arts festival is currently in full flow, with a wide range of events, all covered well by a special event (Restricted service licence) radio station Chorlton FM, which we can hear around the city on on 87.7 MHz. It's broadcasting from a former Polish supermarket in Chorlton precinct, and as well as the more predictable tunes, has live lunchtime theatre and performances from local schools too. An innovative broadcaster- you would expect nothing less from the local population ;-) http://chorltonartsfestival.com/

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Wong Wong bakery

Whatever the weather, it's always interesting to people watch, and pastry watch, over a pot of green tea in Wong Wong Bakery and Cafe, in Chinatown.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Manchester changed the world’s politics

"If it stopped banging on about its football teams and its bands and its shops and its attitude, Manchester has something that it can be genuinely, enormously proud of, something that it should shout from the rooftops. Manchester changed the world’s politics: from vegetarianism to feminism to trade unionism to communism, every upstart notion that ever got ideas above its station, every snotty street-fighter of a radical philosophy, was fostered brawling in Manchester’s streets, mills, pubs, churches and debating halls." - Stuart Maconie, Pies and Prejudice: In Search of the North (2008)

Monday, 23 May 2011

Stony faced on Kennedy Street

An office block, currently vacant, on Kennedy Street. I can't make out if the figure is a griffin or a dragon. Probably neither... 

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Trinity Bridge across the Irwell

Trinity Bridge on the River Irwell in the late afternoon sun. More on this 1995-built bridge which links the cities of Salford and Manchester, at: http://www.galinsky.com/buildings/trinitybridge/index.htm

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Celebrating National Vegetarian week

To celebrate the start of National Vegetarian week 2011 (which starts on Monday), the Vegetarian Society held a successful "Meat Free in Manchester" event today. Hundreds of people came along to enjoy games and promotions.

My favourite part was the live cookery demonstration tent. Here we see chefs from Gujarati restaurant Prashad in Bradford cooking a chick pea curry, whilst regaling the packed audience with fascinating tales- and destroying a few myths some of the public have about vegetarian food.

Friday, 20 May 2011

Time to reflect

The Manchester Town Hall clock showing just after 5.00 p.m is amongst the many reflections in this sunny Spinningfields shot. 

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Station Stories at Piccadilly

This image is my attempt to mark the event called "Station Stories" at Piccadilly train and tram station from Thursday 19th to Saturday 21st May.

From the Media Release: 
"You are at Manchester Piccadilly Railway Station - You are wearing headphones - You are with a group all wearing headphones - The station is crowded, people rushing everywhere - You can hear someone speaking in your headphones. She is telling you a story - The reader of the story is somewhere in the crowd, she is reading the story now, it's live - You try to pick her out from the crowd - Eventually she comes into view - She continues to tell the story. She talks to rail travelers around her. They don't know she is telling a story. They don't know she is transmitting live - They don't know about us - This is story telling with a difference - This is performance with a difference - This is Station Stories."
More at: http://www.stationstories.com/

In partnership with Manchester Literature Festival and the Text Festival, The Hamilton Project present - Station stories; a unique, site specific, live, literature performance event using digital technology and improvised electronic sound. From platform to platform, café to café and shop to shop, six writers take you on a creative trip at Piccadilly station and read specially commissioned stories inspired by the station and the people who use it and work there.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Rainy day

Yesterday was showery again so it was time to keep dry in a coffee shop. This is opposite the City Art Gallery, where the Anish Kapoor exhibition runs until 5th June.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Coiffured Greek Gods?

These two pillars of the community can be found on Mosely St in the city centre. They adorn the doorway to a Toni and Guy hairdressing salon, but I imagine they are more likely to go by the names of Adonis and Aether.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Street Art: AMP on the Ship Canal

A clever use of an entire side of a building by the Manchester Ship Canal to spray the letters AMP.

Great Manchester Run

The 9th annual Great Manchester Run took place today, starting and finishing in the city centre after looping out past Old Trafford and Salford Quays. There are 10km events for women, men and wheelchair users. Helen Clitheroe won the women's 10K and Haile Gebrselassie won the men's event for an impressive fourth time.

There was also the Great City Games on Deansgate in the afternoon and the second annual Great Salford Swim at Salford Quays.

With 40,000 athletes on the Great Run and a further 200,000 people in the streets watching, the event was expecting to raise around £3 million for charities.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Melchett Mere

The tranquility of a sunny afternoon at Melchett Mere in Tatton Park, Cheshire.

Friday, 13 May 2011

Spanish Euroculture festival

The entrance to the Instituto Cervantes Manchester in Campfield Arcade.
Spanish language courses and cultural events are on offer here.  Today sees the launch of the month-long  Eurocultured festival.
"The Cervantes Institute in Manchester hosts the inaugural act of the Eurocultured Festival and at the same time opens the exhibition Urban Stains. The atrium of the Instituto becomes a giant canvas with graffiti as the motto and spray & marker as the main protagonists. This is a great opportunity to familiarise yourself with some of Europe’s most important urban artists who will be part of this festival. There is also an opportunity to explore to the different activities and acts that make up this year’s festival. This event also features live music, graffiti artists from Spain and UK, DJs, and dance."     http://manchester.cervantes.es/

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Future Everything festival

Preparations yesterday at one of the venues for the The Future Everything festival, which runs from today, 11 May, to 14 May. It is set in various hubs around the city including The Umbro Design studio in the Northern Quarter, the Victoria Baths just south of the city and Piccadilly Place at the heart.
Music, arts, ideas.  From Steve Reich to contemporary art, digital innovation to fanzines.
"The UK's leading festival of digital culture brings you live music, art premieres, inspiring talks, club nights, events, and more."- see http://futureeverything.org/

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

“Manchester has got everything except a beach...”

Manchester's very own beach, Castle Sands, has returned, albeit by the canal... In the Madchester era (circa. 1988-1992) Stone Roses' vocalist Ian Brown famously said that “Manchester has got everything except a beach.” Well, we have now. Ok, Castle Sands is hardly a Mediterranean hotspot or the rolling sands of west Wales, but city beaches are a lovely idea in my book. See you there!

Monday, 9 May 2011

The Palace Hotel

The Palace Hotel, formerly the Refuge Assurance Building.

The first phase of this Grade II listed red brick and terracotta building was designed for the Refuge Assurance Company by Alfred Waterhouse and built 1891–1895.  The inside was of Burmantofts faience pottery and glazed brick. The ground floor was one enormous open business hall.

It was extended, with a striking 217-foot (66 m) tower, along Oxford Street by his son Paul Waterhouse in 1910–1912. It was further extended along Whitworth Street by Stanley Birkett in 1932.

The Refuge Assurance Company occupied the building until 1987. Although the Refuge Assurance company had discussed turning the building into a new home for The Hallé Orchestra, the funding required for the project did not materialise. It was converted to a hotel by Richard Newman in 1996, and is now the Palace Hotel.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Sowing Spring seeds

A lone planter is hard at work on the Moss Lane allotments, getting the last of the spring seeds sown. Fruit and veg doesn't grow by itself...

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Taiko drummers at Tatton Park

Some Taiko drummers celebrating 100 years of the lovely Japanese Garden at Tatton Park. Taken last May Day Bank holiday Monday. I hope to visit and post some photos of the Japanese gardens in a couple of months.

Friday, 6 May 2011

Lunch break in Sackville Gardens

Sackville Gardens, which was created by Manchester City Council in the 1880s. The plan being that you could view the magnificence of the newly built UMIST from here (University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology).

Views of the more impressive parts of that institution will appear here another time. As will a tour of Sackville Gardens, which also contains the Beacon of Hope (HIV monument) http://www.beacon-of-hope.org.uk/about.htm and a statue of Alan Turing (computer scientist, Enigma code) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Turing

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Princess Street's Edwardian Trio

Looking north up Princess Street. A Greek restaurant "Bouzaki by night" on the left, then a 5 star Chinese restaurant "Middle Kingdom". http://www.middlekingdomuk.com/
This is in a building called Manchester House. The middle building is Asia House, and the third - with the turret - is Lancaster House. The latter two edifices are now apartments. All were originally early 20th century packing and shipping warehouses.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Chinese Arch

Manchester's Chinese Arch, the biggest in Europe when built in 1987, but since overtaken by Liverpool's. Manchester has the third largest Chinatown in Europe.

The Manchester Chinese Archive states: "One of the landmarks of Manchester, the magnificent Chinese Arch on Faulkner Street which defines Chinatown declares the importance of the Chinese community in Manchester. Embellished with dragons and phoenixes in mesmerizing colours, with symbols of luck and prosperity, the arch, the first true imperial Chinese arch to have been erected in Europe, appears to have stood for hundreds of years, yet it was here only since 1987. "

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Florist, Quay St

Back to work after the May Day holidays. Maybe a bunch of flowers will help cheer us up- at least it is still gloriously sunny here in the UK.

Here is Flower Style florists, a fixture on Quay Street, Manchester city centre for well over a decade.

Monday, 2 May 2011

Theme Day- Mailboxes: Manchester blue

Every first day of the month is theme day for all City Daily bloggers and the May 2011 theme is "Mailboxes". But as I consider the international workers' holiday of May Day to take precedence, I have delayed this post until 2 May.

So, in the land of the red post boxes, this blue postbox must surely be king.

Not painted over by in Manchester City FC light blue as a reaction to all the Manchester United FC coloured red post/pillar/mail boxes throughout the the UK, but a leftover from a forgotten age ~ In the 1930s some UK postboxes were painted blue to signify they were for airmail. This one is on Liverpool Road.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Worker of the world?

Happy May Day to all workers (and those made redundant or facing redundancy) everywhere!

One of the 100 Antony Gormley sculptures on Crosby Beach, Merseyside (formerly Lancashire). This is, therefore, 1% of the 2007 installation called "Another Place."

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