Wednesday, 31 July 2013

ABC Wednesday: C is for Coburg Street

ABC Wednesday and "C" is for Coburg Street. I have always liked the 1950s style number three. The rest of this short street is a mix of apartments, such as Stonebridge House, and the Bangladeshi High Commission.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

A red rose...

A red rose for Lancashire but I don't know what type of rose it actually is.
Linking with the Ruby Tuesday blog.

Monday, 29 July 2013

Monday Mural: Keep on rocking at the Printworks

Mural at the Printworks; any idea who it is of? Sharleen Spiteri or possibly Chrissie Hynde have always been my best guesses. Bound to be someone old school 1980s. Linked to Monday Mural.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Lazing on a summer's afternoon

Can it get much more chilled than this? Sunshine, shade, trees and exploring the Trent and Mersey canal at 5 miles an hour on a narrow boat. 

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Washday on Sackville Street

City centre washing lines. Washing and other Saturday chores to be completed before partying or chilling on a summer's day can begin in earnest. 

Friday, 26 July 2013

manchester jazz festival @ManJazzFest

Yesterday Festival Square was still being transformed into the cool space where the 18th Manchester Jazz Festival will strut its stuff.

It starts today and runs through to 4 August with pop, grunge, world, bebop, urban, fusion and cool jazz; whatever jazz you're into it should be here for you. Always one of my favourite Manchester festivals. Nice!

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Brunch at Soup Kitchen, & old fire station fund raising gig tonight

Three people enjoying brunch outside Soup Kitchen on Spear Street before the lunchtime rush begins. Don't be confused out of towners, it's not actually a soup kitchen for homeless people but a cafe bar, serving far more than soup, and also a music venue.

A benefit gig under the banner of Project Liberation is the first shot across the bows by the Friends of London Road Fire Station, a recently founded community trust that is fighting to save the neglected At Risk Grade II listed building opposite Piccadilly Station from terminal decay. (See also two of my previous posts on the Old Fire Station).

The benefit gig, on 25 July, stars the bands Freedom of the City, Puppet Rebellion and The Fourth Circle, plus DJ Pasta Paul from Piccadilly Records. It takes place at the Soup Kitchen in the Northern Quarter. Money raised from the gig will be used by Friends of London Road Fire Station to fund a series of events this summer and autumn that aim to draw attention to the need to act quickly to ensure the iconic building is rescued from 27 years of neglect by its current owners. 

A petition set up by the Friends indicates overwhelming support by Manchester residents to protect the fire station. Please sign and share the petition.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

ABC Wednesday: "B" is for Buddhist Centre

Peace and serenity at the lovely Buddhist Centre on Turner Street. 
I'm keeping it simple and zen with my "B" contribution to  ABC Wednesday.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Viennese twist on Oldham St...

It still amazes me what fabulous buildings you can find in a post-industrial but still gritty city, if you look closely. Manchester is actually rather unconventionally attractive but sometimes is beautiful in a more obvious way. Like this building at the top end of Oldham Street. Taking part in today's  Our World Tuesday.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Monday Mural: Cafe Pop mural

The space age and pop art era is commemorated on this long standing mosaic mural above Cafe Pop on Oldham Street. 
Linked to Monday Murals at the Oakland Daily Photo blog.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

All grown up and gowned up

It's the graduation season for two of the Manchester Universities- This photo was snapped on my phone in the week- with the imposing Catholic church and glorious Romanesque-Grecian frontage of the Arts building looming over the lawns and marquee, with graduates and proud families and friends in attendance. I wonder if the ceremonies and processes have changed much since the first graduates at the University of Manchester in the 1820s?...

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Weekend Reflections: Manchester International Festival #MIF2013

Taking part in Weekend Reflections

Great views from the roof bar at the Manchester International Festival; an amazing array of street food, from Thai Pad to specialist ice cream; a wide range of music on the outdoor stage and amazing performances all over the city. 

I liked the reflection which makes two people the same scale as the John Bright statue in Festival Square below. Snapped on a smartphone.

Friday, 19 July 2013

#MIF2013 Buzzing in Festival Square

I spent the past two evenings in Festival Square which has been absolutely buzzing. The town hall and the roof bar in the sunshine looked Italian to me. Snapshots with smartphone. The woman on the right was using a cool camera, with real film and with a white and blue pattern akin to Delft china. The flash unit looked like a tea cup...

The weather has been something else too- almost too hot but no complaints. Manchester International Festival 2013  = an amazing success.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

An odious end to the Odeon...

The wonderful 1930s Odeon cinema (above and below) on Oxford Street heard its death knell sound in the 1990s with the the rise of the multiplex cinemas, and it has lain neglected for years. 

Its fine Art Deco features are doubtless fading inside as well as out. It could have been reinvented as a gallery, a museum, public performance space, community hub, hey even as a cinema, but no... Instead it is now being demolished and another unneeded, ugly and inappropriate glass and steel corporate office block will stomp on its grave. 

The monolithic office block in progress next door to it, branded as "One St. Peter's Square" started the rot in the area. It has pretended to fit in with the Art Deco surroundings by using a 1930s font in its branding but I can't see much in keeping with the rest of St. Peter's Square about it. I admit it is replacing a post-World War II commercial block which looked shabby and almost pre-fab, but is this any better?- it will dwarf its neighbours such as The Midland Hotel and the Central Reference Library.

Worse still, on its other side the discreet and 1934 iconic Century House (second photo below) is also going to be demolished. No consultation, just torn down and yet another office block thrown up. The soul is being ripped out building by building, and no-one listened to the opposition in the community...

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

ABC Wednesday: "A" is for A worthy cause, At risk London Road Fire Station- fundraiser 25 July

Taking part in ABC Wednesday

A benefit gig under the banner of Project Liberation is the first shot across the bows by the Friends of London Road Fire Station, a recently founded community trust that is fighting to save the neglected At Risk Grade II listed building opposite Piccadilly Station from terminal decay.  (See also two of my previous posts on the Old Fire Station).

The benefit gig, on 25 July, stars the bands Freedom of the City, Puppet Rebellion and The Fourth Circle, plus DJ Pasta Paul from Piccadilly Records. It takes place at the Soup Kitchen in the Northern Quarter. Money raised from the gig will be used by Friends of London Road Fire Station to fund a series of events this summer and autumn that aim to draw attention to the need to act quickly to ensure the iconic building is rescued from 27 years of neglect by its current owners. A petition set up by the Friends indicates overwhelming support by Manchester residents to protect the fire station. Please sign and share the petition

The gig will be also used to officially launch the Friends of London Road Fire Station and gig-goers will be invited to join the trust at a one-off reduced cost of £3. Members will have the right to vote as well as steer the trust’s direction its visions for the building. 

The profits from the Project Liberation gig will be used to fund an inclusive community exhibition using art, history, talks and workshops about the building. The event takes place at 4A Piccadilly Place from 22 to 25 August. Famous  Manchester artists Oliver East the artist for Elbow and Caroline Johnson, who recently exhibited at The Lowry, are among those contributing works. There will also be an all age ‘vision’ competition for what the building should be and there are hopes for a professional architecture competition later in the autumn. 

Adam Prince, who was the catalyst for the Friends campaign, says: "The cases of both MOSI and the LRFS CPO show a political bias against our city. I hope our city’s MPs will further the case for fair arts and culture funding distribution as the current planning permission for this building expires in September. There are so many greater uses for this building than a hotel, especially in this hotel-dense area. We are delighted Manchester’s emerging musical talents are supporting our cause.” 

Bob Bonner, former London Road firefighter and now voluntary curator of Greater Manchester Fire Service Museum, says: "This is one of Manchester's most iconic buildings, which is loved by many people. It deserves to be rescued from the current 'At Risk' impasse caused by years of neglect.” 

Paul Cantwell from Freedom of the City, described as one of Manchester's most promising bands, adds: "We need to celebrate our future and our people’s history by rescuing this building. Manchester is better than this.” 

Simon Monaghan, front man of the critically acclaimed indie band Puppet Rebellion, said: "It's great to support this fundraiser as our city needs to stand up so this building is not destroyed and can become something great for Manchester people.”  The Fourth Circle, a Psychedelic band said: "Seeing this building empty and neglected is so sad for the city and we are happy to offer our support". DJ Pasta Paul from Piccadilly Records attended the campaign meeting in February and it was clear from the hundred-plus people the London Road Fire Station situation is "something that angers so many people and they do not want to see a nationally important building decaying.”

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Brit on tour

This photo was taken last week by a New Zealand friend of mine who was back in Manchester for a conference. Craig writes:

"So that's how the Brits go on holiday - all power to ya pal! Arrived Manchester this morning and found a lovely bike charity place in the Manchester University Student Union - iCycle - and hired a bike. Out for my first spin and found this Briton heading out on his Tour of Britain (nice one!)".

Linking today with global bloggers at Our World Tuesday.

Monday, 15 July 2013

Monday Murals: Desert island dreaming

A favourite mural of mine in the The Northern Quarter which, like the whole of the north-west, is currently hot enough to compete with any desert island... Linked to Monday Murals at the Oakland Daily Photo blog.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Goodly Godlee Observatory

A worm's eye view of the Godlee Observatory, where the Manchester Astronmomical Society (founded in 1903) meet weekly. There are public lectures too from time to time.

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Weekend Reflection on the Longdendale Trail

I went for an amazing walk on the Longdendale Trail last Sunday, to the east of Manchester in the Peak District, near Glossop. I snapped this shot of one of the several mid 19th century reservoirs with my mobile phone. 

The trails is part of the Transpennine Way which runs from Liverpool to Hull. We had a four hour circular walk but that did include breaks to admire the scenery and ended with a detour to the Bull's Head pub... 

Taking part in Weekend Reflections postings.

Friday, 12 July 2013

#MIF Music, biospheres, yoga, drama, dance & debate

The Manchester International Festival is in full swing until 21st July all over the city. This photo is of Festival Square just before the festival opened. 

Anarchy in Peterloo: Shelley's poem unmasked is a highlight for me. (Shelley's poetic response to the the 1819 Peterloo Massacre).

Other diverse events to choose from include Kenneth Branagh is in MacBeth, Goldfrapp plays with the RNCM String Orchestra and some old venues have been revamped- Albert Hall has reopened at last and the Mayfield Depot is hosting events too. The Biospheric Project transforms a derelict mill on the River Irwell's banks into an agricultural space. Manchester bands at the festival, who the wider world will know about very soon, are Delphic and Money.

Dance and debate get an airing too. Are we Powerless? with Evan Davis. Eszter Salamon's Dance for Nothing based on John Cage's Lecture on Nothing looked interesting too. I have of course only mentioned the tip of the iceberg. 

If it is all too much then Nikhil Chopra’s 65-hour performance Coal On Cotton may stretch you, as did his sunrise yoga sessions at 5 a.m. last weekend.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

ABC Wednesday: "Z" is for the Zoo club

The Pub/Zoo is both a pub and a club in the vibrant University Quarter, one of dozens of places in this area to eat, drink and be merry. Very enticing in this glorious sunshine. Taking part in ABC Wednesday.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Our World Tuesday: Perfection on a plate @Bistro1847

1847 Bistro is simply astonishing- delicious food which tastes divine and an ever innovative seasonal menu. The food explodes with flavour, there is variety and texture all presented as beauty on a plate.  

It is one of the best restaurants I have ever eaten at, on a par with a mushroom restaurant in Paris and an amazing restaurant in Rome I had the pleasure of eating at years ago. There is a branch of 1847 in Manchester city centre, one in the suburbs of Chorlton-cum-Hardy and another opening in Birmingham this summer- Brummies are in for a Mancunian treat!

I had a vegan starter of beetroot pancake with sundried tomato and 
white bean pate and main course of Leek, butterbean & rosemary mille feuille on a rich tomato ragu with summer vegetables. My dining companion had the Chef's taster, a selection of 3 bite size starters and a main of ‘fish’ and chips – Battered halloumi with hand-cut chips, pea purée,  tartar sauce & lemon vinaigrette.

Linking today with global bloggers at Our World Tuesday.

Monday, 8 July 2013

Monday Mural: Summer with @ChrisHoy

Local hero Chris Hoy whose reputation and platform for six gold Olympic medals were built in the Manchester Velodrome, beams out with the sun rays at a cycle shop on Deansgate. I think it makes quite a good mural, even if it is an advert.

 Linked to the Monday Mural meme at the Oakland Daily Photo blog.

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Tennis fever, sun stroke, Serbia v Scotland #Wimbledon

The crowds will be in out in force for today's Wimbledon final - and many Mancunians eill be watching on the big screen in Spinningfields. 

If Andy Murray wins please remember that he is first and foremost a Scot (and a Brit only secondly). My money is on Serbia's Novak Djokovic though. I am always disappointed in any sporting event when the favourites reach the final- Is it a British thing to always want the underdog to win?

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Weekend Reflections: Heatwave on The Avenue

The heatwave has arrived and promising June is now flaming July. Mesnwhile on The Avenue people were making the most of the sunshine with some after dinner drinks on Thursday evening.

There is so much glass in Spinningfields that it casts a myriad of reflections (some work better than others) but this photo for me captured in a slightly abstract way the city centre buzz that is spreading like a summer of love at present.

More Weekend Reflections.

Friday, 5 July 2013

Skywatch Friday: Summer sunset #citydailyphoto

Today's sunset was taken with my Sony smartphone using the Instagram app. Lovely fluffy clouds over the southern suburbs of this great city of Manchester, as the sun descends behind the chimney pots for another night. 

Enjoy the heatwave which starts today but when you need to cool off and chillax, visit this week's eclectic, varied and often inspiring Skywatch Friday posts.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Tranquility, Trent-quility... #citydailyphoto

One of my favourite walks, in any season, along the quieter stretches of the Trent and Mersey Canal. These weekend walks put my head back into a good place!

Taking part with other "greens of summer" posts at this week's Rurality Blog Hop.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

ABC Wednesday: "Y" is for Yuzu @YuzuManchester

ABC Wednesday arrives at the letter "Y" today and I have selected Yuzu Japanese restaurant on Faulkner Street in Chinatown. 

It looks good but I've not eaten there myself yet. Manchester Confidential did this review when it opened in 2010 and only last Sunday it received rave reviews in The Observer from foodie Jay Rayner. 

I wonder what are the vegan and veggie options are like? I will have to eat there soon and report back...

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Our World Tuesday: Pandering to Pimm's as summer sun stops and starts

Linking today with global bloggers at Our World Tuesday.

Summertime and a new bottle of Pimm's is opened as the sun is high in the sky and the chances of warm evenings become a reality. There were a couple of glorious weeks of welcome sunshine in Manchester in June, here's to more in July. Enjoy the sun and long evenings while they last...

First invented in 1823 by James Pimm, a farmer's son from Kent, Pimm's has become a quintessential tipple for a English summer's day, even this far north. There are many variations on the theme. Start with a bottle of Pimm's and add local, in-season ingredients where you can. Recipewise suggests :

Original Victorian Pimm’s 
Use only orange, lemon, cucumber and mint. Make it stronger, do not dilute the Pimms more than one parts Pimm’s to two parts traditional lemonade.

Classic Early 20th Century Pimm’s
Use only strawberries, orange, cucumber and mint, make it one part Pimm’s to three parts clear lemonade.

Garden Party Pimm’s
Use strawberries, orange, apple, lemon, cucumber and mint, make it one part Pimm’s, two parts clear lemonade, and one part ginger beer (or ginger ale).

Monday, 1 July 2013

City Daily Photo Theme Day: Façade

The City Daily Photo theme day topic for July is Façade. Here we have Orient House which is opulent and dripping in white marble-type architectural features (a white glazed neo-classical façade to be exact) at its front, ever since 1914, yet the sides are cheaper, rather grubby glass and metal- but they're still original features.

The Manchester History Net website tells you a little more.

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