Saturday, 31 August 2013

Manchester, a mugs' game...

On Lincoln Square at the Reuse shop, a row of mugs for all occasions, if the occasion has something to do with Manchester that is... 

Friday, 30 August 2013

Celebrations at the wonderful #WhitworthWeekending

In the entrance lobby of the Whitworth Art Gallery. The eye-catching sculpture is called Genesis and was created by Jacob Epstein between 1929 and 1931.

Get to the wonderful Whitworth this weekend for a variety of activities to celebrate the gallery before it temporarily closes in order to finish off the great new extension in Whitworth Park (reopening in 2014). It seems to have been a long time coming as I remember seeing plans for this extension back in the mid 1990s!

All kinds of activities are planned with a Sunday evening finale from artists Nick Crowe and Ian Rawlinson marking the end of this phase of the gallery’s life with Six White Horses, "a work that is enchanting, beautiful and elegiac." There's a special gig at Band On the Wall too.

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Day trip to Another Place

Anthony Gormley's Another Place consists of 100 cast iron sculptures on Crosby Beach. It is truly amazing and thought-provoking. It's just an hour's drive from Manchester city centre and a perfect day trip. Although the figures stand strong, the whole scene changes depending on the seasons, the weather and the tides' ebb and flow.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

ABC Wednesday: "G" is for Greengate Square

ABC Wednesday where my "G" is for Greengate Square which recently opened- it's just in Salford on the west bank of the River Irwell but a stone's throw from Manchester Cathedral and Deansgate. It should be a great addition to both cities of Salford and Manchester.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Courting off Canal Street

The imposing tower of the Court House on Minshull Street is framed by greenery. The flags of the LG Foundation flutter around the back of Canal Street, including the luxuriant Velvet Bar.

Monday, 26 August 2013

Monday Mural: Bird brain on Stevenson Square

The current crop of Stevenson Square murals are a varied bunch which include two bird portraits by Fauna Graphic, who are responsible for the larger iconic blue tit art on Port Street. Taking part in Monday Murals.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Home Sweet Home is where my heart is @HomeSweetHomeNQ

Come with me to Edge Street where Home Sweet Home's gourmet bake house and coffee bar is a favourite spot of mine, for indoor or alfresco dining and chilling in the heart of the Northern Quarter. 

I enjoy sitting outside and people-watching here. Fresh-baked cakes, great smoothies, free wi-fi and a friendly crowd of happy people, from businessmen to artists - you can't go wrong! Open daily.

Friday, 23 August 2013

Skywatch Friday: Blackfriars House roof garden, Skyliner

Photos courtesy of Hayley Flynn at Skyliner

Blackfriars House on The Parsonage was built in 1925 but this rooftop garden is a welcome recent addition for those that use the office spaces in Blackfriars. I am sure all local readers already know about the wonderful award-winning Skyliner site and its Manchester and Liverpool architecture tours run by Hayley Flynn, which I thoroughly recommend...

Taking part in this week's Skywatch Friday.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Save the Salford cranes @SalfordQuays

One of the few remaining icons of Salford Quays' former glories as a dockyard are the blue cranes. But these are under threat as Salford Council says it cannot afford to repaint and maintain them and will demolish them. Where this to go ahead t would be an act of complete cultural vandalism - and madness - by Salford Council.

A campaign group and petitions to save the cranes are in full flow. There is precious little else of architectural or cultural merit left around this part of the quays. Most buildings are workaday and mundane housing and offices constructed since the 1980's regeneration drive... (I do not, of course, include the War Museum and Lowry theatre and galleries across the water in this statement!).

See also the wonderful Lipstick Socialist blog with a post she wrote on the cranes' history back in May. 

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

ABC Wednesday: "F" is for Friends of London Rd Fire station @ManFireStation

Another ABC Wednesday and "F" is for the Friends of London Road Fire Station. I've posted before about the campaign to save the building from 27 years of Britannia Hotels' neglect.

From Thursday 22 to Sunday 25 August (1.00-5.00 p.m.) the Heritage Hostage Exhibition at Unit 4A Piccadilly Place shows some of the artistic interpretations and  photography of it. See too a Flickr page for views of this wonderful early 20C building. 

Exhibition details also in the poster below- please support the event and follow Friends of London Road Fire Station on Twitter @ManFireStation.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Ruby Tuesday Ontario Basin swimming

The swimmers in the Ontario Basin at Salford Quays always catch my attention. They swim lap after lap and some don't even wear wet suits. It may be a warm summer's evening but the water still looks a bit cold for me. Perhaps they were training for last Sunday's Salford Triathlon? That's way beyond my endurance levels but I can manage to take part in this week's Ruby Tuesday.

Ontario Basin is so-called because the Canadian grain used to be shipped to the Salford Docks where it was unloaded and stored here, before being transported around the UK.

Monday, 19 August 2013

Monday Murals: Manchester Monarch

A lively mural at Monarch Airlines in Terminal 2 of Manchester Airport. A bright start for the thousands of holiday makers passing through this week. Taking part in this week's selection of Monday Murals.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Summer on Church Street

I haven't posted an everyday street scene for ages and this view along Church Street M4 the other day looked rather enticing in the late afternoon sun, so here we are.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Friday, 16 August 2013

Skywatch Friday: On the line on Edge Street

I am unsure as to their artistic meaning but the rows of colourful boots strung above and across Edge Street certainly caught my eye this week. Taking part in Skywatch Friday.

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Turrets & towers on Princess Street

It's always an unlikely sight to my eyes, these gothic fantasy towers and turrets on busy Princess Street. I'd be happy to live in a rounded room like some of these city centre dwellers do. 

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

ABC Wednesday: "E" is for Engels & equality at Chetham's Library

ABC Wednesday comes around to the letter "E" and we visit one of Friedrich Engels' Manchester haunts. Chetham's Library is part of Chetham's School which was founded for the deserving poor by wealthy merchant Humphrey Chetham (1580-1653). Chetham's Library is the oldest surviving public library in the English speaking world.

Friedrich Engels worked at the family factory in Weaste, Salford and lived here for 20 years, often joined by his friend and fellow German, Karl Marx. They researched together in Chetham's Library. Engels wrote The Making of the English Working Class in 1844 and it included much on industrial Manchester, and the pair jointly wrote The Communist Manifesto (1848), On the Question of Free Trade (1848) and England's 17th Century Revolution (1850).

I was fortunate enough to be shown a selection of the actual books Marx and Engels used for their research and was even allowed to thumb through them all. I could literally feel the history...

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Our world Tuesday: Summer shadows

Garden furniture shadows on a bright morning... snapped on my phone. Come back soon Mr Blue Sky... Taking part in Our World Tuesday.

Monday, 12 August 2013

Monday Mural: Ask Akse about James Gandolfini

Adorning one of the walls of Blank Space* in Hulme is this mural of James Gandolfini which I assume was created after his death in June. I don't really watch much tv so didn't know any of the roles he played, but to pass away at the young age of 51 is a tragedy. It's the work of street artist Akse, a French-Vietnamese artist based in Manchester since 1997. See here too.Taking part in Monday Murals.

* Blank Media Collective is a not-for-profit arts organisation that strives to support emerging creativity by providing platforms and opportunities to share it with the wider community.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

A tale of 2 cathedrals...

Manchester Cathedral is closed for major renovations, and services are being held at nearby St. Ann's Church and also in the temporary Street Cathedral (above left and below). An interesting idea...

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Still digging it @DigTheCityMcr

I really dig this office floral tribute at the urban garden festival, Dig the City.
It finishes tomorrow so get into town to enjoy it all.

Friday, 9 August 2013

Urban and urbane gardening with @DigTheCitymcr

The second urban garden festival, Dig the City is in full flow until 11 August. From King St to the cathedral, there are blooms, florists, displays and, of course, places to stop, chat, eat and drink. With the summer heat continuing week on week with only the odd day of grey or rain, the continental vibe that Manchester is always striving for is truly here...

Thursday, 8 August 2013


Looks like there were some foundations of Victorian dwellings here at the back of MMU. maybe Little Ireland?- the houses are long gone and I think a car park was built on top. I try to imagine the original houses....

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

ABC Wednesday: "D" is for Dragonfly club at Castlefield

The Dragonfly club down on Castlefield. I haven't been inside but liked the logo. The club comprises the Dragonfly Suite and Dragonfly Lounge have access to an outside terrace which much in demand in the recent hot weather. ABC Wednesday 

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Work, live, relax, recess.

"Work, live, relax" proclaim the hoardings around the Origin building site. Personally I prefer an order of "live, relax, work" but, either way, the recession (which started so many years ago now) also put pay to the grand design of a hotel, apartments and boutique shops on this site. There are few real signs to the end of this long / double -dip recession in sight from what I can see. Only the opulent Origin website remains optimistic.. 

See a weekly compilation of all kinds of signs from blogs around the world.

Monday, 5 August 2013

Happy summer days...

Seeing these youngsters and their scooters brought back memories of when the long summer holidays of childhood stretched out endlessly in front of you- Six seemingly endless weeks of fun with a seaside holiday thrown in too. The stuff that a content and stable childhood is made of...

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Mini Barcelona

Barcelona bar with a black mini parked outside. Also known as Bar NQ, it's on the corner of Hilton and Tib Streets.  I am never sure if that red and blue uniform means a community police person or a traffic warden?

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Turning it on at Taps

       Taps, a bar on Great Northern Square- nice views to look at from the balcony.

Friday, 2 August 2013

Skywatch Friday: Edwardian angles

The back of an Edwardian warehouse and office block makes up my offering to this week's  Skywatch Friday.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

August City Daily Photo Theme Day: Lamp posts

The August City Daily Photo theme day is lamp posts and I didn't have to walk far to find an example I liked,  especially with those baking hot July skies to frame it against.

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