Thursday, 31 July 2014

London Road Fire Station gig tonight! @JoshuaBrooksMCR @ManFireStation

8.30 tonight at Joshua Brooks. Live music, £5. Same Old Story - a fundraiser for the iconic at risk London Road Fire Station. A campaign which I've supported here before (so I won't repeat myself as to exactly what it is nor on the shameful company that has allowed it to go to ruin...)

A Greater Manchester Fringe Festival Event. 

★ Empire Signal, described by City Life as “stadium fillers in waiting”
★ Factory Acts, an electronic duo “at the edge of the analogue-digital divide”
★ The Fourth Circle “inspired psychedelic rock”
★ The Bones, a beautiful new acoustic duo
★ Additional entertainment will be provided by Rachele Whatever, who will perform her political punk poetic music, with Kelly Blue on DJ duties.

Raising funds for the October SoS Solutions conference, to pay for expert participation to end this 28 year stalemate.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

ABC Wednesday: "C" is for Commonwealth cleansing ...

Linked to ABC WednesdayThe Commonwealth Games taking place at present in Glasgow reminded me it's 12 years since the Games were held here in Manchester. This was the heart of the 2002 Commonwealth Games (the stadium that is, not the terraced housing!) held in Manchester. 

Rising above the houses and a school the City of Manchester stadium at Eastlands was purpose-built for the 2002 Commonwealth Games, after which it was adapted for use as a football ground for Manchester City.  Now it's known by the name of the current big name football club sponsor but I'll always call it Eastlands.

So, the Commonwealth games can bring some sporting facilities and improvements for the masses- housing, sporting venues and pubic transport improvements were Mancunians' gains over a decade ago. I hope that Glasgow's population get these and more. I am not sure whether the common wealth goes where it should?

However, as for the actual Commonwealth Games, we should not forget their roots- a symbol of the oppressiveness of the British Empire. A Britain (well, probably just England in reality) who invaded, subjugated and oppressed across the globe for a couple of hundred years. Why, in 2014, are 70 countries joining England to take part in these games? - it is a example of how easy it is for the establishment to whitewash history and airbrush the evil legacy that the games stem from.

In 1930 in Hamilton The British Empire Games  started, actually in the era where the Empire countries were slowly striking back and heading towards regaining independence from their masters.

The first British Empire Games 1930 The British Empire and Commonwealth Games 1958 

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Art in the park

Reusing an old plastic container, some painted metal tubing and here we have a wind chime, maybe a bird feeder, or even a bird scarer. Or maybe it's just a fine piece of urban art in All Saints' Park. 

I'll always remember the time a young student stopped me and asked if All Saints Park was named after the band of the same name. Bless! ....I gave her a quick but friendly history lesson, based on this.

Monday, 28 July 2014

Monday Murals: Slow worm wear your jacket graffiti

This is graffiti and not street art. There are no two ways about it, painted as it was on the subway under the Mancunian Way. Slightly amusing but it would probably not wind people up if it was in a legitimately sanctioned space for street art... I am unsure if the worm means anything!

Taking part in Monday Mural at the Oakland Daily Photo blog.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Barbirolli not so square

Offices at 100 Barbirolli Square, complete with palm trees. It's named after the English conductor and cellist John Barbirolli (1899-1970). Barbirolli is best remembered for being the conductor of Manchester's Hallé Orchestra from 1943 to 1970.

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Downtown Havanchester

The old car (although British from 1969), the bright sunlight and the paint-peeling buildings near Cord Bar remind me of Havana in Cuba.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Salfordian summer

A summer's evening at Ontario Basin, Salford Quays. The light , greenery and boulevard could almost be continental...

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Tourist season...

It was a hot day on Deansgate, too hot to be wearing a rucksack that's for sure, and even hotter still if you were lost. I had just got back from a far hotter Istrian coast the day before and could relate to the vagaries of map reading on street corners and tracking down historic monuments and other holiday destinations.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

ABC Wednesday: "B" is for Bill's, breakfast to bedtime

Taking part in ABC Wednesday. Bill’s Restaurant opened recently on John Dalton Street in a blaze of well-placed social media publicity – well, I certainly saw a lot about it on the twittersphere. 

Although it looks independent it’s actually a chain and this is the 39th Bill’s. Starting in East Sussex as a local fruit and veg place I believe. The retro touches make it look appealing enough. I will pop in for a coffee to check it out as it's "open from breakfast to bedtime".

I have yet to try it myself and wondered what they cook for vegan and veggies- too often this is an afterthought with some restaurants. Here too it seems, Just two of 14 mains courses, so not that good in my book. In this supposedly enlightened , more cruelty-free, health-conscious world, I am still surprised at the lack of healthy cruelty-free catering on offer in general.

But back to "B" and I'm also amazed at how artisan beef (and beyond) burgers seem to have taken off recently in Manchester- and I assume beyond - and don't get me started on the plethora of Brazilian restaurants (I can think of three; two in the city centre and one in Altrincham) that only serve beef and meat. Blood trickling across my plate? no thanks... 

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Middle-aged man of the people- #Morrissey makes World Peace

World Peace is None of Your Business- the new Morrissey album is now out. although long gone from his Mancunian homelands to a more reclusive lifestyle in, I believe, L.A, Morrissey still speaks for many of us. Especially when he is talking about animal rights or the monarchy then he is spot-on. I must read more of his musings...

Taking part in Our World Tuesday.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Monday Mural: Thirsty Scholar, Mod's Cafe

The Thirsty Scholar by Oxford Road station does a mean line in food on Mondays, courtesy of Mod's Veggie/Vegan CafeTaking part in Monday Mural.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Urban Psychosis @HoldenGallery

A fascinating multimedia exhibition at the Holden Gallery at the moment (until 22 August in fact). Urban Psychosis features eight artists; interpretations on the modern city’s intensity. In particular those moments when the intensity flips into a state where reality is obscured. 

Some powerful and thought-provoking pieces. Gillian Wearing  dances to a tune in her head that only she knows (not in above photos). Moyra Davey’s Subway Writers (second photo above) features a range photos of those absorbed in writing while commuting- I found this the strongest piece as I can relate to getting lost in the moment and zoning out into a singular faraway state while on the busiest of public transport networks. 

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Weekend Reflections: Spinningfields' 1950s resistance

Summertime in Spinningfields and a 1950s office block is offset by a modern neighbour. Taking part in Weekend Reflections.

Friday, 18 July 2014

Jazzwatch Friday...

The 19th Manchester Jazz Festival starts tonight, and there were plenty of interesting characters in town last night, as the final preparations took place. Taking part in Skywatch Friday.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Ornateness of a Thomas Street chimney stack

Look up as you wander down Thomas Street. This is possibly as close as Manchester gets to that lovely Flemish architectural style which is so prominent from Ghent to Amsterdam.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

ABC Wednesday: "A" is for Abito - "I inhabit"

"Abito" is the Italian for "I inhabit/live" and this is one of two Abito blocks in regenerating parts of Salford. This one is near Manchester Cathedral and Arena, the other is at Salford Quays. Designed as modular pods for affordable city living, they are great fun to live in, all have a balcony, ample storage and, maybe surprisingly, there is actually enough space for one person to live comfortably in too.

ABC Wednesday starts all over again at "A" today; another six month-long round of global blog posts.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Factory Records / Paradise Factory on Charles St

A famous local landmark, the home of Factory Records - which later became the Paradise Factory nightclub. It's still a vital part of Manchester's club scene to this day...

Monday, 14 July 2014

Spinningfields' silver service

This American-style silver-coloured diner looks striking in the sunshine. 

(This was taken three summers ago in 2011).

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Friday, 11 July 2014

An ordinary view? Jaded eyes no more...

It's funny how we all take our own cities for granted and how some street views become humdrum. I try to see everywhere from a new-person-in-town, tourists' point of view. Maybe shots like this of Whitworth Street West might be a visual feast to a newcomer, with its range of architectural styles and towers, old and new.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Kingfisher Bridge, Styal Woods

Kingfisher Bridge in Styal Woods, with the River Bollin below. A favourite walk of mine...

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

"Z" is for Zetland Terrace

ABC Wednesday comes back to "Z" and here we are at Zetland Terrace on Chorlton Green. Zetland Terrace is a row of houses which were built way back in 1883. 

It's handy for the wonders of Beech Road's craft shops and cafes, pubs such as The Horse and Jockey, The Beech and the Trevor Arms, Chorlton Green itself and only a short walk from the nature reserve. I spent a very happy decade in this area a long time ago...

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Vintage lamp post

This street lamp is such a fine piece of art that it could hold its own inside the City Art Gallery, the outside of which it lights up nightly.

Monday, 7 July 2014

Monday Mural: Sunshine Dance Studio

I'm not sure whose tag this street art is or if it is meant to signify anything, but I like the 3D effect. When closed, like today, the Sunshine Dance studios on Newton Street can roll down the shutters to reveal this "canvas" and a dull space is invigorated. Win-win! Linked to Monday Mural.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

The Lawns at Spinningfields

Bars like The Lawns (above) at Spinningfields do improve the atmosphere of the otherwise rather corporate glass and steel feel. The peripheral touches in the area help too, such as the various pop up events, vintage food vans, restaurants from Thai to Aussie, occasional film and art (as well as Artzu gallery), not to mention the Shakespeare (see my 1 July post).

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Since 1876, Manchester Tennis and Racquets Club

The Manchester Tennis and Racquets Club is a "perfect example of a Victorian Sporting Club with many impressive original features". They have been established in this characterful building on Blackfriars Road for nearly 140 years. The game of "real tennis" that is played here dates from the 15th century; rackets was a 19th century game developed in prisons. Squash, a modern interloper, is played here too.

Friday, 4 July 2014

Laundry Cottage Garden

At Laundry Cottage, on the Dunham Massey estate- how nice to have a cottage to send one's laundry to. A nice blue sky, an English country garden in full bloom and all is right with the world (kind of). 

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Juice and deuce at Mr Thomas's Chop House

Hot summer evenings lead to many of us going outside if we can, but here a couple of people seek the cool of Mr Thomas's Chop House as people clock off for the day. At least they get a good view of the tv with tennis from Wimbledon.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

"Y" is for Ye Olde Wyche Theatre, Nantwich

Nantwich has a lovely traditional covered market as well as stalls that fill the perimeter. The building behind this florist is Ye Olde Wych Theatre which was built in 1919. 
Taking part in ABC Wednesday.

The Nantwich town council website is not alone in stating that "Historically, salt production was a major activity in the town. In the days before refrigeration it was the main method of preserving food. The Saxon word for an industrial settlement, often based on the availability of salt, was ‘Wich’. The ‘Nant’ in ‘Nantwich’ is probably derived from the Old English ‘Namet’ (the most famous) or the Welsh ‘Nant’ (place in a river valley)."

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

City Daily Photo Theme Day: Celebrating Summer

Celebrating Summer is the City Daily Photo Theme this month (easy for us in the northern hemisphere but less so for the many City Daily Photo bloggers in the southern hemisphere or tropics ;-> I'm intrigued to see how they'll deal with this...).

For me summer in Greater Manchester is all about walks in the countryside, family time and reading in the garden, long light evenings sitting outside bars, and taking summer holidays to destinations near and far. But midweek when I am in the city, like so many others, I cannot resist the urge to sit outside and make the most of the sunshine we do get. 

This is a typical scene at The Lawns in Spinningfields. With so many bars to choose from, crowds gather here for after work drink and deckchair sessions. There is also the large outside screen which caters for many tastes, screening sporting events and classic films. Best of all, this July will see open-air Shakespeare take place here, with Macbeth and the Comedy of Errors.

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