28 February, 2006

Chorlton Street, 28/02/06

A fantastic instalation on this rather drab and boring building, there should be more stuff like this everywhere. It could well have cost a packet but I don't care, if we are going to have boring buildings in the town then lets make them a little bit interesting.

Portland Tower In The CIS Building, 28/02/06

The fantastic reflection of Portland Tower in one of the many CIS buildings in central Manchester. Both of these buildings are infact very bloody ugly, but the ability to turn them into objects of art sort of makes up for their existence but not by much.

today's recommended piece of obscure Krautrock is Can's - Future Days [Remastered] which is indeed a masterpiece.

Patron Saints In Trouble

I am badly hungover as once again I was celebrating the joys of our multicultural society.

However it must be noted that
Belhaven's St. Andrews Ale is no where near as good as the Old Jock Ale. The latter I can heartily recommend, the other is like dishwater.
Today's recommended vegetable steamer is the Tefal VC400415 Vitamin Plus 3-Tier Steamer Graphite

27 February, 2006

Dangling Cranes on A Monday Morning, 27/02/06

My fetish for the cranes that are springing up all over Manchester is still going strong as this picture clearly demonstrates.
I like the almost luminescent quality that the orange painted metal in this shot has. Especially against the slate grey Manchester Sky. Absolutely no touching up was done top achieve this effect, so there.
I also like the fact that it was just dangling there doing absolutely nothing, as if it is saying hey it is Monday and I am not going to do anything that I don't want to do so there.

I have also found out that for some reason this blog is not available in China for some reason. A friend of mine who is working over there cannot access the site but can access my blogger profile. I have no idea why this is but am proud that I have published something that could cause offence to the so called communist regime in China.
On another not so related note but dealing with another one of my fetishes if anyone could answer the question posed here, there I would be terribly chuffed.

Today's recommended SD card is Viking 512MB Secure Digital (SD)

25 February, 2006

Just off Cross Street, 25/02/06

I have a feeling that this property just off Cross Street has been acquired for re-development for some time. I think it is an undiscovered gem of a place, if this was turned into a proper pub it would be fantastic.

Today's recommended listening is Marconi Union - Distance.

Hungover and Suffering From Insomnia 25/02/06

Old Jock Ale is fantastic and you should all drink loads of it, like I did last night.

When you look at it I was being terribly cosmopolitan.......... I am a Highland Scot living in Salford, drinking a beer brewed in the Scottish Borders, which was purchased in the Lowlands of Scotland. The glass was manufactured by a French company and bought from a Asian Hardware store in Rusholme, and the bottle was opened using a bottle opener bought from the Native people of Newfoundland.

The photograph was taken on a Japanese camera with a memory card made in the USA. Finally the computer I am writing this bollocks on was made in China.

Right then what I am saying is that if anyone says to you that multiculturalism does not work then punch them. My phenomenal hangover is a direct result of multiculturalism in action so there.....

Mosley Street Looking Towards Piccadilly Gardens, 24/02/06

You just know that the building on the left is going to be a complete and utter monstrosity, something really good could have been put in it's place, like a little garden of some sort. Our City Centre is far too overcrowded with shite buildings do they really need to add more to it? and while we are at it we don't need any more fucking shops either...........

24 February, 2006

Sachas, 24/02/06

Sachas Hotel just off market street is a fine establishment. The kind that definitley does not have reputation of being the kind of establishment where ladies of generous virtue spend time with the gentlemen of their choice. Absolutley not, no way not a chance, never in a million years could this be described as a knocking shop as some good freinds of mine from London who stayed there will testify, that it is indeed a fine hotel and one where they would happily stay again.
I personally find the building rather perverse as it does not seem to know what it is doing with bits of art deco styling and god alone knows what the balconies are supposed to be.......

23 February, 2006

Mancunian Way Exit At UMIST, 23/02/06

An apology of sorts I am in no mood to get soaked today bringing fine cityscapes of the wonderful city of Manchester, as our pre-spring monsoon has arrived. The pre-spring monsoon will be replaced with the spring monsoon, and the summer monsoon and soon it will be back to the autumn and winter monsoon. As a friend of mine from India once observed "at least when you get a Monsoon in India you know it is going to fucking stop, it is just constant here". Not being native to this city the rain occasionally gets to me, the natives seem to thrive on it and actually enjoy it for some strange reason. It is quite common for a native here to say "yeah but the rain will soon be on its way" when you innocently remark on what a nice day it has been and how clear and blue the skies are.
The thing that really upset me was that I was going to take some pictures of some ducks that I have grown rather fond off. They have made their home just by Deansgate Locks, and they make the journey into work more bearable. As I pass them, they frolic and do duck things, this morning the little swine were being terribly difficult to photograph, so they will be saved for another day.

Hardy's Well, Rusholme, 22/02/06

At the bottom of the Curry Mile you come across Hardy's Well, a fine pub staffed by some of the most wonderful and awesome barmen in the area. The pub originally started life as the Birch Villa Hotel, then changed to the notorious Birch Villa Inn. The current landlord has made a few changes inside, which has dramatically improved it. He has alos has recently doubled the number of real ales they sell to two......
The unnamed barman (who is incidentally the most wonderful and awesome barman in the pub) above is showing his contempt for John Smiths Extra Smooth by not giving each pint the attention it deserves, but it is John Smiths.........

22 February, 2006

Tropical Palm Massage on Reyner Street, 22/02/06

Reyner Street is a little back alleyway just off Chinatown, I love exploring back alleys as you sometimes find a hidden gem. This is not one of them and considering that someone who typed "cycling lycra fetish" into yahoo came across my site posting this may encourage a lot more of that kind of thing.
However I have always been fascinated by the more seedy side of city life, especially in the UK, and especially outside of Soho where euphemisms reign supreme......... Tropical Palm Massages being one of the most common in our rather repressed society. Of course I could be horribly wrong after all as it is attached to a health studio and it could be perfectly innocent.
The lines from Iggy Pop's The Passenger "I see the bright and hollow sky, Over the city's ripped backsides" seem to fit in well here for some strange reason........ I also like the way the face on the billboard is looking round the corner in a conspiratorial fashion.......

21 February, 2006

Shudehill Metro Station, 21/02/06

For some strange reason the metrolink station at Shudehill has this very nice roof on top of it, I am not sure why this is and don't really care. The two photos I posted today were taken within an hour of each other and both show dramatically different skies, just with till the summer when we get 5 different types of weather in one day.

Portland Tower from Sackville Street, 21/02/06

From the Portland Street side this building is a monstrous carbuncle, a blight on the city centre, a disgusting monstrosity that should be destroyed. From the Sackville Street side it is fantastic, they should redo the whole thing in yellow!!!!!!!.
This has been a fairly surreal day in Manchester I saw some bloke walking through Piccadilly Gardens with a pink Stetson on, and 5 minutes after taking this shot someone asked me where the massage centre was. Most importantly I got a new camera a Nikon Coolpix 2200 for 58 quid from Morgan Computers, stuff fancy digital SLRs and phone that take pictures I want a camera that can fit in my pocket and that no one wants to steal........... Mr Pretzels is a happy man today.

20 February, 2006

Hulme and Canal Street, 20/02/06

The world is full of photos of security cameras and here is my contribution to an overcrowded genre of photography. This one lives at the end of Canal Street nearest Piccadilly, and lets face it it is really a bit pants.

I am much much happier with the second shot taken somewhere in Hulme. It has the word Aquarius on it which is supposed to be the age we live in. I am also getting increasingly frustrated with using an old camera which is held together with tape and rubber bands, roll on pay day.

A big thanks to Life In Stuttgart for the Plug on his Blog

17 February, 2006

Back of Charles Street Carpark, 17/02/06

The space between the back of the Charles Street Carpark and the railway bridge as it heads towards Piccadilly Station from Oxford Road station offered itself up this morning. I often walk this route between work and Oxford Road.
This morning I had the idea that it represented two different modes of transport that feed the city both of which involve being cooped up in horrible metal boxes, one with loads of smelly sweaty commuters, the other invariably has only one occupant. I hate commuting by either method, by rail is just horrible and frustrating having to share my personal space with other people who smell bad, the other is horrible and frustrating due to the amount of other idiots on the road but at least it is air-conditioned.

16 February, 2006

Out of Breath and Suffering From Vertigo, 16/02/06

Today I walked up the stairs to the top floor of my work which is situated in the basement of the UMIST main Building (Sorry University of Manchester Sackville Street Building), it is part of my general health kick that I am doing this once a day and it is not fun at all.

Right at the top of the building as you look out at the Whitworth Street side there are a few grotty little windows which this picture was taken from. It is an experiment to see what would happen, as a result it almost looks like you are viewing through a rater grotty Television. I also like the feeling of claustrophobia that you get here as you look out between the northern quarter and the town centre. I also like the change in perspective you get from this vantage point, but not the feeling of vertigo I got from up there.

15 February, 2006

Dramatic Clouds and Barber Shops, 15/02/06

Island Monkey had an interesting piece on a new film about Lord Longford that was being shot in the Northen Quarter of Manchester this morning. I therefore decided to take a quick look at lunch time to see what was going on. On the way there I spotted some dramatic clouds over the building site that will be Piccadilly Place, and since this fits in well with my current fetish about all things to do with new buildings and cranes it was too good a photo opportunity to miss.
Alas when I got to Tibb Street in the Northen Quarter there was nothing interesting there. Nothing other than this row of shops. Hussain's Barber Shop has always intrigued me. I have only seen it whilst rolling round this part of town late at night, this was my first visit to it during the day. I was amazed to find that it is not in fact a barber shop but a trendy shoe shop, this makes it better as they have decided to keep this wonderful shop front, and long may they continue to do so.

General incoherent Cycling Rant, 15/02/06

I normally stop off at Castlefeild Basin for a quick drink on the way to work as it is about half way there. Last night I was enraged by Richard and Judy's piece on cycling on their not very entertaining evening magazine show.
It is not enough that we cyclists run a daily gauntlet of motorists, pedestrians and Busses, but we also get constantly get attacked in the media as being "Lycra Facists" with no respect for human life. In al my years cycling I have never encountered a "Lycra fascist" and would spit in their eye if I did.
OK I admit to occasionaly running a red light and mounting the pavement but there is a reason for this and that is normally my own self preservation. How would you like to share your journey home with a bunch of double Decker busses, driven by borderline psychopath? Well that is what cyclists have to deal with everyday.
I also admit to shouting abuse it other road users, but only in cases where I have felt my life to be endangered, and I am not really in a fit frame of mind for rational discourse with all that adrenaline pumping through me.
In my time as a cyclist I have been cut up, deliberately forced off the road, hit a pedestrian who stepped out in front of me at 20mph which resulted in a really bad case of bursitis, and had abuse thrown at me by motorists for absolutely no reason. All of these things tend to leave you unhinged and also contribute to a general lack of rational frame of mind.
Myself and most other cyclists do not break the highway code more than most motorists and we have an equal right to be on the road, all that we ask for is a little consideration. Remember that we are the most vunrable road user and should be treated as such.

14 February, 2006

URBIS, 14/02/06

Possibly my Favorite building in Manchester is the URBIS building, I think it is awesome, and a great example of modern architecture. Once inside it shows folk what a museum / Art Gallery really should be. They are also totally wonderful and put up a picture by my totally wonderful girlfriend as their picture of the week on the 6 to 12th February 2006 and she is a far better photographer than me.

13 February, 2006

Spring Gardens, 13/02/06

The site of the Old Post Office on Spring Gardens and glad to see the back of that monstrosity we were. The sense of overcrowding in this part of the city is quite acute, and I think it will only get worse when the new building is complete in the meantime this is a view that we will definitely not see in a few years time.

On the minus side though I miss my camera that died on the weekend and my old 1.3 mega pixel camera just does not cut the mustard.

The Curry Mile in The Rain, 12/02/06

A view from Manchester's famous so called Curry Mile which is actually more like half a mile long. Still this section of Wilmslow Road apparently generates almost as much revenue as the centre of Manchester does on a Saturday night. I Highly recommend visiting the Punjab Tandori as it is fantastic, I do not recommend visiting the worlds worst Kwick Save which is also there unless you have special massocistic needs.

12 February, 2006

Intermission (Donkey in Heaton Park Earlier This Year), 12/02/06

My camera has died on me boo hoo, so there will be a brief intermission whilst I go back to my old 1.3MP Fuji camera. I am saving hard for a new Digital Camera which will is highly likley to be a refurbished job from some dodgy shop near Piccadilly. So in the meantime here is a Donkey in Heaton Park looking really pissed off, and to be honest I don't blame it either.
The cross on the Donkey's back is where Jesus sat on his donkey and is a gift from the lord to them. I doubt the validity of this story as it was told to me in th pub, but why let the truth get in the way of a good story, especially one with a donkey in it.

11 February, 2006

Combustion, 10/02/02

I love this scuplture representing combustion, it lives outside the Reynold and Faraday Under Graduate Buildings on the UMIST campus (sorry University of Manchester North Campus). To me it captures the essence of combustion and fits in well with the surroundings. Unlike the stuff I saw at British Art Show 6 at the Manchester Art Gallery which was a pile of steaming horse poo.

10 February, 2006

Corner of Canal St and Sackville St. 10/02/06

I have been cycling past this bridge everyday and have been fascinated by the building work being done and looking at how it is being supported during the renovation work. I was aiming for a bit more of an abstract feel than I achieved here once again my refusal to lie down on the ground to get the right angle for the shot is interfering with my creativity.

09 February, 2006

The Old Fire Brigade Headquarters, Fairfield Street, 09/02/06

What a fantastic building and I only noticed it today after a friend of mine pointed it out to me. This was the old headquarters for the Fire Brigade in Manchester as the badge on the building proudly states..........

I love this type of attention to detail in old buildings because it says that the architects and town planners saw these things as being important and were making a statement about it. Looking at the towers above the station you see sculptures of sentinels and eagles which are there to watch over and protect the city, fantastic stuff and pretty dam inspiring.............

Prisoners of Our Own Paranoid Delusions in Salford, 08/02/06

Opportunism is the name of the game. As I was waiting for the security guard to open the gate of this secure car park somewhere in Salford this shot presented itself to me. It got me thinking is all this security really necessary, or is it a product of our own paranoid delusion. It is an integral part of city life and human nature, where so many humans are cramped into a tight space together. I love the countryside as it gives me a sense of freedom, but I love the vibrancy of the city as well, and this paranoia seems to be part and parcel of living alongside a couple of million other people in a highly un-natural environment.

08 February, 2006

The Steps to Harry's Bar 08/02/06

The steps leading down to Harrys Bar on the old UMIST campus now the North University of Manchester Campus. This was an experement which was only partially sucesfull the overall affect I was trying to create was of stepps going off into infinity. I could have started from a lower camera angle but am too self-concious to lie on the ground.

07 February, 2006

Princess Bridge and The Manchester Ship Canal, 07/02/06

Continuing my odyssey of highly amateur photos of Manchester, the above shot was taken from Princess Bridge on the border of Manchester and Salford. Apparently according to my not so trusty A to Z it is over the Manchester Ship Canal. I don't believe it myself, I always assumed that it was the River Irwell. There is cause to celebrate though rather than a dull and drab grey sky more colours are poking through, and today I caught a glimpse of the sun behind the cloud, though this does mean that the inevitable rain is on its way.

Another reason to celebrate is the uncharacteristically empty bike rack at my work, which they are also painting. I hope that my mountain bike appreciates the new colour scheme......

06 February, 2006

Piccadilly Place and The Dept. Of Employment, 06/02/06

This is one of the reasons I started doing this Manchester is undergoing quite startling changes in topography to massive rebuilding of once dormant sites. The above photo shows the building of Piccadilly Place from the side entrance of the UMIST building on Whitworth Street. I am fascinated by the building process and impressed at the optimistic it brings will there be a new sexy building there in a years time? I hope so........

On the other hand walk a few hundered yards up the road and the old Department of Employment Office is there, in all its disgusting glory. The sooner this building is torn down and destroyed the better, I would love to see some greenery here though. There is a plethora of new building going on around Manchester lets have some green spaces too please.......

The Mancunian Way, 05/02/06

When I was a lad comics such as 2000AD promised us things like highways in the sky, towerblocks that were miles high, jetpacks and many other things. As you can see from this scene of the Mancunian Way in Manchester that they were totally making this up, this has left me bitter and twisted my childhood dreams have been stolen.
One Motorway in the sky crossing the centre of Manchester past the Metropolitan University and the University formerly Known as UMIST just doesn't cut the mustard. The general heights of the buildings is also disappointing. The only thing this road is good for is bieng bloody dangerous to get onto, traffic jams and not really going anywhere.

04 February, 2006

Ring Around The Ring Road, 04/02/06

Visitors to Manchester would be well advised to avoid the Inner Ring Road in the city, and if you find yourself there then get off it as quickly as possible. It is like a big circular black hole blockading the city, once on it all you can do is hope to achieve escape velocity. The above photo of what was once "The Manchester Coffee House" on the corner of Whitworth Street and South Pump Street was taken before such an adventure on the inner ring road.......
This was my second attempt to get off the ring road at Sudehill which failed miserably, as I wished that I owned a crane hire company as they must be making a small fortune here right now............. It only took two circuits of the ring road to get off this time and I have been living here for 4 years today, I know from bitter experience what happens to newcomers to this city on the inner ring road, and it is not nice so avoid it at all costs.

Looking Towards Manchester From Salford, 04/02/06

Citys and people wake up in the smae manner slowly and reluctantley. You can easily spot that dam Hitlon building imposing itself upon the Manchester skyline, spoiling my view of the city from this 17th floor vantage point in Salford.

03 February, 2006

Dam Buses on Witworth St, Lunchtime 03/02/06

Manchester apparentley has the largest student population in Europe, it also is reported to have the buisiest bus route in Europe, along the Oxford Road Corridor. It also has an insane number of bus companies offering a range of fares that are highly varible for the same journey. It is obvious to the casual observer that Manchester City council does not have a sane transport policy at all. This is why I cycle whenever possible avoiding as many bus routes as possible, look at the number of busses in this scene!!!!! not one of them is more than a quarter full, and how much crap are they chucking into the atmosphere? A lot more than me leaving my telly on standby thats for sure.... This is why I feel that cycling is the only sustainable form of urban transport, buy a bike save money on bus fares and get healthy it is a win win situation.

The Hilton Building Again 03/02/2006

What a fantastically photogenic building even though I have real mixed feelings about it, especially how it completely breaks through the Manchester skyline. However it is the tallest building in the UK outside of London, so a major poke in the eye for everyone else neh neh.
This was take from the last lock along the series of Deansgate locks before you enter the Castlfield basin. I like the word juxtaposition, and the juxtaposition of the older red brick buildings in front, the cranes add an almost sinister touch to it as well. I am quite probably talking bollocks here.

02 February, 2006

Rush Hour Outside Jimbo's on Dickinson Road in Rusholme 02/02/06

An absolutely dreadful pun but I could not resist it and neither should I have. Being a pretentious arty farty type I also love the juxtaposition of fish and chips with Chinese meals, it says everything that is good about the polymorphic thing that is modern British culture.

Rochdale Canal @ Deansgate Locks 02/02/06

Deansgate Locks is full of pretentious trendy bars that should be destroyed, however if you cycle past them on the Rochdale Canal you come across this quaint building. The should really do something about the bloody awful modern windows there though, and the blue railing as well.

Castlefield Basin 30/12/06

Due to and Uncharacteistic cold snap the Castlefield Basin was partially frozen on this morning. So these poor sods were going nowhere, unlike me who was charging around this wonderfull city on my mountainbike in the cold, and it was bloody freezing.