Monday, 26 September 2011

Bold Street Festival - Pavement Art

Yesterday was the Bold Street Festival (Liverpool), part of which was the James Carling International Pavement Art Competition. I'm going to put some photos here in the coming days - here's a bright starter from Italy's Alberto Forlenza. I don't need to identify the subjects.
UPDATE : I've decided that the pavement art photos merit a separate blog which I've called Bold Street Art - this is where all future posts related to the Bold Street Festival will be - http://boldstreetart.blogspot.com


Saturday, 17 September 2011

The Leaving of Liverpool

The Cunard Building being used as a giant screen

QM2 - a firework farewell
The Leaving of Liverpool

The last day highlight of Liverpool's Festival of the Waterfront (8-15 Sept) was the evening departure of the Queen Mary 2 - Cunard's magnificent star of their fleet. There were thousands lining the Mersey at the liner terminal - and the QM2, lit up against the night sky, looked spectacular. A firework display was Liverpool's farewell gift to the great vessel followed by the strains of The Leaving of Liverpool, Sailing, You'll Never Walk Alone and (ludicrously) Z-Cars. At the opening bars of this last tune the QM2 made her excuses with several blasts on the ship's horn (I think they call it a whistle - whatever it is called it makes a lovely, mournful sound) and began a gentle glide from her berth.

I watched as the great lady slowly sailed away and grabbed my last photos of the day. For the geeks my night shots were all hand held at stupidly high ISO and f5 - I had a tripod and all the necessary gear for remotely fired long exposures but there was no chance of setting it up in that crowd and the vantage point really needed to be much more elevated.

An unexpected bonus of the evening was the utilisation of the Cunard Building (the middle one of the 'Three Graces' - you know, the less 'showy' one) as a screen for Cunard images from past and present. I love it when images are projected onto buildings and grabbed lots of pics on the way down to the river. What a great evening - must find out when the next Queen will be dropping in.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

The Four Streets

50/52 Cairns St. It seems unbelievable, but these houses are both 'tinned up'.
I love the care that locals have taken with hanging baskets and painted steel doors.


Street Market - Cairns St (bringing people back into the greenest of the Four Streets)

Beaconsfield Street - spot the cats peeping out of no.70s bricked up window

Three images from the condemned 'Four Streets' in Granby, Toxteth (Liverpool 8). The first two photos illustrate the horticultural beautifying of Cairns Street and the third shows the different approach in the neighbouring Beaconsfield Street, where the bricked up windows and steel security doors have been painted in an attempt to disguise the bleakness that would otherwise exist (as in the nearby Welsh Streets). Have a look at 'Nerve Magazine' for an article about Cairns Street (which contains more of my photos from the last Saturday market of this year on Sept 3rd). I hope the market continues next year -  if the street is still there!
http://www.catalystmedia.org.uk/issues/misc/articles/empty_homes_show.php

"In defiance of interminable cycles of top down ‘renewal‘, people have painted curtains on bricked up bay windows, and planted emptied streets with trees, picnic tables and burgeoning vegetable boxes. On the first Saturday of every month they hold the thriving Cairns Street market, complete with reggae sounds, curry stalls and vintage bric-a-brac, a little piece of 1960s Portobello Road in inner Liverpool" 
the above quote was taken from a footnote by URBED's Jonathan Brown to an 'Architects Journal' article (29-Sept-11) - see following link for full article - http://www.architectsjournal.co.uk/news/daily-news/civic-society-hits-out-at-gleeson-homes-designed-toxteth-scheme/8617912.article

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Super 8


This is the new Liverpool 8 Superstore in Lodge Lane. Breathing new life into this part of the city (occupying the site of a failed KwikSave) this is the place to come for a huge variety of fruit / veg / ethnic groceries & household goods.

Monday, 12 September 2011

The Florence Institute - a scaffoldscape


This is a privileged view from inside the Florrie (8th Sept,2011). It's a heritage open day and I managed to book a tour of this historic building. It's a building site - full of scaffolding. We had to wear steel toecapped boots, hard hats and vis vests as well as signing something that said we understood the dangers and would behave ourselves! This £4m project will provide a great visitor attraction and community resource to Toxteth / Dingle. The current plan is to open in March 2012 - I hope they make that date and I'll be an early visitor.