Monday, 18 March 2013

Sail your dreams at Salford Quays

I devoted today to exploring the Salford Quays.
My journey started at MediaCity. Many future journalists uphold the BBC headquarters as a shining beacon of hope. For me this place has become as a second home.

Detroit Bridge and Eerie’s Rest are located across from it. They are markers of the Quay's past as a renowned international port.

Nearby is The Lowry. It is the place to be if you are looking for an enriching form of entertainment. Though most people are always headed in the opposite direction- towards The Lowry Outlet Mall.

Behind the Lowry is "Where the Wild things are". It connects the Quays and the rest of the world’s ports symbolically.

The Lowry footbridge is a modern marvel to behold, linking the Plaza to the Imperial War Museum.

The Casuals and the Silent Cargos are two statues, distant memories of the previous sailing galore of Salford’s Quays.

This is probably the most sacred ground for football fans from all over the world- the Manchester United stadium. Today it was brought to life by fans coming to see the Red Devils play Reading.

Of course, the Quays will be nothing without its infamous Salford Cranes. The two blue rusty giants are an iconic symbol of the city.

The three Factory Girls, located between the Waterfront and Merchant Quay are to honor female workers, during the Second World War. 

My final destination for the day was Ordsall Hall. This Tudor House serves as the resting place of over 800 years of history.

What I noticed today, was that the Quays are built on dreams of conquering the world by creating connections. Once it used to be a huge world dock, now it is the UK’s center for telecommunications.The Quays are a hidden gem of culture and history.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Ma {gical} nchester

I woke up this morning with the urge for an adventure. During my day off, 9 o' clock is  pretty early  to leave your comfortable 
student accommodation.

A half an hour walk later, I find myself on Cross street in "Pret a Manger". Drinking bitter coffee and munching on  a sandwich, I'm alone, staring at strangers, rushing down the street. I am listening to chatter and laughter. A bitter sweet feeling of remorse entwines me. I find myself dreaming for my past, unwilling to move forward.

But as it always happens, I decide to breakaway form my thoughts and try to enjoy the present moment. Shopping can always help clear my head off things. Staring at displays, bursts of colors , fabric, metal, leather, denim... I find myself surrounded by the roar of loud music and plastic mannequins, at the Arndale center.

What awakens me from my hypnoses is something vibrant, alive.Two words: "Johnnie cupcakes"!! They are the most wonderful thing I have ever seen (and probably the most delicious).

As I exit the shopping center, I notice the Triangle's new display. This is the last day of what came to be known as "The Big Egg Hunt ". Large Easter Eggs are sprinkled all around  town, for explorers of all ages. They have been bought off at an auction and when their "exhibition" finishes, they will go home to their lucky owners. Home...This is a project by Action for children. It is to collect funds in order to provide food for children in need during Easter.

Near the Triangle, the sun shines upon this cafe-pub.

Upwards form the Triangle, on Withy Grove I discover another Manchester gem. An antique bookshop... from which classic music and American talk reeks out. Inside I  find books and comics of all languages, ages and genres.

Behind the Arndale center is the Arndale Market - the place to be, if you are searching for fresh fish and food.

Across form it is the Church Street Market. Behind the label "buy a book, kill the kindle", you can find all sorts of literature at cheap prices.

Further down is a Chinese shop and manicure salon. The designs are so many, and so different, but what impresses me the most are the ones.. with feathers and rhinestones...

In the modern Manchester center there are buildings which seem out off place, it is as if they belong to a different century... The Shakespeare is one of them. Its facade creates a feeling of timelessness.

For a bit of balance, further up I find a castle-resembling office building.

Art is what has always united our human culture. The Manchester gallery is a perfect example of this. Right now it is featuring the works of Raqib Shaw, until the 25th of May.

Where the ancient and modern mix and meet. The Coliseum nightclub on Peter Street inside the Theater Royale building... A venue, which comes alive in the night time.

My final destination is home- to the University of Salford. As I walk back, I realize that there is something magical about a sunny day in Manchester. The places, the people, the food, the music , the books, the sounds of it all paint a diverse picture,which is probably already a everyday manner to its citizens. But if you have free time to take a look at the small details, I'm sure you will be enchanted.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Zombie Apocalypse Take 2- "In the Flesh"

What if you could have him or her back in your life?
I bet that, you immediately thought of a person.
Would you still love them, no matter what they have turned into?
Now, can you please imagine a world where everyone we loved, always came back, but changed. Alive, breathing, eating, being .. but not quite.

The topic and conflict of reanimation, has inspired many, such as author Steven King, in his novel, "Pet Sematary."

So what different perspectives does the  BBC 3 new series, “In the flesh”, bring to the table?
In the flesh” doesn't merely describe the “zombie apocalypse”, it observes its afterwards effects.

The village of Roarton has had it with the undead. After long, difficult battles, they have finally been able to exterminate their immortal enemies.

But, predictably, the NHS has been able to reanimate some of the”zombies” (or “patients of the Partially Deceased Syndrome”) and is bringing them back to their former lives.

Kieren Walker commits suicide after mysterious circumstances . He awakes to a whole new life of constant thirst for brains and death. 

As he is cured from his “disease” he is brought back home to Roarton.
Now, Kieren has to live with the consequences for what he has done during the beginning of his second life.

This might sound to you, as the typical zombie story, but I noticed that there is more to it than meets the eye.
The script ambitiously incorporates many different ideas and motives.
For example, we could find a direct parallel to the parable of The Lost Son.
Upon Kien’s return, his parents welcome him with wide-open arms: unquestioningly, lovingly, ready to accept their child for what he has become.

I’d most definitely recommend this series  to anyone looking for something more than your typical brain-gnashing -zombie -inspired horror film.

Friday, 8 March 2013

Teen idol makes Manchester hearts skip a beat

Heart-throb Olly Murs visited the HMV store, on market Street to promote his new CD- "Right Place, Right Time".

It is exactly 8 o'clock, on a cold November Manchester morning. 
I find myself surrounded by a huge crowd of screaming, singing, dancing college girls (and boys), concerned parents and die hard fans. If luck be it, in a few teeny hours, they'd meet their star.   

I'm in line at the back entrance of the HMV store, located on Market street. 
My goal is to obtain a piece of paper... but not just any piece of paper. A green wrist-band, which would allow me to get a signed copy of an Olly Murs CD.

I see a few girls, already exiting with this most prized possession, wearing but their pajamas.
An hour later, I have, alas, also achieved my goal- leaving with a green band. A few of the lucky 400 chosen ones.

At 4:30 pm, I find myself at the same spot. This time there is no huge line up, just security.
I enter inside the store, holding on tightly to my wrist band, CD and Mirantz. I find myself in a stuffy overcrowded, basement, at the back of another line.
This time the fans are more ready than ever.
They know every single song on Olly's new CD. 
They are wearing his name on T-shirts, on their  faces.

As Olly enters to the set-up podium screams ripple through the crowd.
There is not, but a person who doesn't want to get a piece of him.
A mother pushing her child in a  buggy almost faints at the sight of him.

As I approach this singing sensation, I realize one thing.
From every single perspective, he  acts the star-part. 
He sings along, he dances, he gives out hugs and blows kisses to the loving crowd. 
The moment I reach him, I get a bit star struck: he has such a hypnotizing allure.
I get my CD signed, a photo, a hug, a kiss and I leave the building.. 
for a few moments I dance down Market Street, singing:"oh trouble trouble maker yeah that's your middle name."  

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Manchester Town Hall dissected by protests. Literally!

THE heart of Manchester was split in two halves by riots.
On the 2nd of March, 2013, opposing groups: Unite Against Fascism (UAF) and English Defense League (EDL), cordoned off Albert Square.
A convoy of 300 Greater Manchester Police officers were to keep the two parties separate. At the same time, they were responsible for the safety of civilians.

UAF supporter by Reny Mihaylova
The UAF's riot commenced at 11 am in Piccadilly Gardens. They were directed towards Albert Square at 1 pm.
The UAF protected their views that English cities are "melting pots of cultures."
"Manchester is a multicultural city. It has welcomed people from all over the world for generations,"said Kevin Orr, a protester.
"I think it is appalling that Nazis, like the EDL are allowed to hold a riot in the center of the city."


The EDL's starting point was Water Street. They were escorted to Albert Square at around 2 pm.
 They were protesting against Islam extremism.
"It's not about race, it's about Islam," announces their website.
The EDL believe that a reform eradicating extremism should be established in the Muslim community of Manchester.

EDL riot by Reny Mihaylova

Recap of the day:
  • 15 arrests were made (12 - EDL, 3 - UAF)
  • 700 were the rioters from the EDL, 350 were the UAF protesters

I, personally, take the stand of tolerance. I see the world as a place created equally for all men. But with the fast degradation of our society this idealistic approach is impossible.

Today, both parties pretended to be promoting the same idea: for obtaining peace. This concept was reflected through two separate prisms.
The UAF believe in a community build on the principles of tolerance.
The EDL accept a community where Islamic extremism is abolished.