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Old Posted Jun 29, 2017, 5:14 PM
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BIRMINGHAM 2017 – Nightsky’s trip to 5 English cities

In early April this year I made a trip to 5 cities: Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds and York. I have already visited London twice so I wanted to see something else, in this case some of the largest cities in England. I flew to Luton from Copenhagen and home from Manchester. I travelled with trains and buses between these cities. The weather was exceptionally fine for early UK spring, with mild weather, no rain and sunny more then half of the time.

BIRMINGHAM:


ABOUT Birmingham:
Population: 1 111 000 (metro 3 683 000)
Tallest building: 10 Holloway Circus (130 m, 39 floors, built 2005)
Founded: 1166 (city right 1889)
Ceremonial county: West Midlands
Region: West Midlands
Area: 267.8 km² (urban 598.9 km²)
Year visited: 2017
Birmingham is United Kingdom's 2nd largest city and metropolitan area, after London. The city is known for it's heavy industries and it's heavy music scence (Black Sabbath, Judas Priest), as well as its architecture, large shopping malls and its canals (Birmingham has more canals then Venice!).
Birmingham was a midsized market town in the medieval period, but grew in the 18th century's industrial revolution and enlightement. The name Birmingham derives from Beormingahām, that is Old English and means "home for the people of Beormund". In 1940-1942, more then 100 000 buildings were destroyed by German air raids and many people lost their lifes! Thus, many modern buildings were constructed after the war. Today there are many skyscrapers in the city centre, only London has more. Birmingham's inhabitants are called brummies.
Birmingham is known as a city that is not pretty, but the truth is that it is a rather attractive city today. Gone is much of the industrial feeling, even if you still feel it in many areas today. Lots of supermodern buildings with world class architecture have been built recent years, grey modernist highrises have been demolished and factories and warehouses have been transformed and polished. Today Birmingham is a mecca for shoppers!
At the Bull Ring you find large shopping malls, a market, stores and a historic church, St-Martin-in-the-Bullring. Bull Ring is the centrepiece for shopping, situated in the south edge of the city centre. Selfridges, a very large and futuristic department store, has become somewhat of a landmark building with its smooth futuristic design. The Rotunda is a circular highrise building with apartments.
The New Street Station is so futuristic that it reminds of a sci fi movie after the recent redevelopment. This railway station is situated right next to Bull Ring, and New Street, a popular pedestrian shopping street. Corporation Street is a busy shopping street, filled with large stores and modern lightrail trams. Here you find two important victorian red brick buidlings, Methodist Central Hall and the Victoria Law Courts.
At the nearby Cathedral Square, you find the St Philip's Cathedral from the 18 the century, also called the Birmingham Cathedral, built in baroque style, a churchyard and the Burnaby obelisk. Nearby, at Colmore Row, you find the beautiful Great Western Arcade, and to the north of Colmore Row, the Colmore Row Business Sistrict, where you find office highrises, skycrapers, business hotels and the Snow Hill railway station. This district is very modern and feels exactly like an American city.
The Worcester and Birmingham Canal is a very attractive area with refurbished historic buildings, locks, charming boats, cool new postmodern buildings with restaurants and entartainment and clean promenades to stroll along the water. You walk underneath roads, at canal tunnels. As I walked along the canal, there was a very narrow and dark tunnel with dripping water from above. The Brindleyplace area next to the canal is very attractive with its red brick clock tower at Central Square. Here you find the National Sea Life Centre, Royal Bank of Scotland, Orion Media, Ikon Gallery of Art and the Crescent Theatre. The ArtsFest is held here annually. The Gas Street Basin is also a popular at the canals. The International Conference Centre (ICC) with its Symphony Hall and large atrium leads to another square, Centenary Square. This very modern square in the Westside district is where you find the largest library building in Britain, the 10-storey Library of Birmingham, a high tech postmodern library building from 2013, with glass elevators, a circular atrium, a Shakespeare room and a rooftop terrace with great views. You also find the Hall of Mermory, a historic war memorial, the Baskerville House (an art deco building that formerly was the Civic Centre), the 28-storey Alpha Tower (2nd tallest skycraper, built in 1970) and the very modern glass highrise hotel, the 24-storeyHyatt Regency, that was built in 1990. BT Tower (British Telecom), a communication tower from 1969, is the tallest structure in Birmingham, at a height of 163m (the 103 Colmore Row will be 163m tall when completed though).
Victoria Square is the heart of Birmingham. Here you find the Birmingham Town Hall, a beautiful neo-classical white marble building in Roman neo-classical style, Council Hall, a very large historic building with a cupola, it includes the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. The River, The Guardian and Iron:Manare interesting sculptures at the square, and New Street begins here. The art museum has great collections from all around the world, with a special section from Birmingham, beautiful mosaic windows in the original Industrial Gallery and a beautiful Edwardian teahouse. The entrance is free, and we visited the museum. The Frankfurt Christmas Market is held annually at Victoria Square.
At Holloway Circus, a large heavily trafficated roundabout at the southern edge of the city centre, is the tallest skyscraper in Birmingham, 10 Holloway Circus or Beetham Tower, a blue curved glass building with a Radisson hotel. It was built in 2005, is 130m tall to the spire and has 39 floors. Here you also find the Chinese pavilion and lions. The small Chinatown with its gate is situated right next to it. The Mailbox is a large red mixed use building, between Holloway Circus and the canals. It contains a fancy mall, a hotel, offices and the BBC Studios complete with a free Doctor Who exhibition. Next to the Mailbox is the boxy but futuristic The Cube, a residential building with Lego looking patterns. Thinktank is Birmingham's impressive interactive science museum, also with free entrance. It was built in 2001 in the Millennium Point complex.
Southeast of the city centre, a short walk from the Bullring is the post industrial Digbeth area, where I stayed and arrived by bus from Luton at the Coach Station. A police station, stores and fastfood restaurants can be found here, as well as the hostel where we stayed. Aston, a large district known for the football team Aston Villa and for Ozzy Osbourne's childhood home at 14 Lodge Road, is just North of the city centre. Jewellery District is a nice district just West of the city centre, known for its old historic building and jewelleries. In the south parts you find the University of Birmingham with the world's highest clock tower, Old Joe (about 100m tall) and Cadbury World, a chocolate factory, amusement park and exhibition.
As a post industrial city, Birmingham is a very segregated city with its share of problems, it has for long been known for its high crime rate and unemployment. Large parts of Birmingham's outskirts are now dominated by islamic immigrants, with mosques, halal shops and hijab stores and the majority of the women wear hijabs!
Birmingham has trams (pink/grey/white), double decked buses (most of them red and white), intercity trains and the typical British vintage black taxis.
We stayed at the simple but hip Birmingham Central Backpackers Hostel in the post-industrial Digbeth area, near the Bullring and the city centre. We had only one day to spend in Birmingham, we arrived by bus from Luton the evening before (after a two hour long Ryanair delay!) and took the train to Liverpool in the evening.
The trip to Birmingham was part of a tour in England. We also visited the following cities: Liverpool , Manchester , Leeds and York.


http://www.worldtravelimages.net/Birmingham.html
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Old Posted Jun 29, 2017, 5:15 PM
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BULL RING:
- St Martin in the Bullring, Selfridges, Bullring Market, St Martins Square, Tree of Life, skyline


Bull Ring is a major commercial area in the south edge of Birmingham's city centre. It has been a market since the middle ages. Today it is filled with postmodern and futuristic buildings. There are two large shopping malls, built in 1960 and 2003, Bullring and Bull Ring, connected underground. It is situated on a steep sandstone ridge, bordering Digbeth. There are nice terraces with views of the city at the upper part.

The Selfridges department store (one of only four in the UK), connected to the mall, is famous for its sweeping futuristic design by Future Systems, resembling a jellyfish. It opened in 2003. Inside there is a futuristic atrium with sweeping escalators and a futuristic curved escalator that leads to a multi storey parking garage.
The UK:s 4th largest branch of the department store chain Debenhams can also be found at the Bull Ring complex.

St Martins in the Bullring is a historic church, a great contrast to the otherwise very modern buildings. It is the original parish church of Birmingham, rebuilt in the 1870s in neo-gothic style, replacing the 1263 church that was rebuilt many times. The height of the spire is 61m. In front of the church is St Martins Square, facing a circular modern building.The Bullring Bull, the Statue of Lord Nelson and the Tree of Life memorial with its two hands and insciptions are significant sculptures in the Bull Ring complex. The Tree of Life is a World War II is a memorial to the deaths from the 77 air raids and 365 air raids between 1940 and 1943.

Bullring Market is an outdoor market where you can buy everything, just next to the church. When the redevelopment of the Bull Ring begun in the early 2000s, a ditch from the 12th century and trails of a pottery was found when excavations were made.

The Rotunda is a 25-storey circular office tower, built in 1965. It features apartments and an apart-hotel. In 2004-2008 all walls were replaced by glazed ones.
St Martin in the Bullring, Selfridges 05.JPG by Nightsky, on Flickr
St Martin in the Bullring, Selfridges 01.JPG by Nightsky, on Flickr
St Martin in the Bullring, Selfridges 06.JPG by Nightsky, on Flickr
St Martin in the Bullring 05.JPG by Nightsky, on Flickr
St Martin in the Bullring 04.JPG by Nightsky, on Flickr
St Martin in the Bullring 02.JPG by Nightsky, on Flickr
St Martin in the Bullring 08.JPG by Nightsky, on Flickr
St Martin in the Bullring 07.JPG by Nightsky, on Flickr

http://www.worldtravelimages.net/Bir..._Bullring.html
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Old Posted Jun 29, 2017, 6:01 PM
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VIEWS FROM SELFRIDGE’S PARKING GARAGE:

Views from Selfridges, Bullring 09.JPG by Nightsky, on Flickr
Views from Selfridges, Bullring 06.JPG by Nightsky, on Flickr
Views from Selfridges, Bullring 01.JPG by Nightsky, on Flickr
Views from Selfridges, Bullring 02.JPG by Nightsky, on Flickr
Views from Selfridges, Bullring 11.JPG by Nightsky, on Flickr
Views from Selfridges, Bullring 08.JPG by Nightsky, on Flickr
Views from Selfridges, Bullring 07.JPG by Nightsky, on Flickr
The coach station where my bus from Luton arrived.
Views from Selfridges, Bullring 05.JPG by Nightsky, on Flickr
Views from Selfridges, Bullring 03.JPG by Nightsky, on Flickr
Views from Selfridges, Bullring 04.JPG by Nightsky, on Flickr

http://www.worldtravelimages.net/Bir..._Bullring.html
http://www.worldtravelimages.net/Bir...m_skyline.html
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Old Posted Jun 29, 2017, 11:06 PM
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NEW STREET STATION:

New Street Station 01 by Nightsky, on Flickr
New Street Station 02 by Nightsky, on Flickr
New Street Station 03 by Nightsky, on Flickr
New Street Station 04 by Nightsky, on Flickr
New Street Station 05 by Nightsky, on Flickr
Nightsky, on Flickr
New Street Station 07 by Nightsky, on Flickr
New Street Station 08 by Nightsky, on Flickr
New Street Station 10 by Nightsky, on Flickr
New Street Station 11 by Nightsky, on Flickr
New Street Station 12 by Nightsky, on Flickr
New Street Station 13 by Nightsky, on Flickr
New Street Station 14 by Nightsky, on Flickr
New Street Station 16 by Nightsky, on Flickr
New Street Station 17 by Nightsky, on Flickr
New Street Station 18 by Nightsky, on Flickr
New Street Station 19 by Nightsky, on Flickr

http://www.worldtravelimages.net/Bir...ndcentral.html
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Old Posted Jun 30, 2017, 10:22 PM
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CENTENARY SQUARE:
- Broad Street, Central Square, Library of Birmingham, Hyatt Regency, Symphony Hall, ICC, Hall of Memory, Alpha Tower, Westside


Centenary Square is a square, North of Broad Street, in the Westside district (W. part of city centre), surrounded by very modern highrise buildings, monuments, sculptures and classic buildings. It was named to commemorate the centenary of Birmingham achieving city status. At Centenary Square you find the Hyatt Regency, a 24 floors tall glass skyscraper hotel built in 1990, the historic Hall of Memory, a war memorial erected in 1925, a golden sculpture from 1956 with statues of the three carpet salesmen Matthew Boulton, James Watt and William Murdoch, a lifesized sculpture of a real Birmingham family, the Baskerville House (an art deco building that formerly was the Civic Center) from 1938 and:

The Central Library of Birmingham, the largest public library in the UK and largest regional library in Europe. It is a large building (60m tall) with rare high tech postmodern architecture featuring oriental shapes with golden glass and a mix of rectangular circular shapes. This library was opened in 2013. The building was designed by Francine Houben and is very futuristic and unusual. It is one of the most visited attractions in the UK, and is considered a flagship for Birmingham's redevelopment. Inside the building you will find a futuristic circular atrium with blue neon escalators, a futuristic glass elevator leading to the top and and an observation deck/rooftop terrace with public views of Birmingham. At this modern terrace you find the Shakespeare Room, an old fashioned room with books, the death mask, sculptures and other belongings to William Shakespeare. The library is connected with the Birmingham Rep (Repertoar Theatre), built in 2013. Alpha Tower, built in 1970 near Centenary Square, is currently (2017) the 2nd tallest skycraper, with its white diagonally irregular design. It has 28 floors and is 100m to the roof.

The ICC (International Convention Centre) building that includes the Symphony Hall has one entrance at the square and a large and long very modern atrium that leads to the canal. It was built 1984-91 with blue tinted windows and white stone cladding. The square is a center for many of the city's main cultural events. The Wheel of Birmingham, a high ferris wheel was placed at the square 2005-06.

Broad Street is a busy street that passes Centenary Square to the South, you pass the canal, the Hyatt Regency and Popworld, a former church that is now a fluffy night club.

In the Westside district, you find the Brindleyplace, canalside mixed-use development. Here you find the National Sea Life Centre, Royal Bank of Scotland, Orion Media, Ikon Gallery of Art and the Crescent Theatre. Central Square, the heart of Brindleyplace, is a nice modern square/designed piazza with fountains and many postmodern buildings. The ArtsFest is held here annually. Here you find the Brindleyplace Clock Tower, a red brick landmark, that is part of Three Brindleyplace building in Italian renaissance/postmodern style that also faces the canal. Inside the building is an atrium. Oozels Square is next to Central Square.
Alpha Tower 02 by Nightsky, on Flickr
Alpha Tower by Nightsky, on Flickr
Centenary Square 01 by Nightsky, on Flickr

Centenary Square 03 by Nightsky, on Flickr
Centenary Square 04 - Hyatt Regency by Nightsky, on Flickr
Centenary Square 07 by Nightsky, on Flickr
Centenary Square 08 - Hall of Memory by Nightsky, on Flickr
Centenary Square 12 - Baskerville House by Nightsky, on Flickr
Centenary Square 17 - Family sculpture by Nightsky, on Flickr
Centenary Square 19 - The Cube by Nightsky, on Flickr
Centenary Square 24 -Boulton, Watt, Murdoch statues by Nightsky, on Flickr
Centenary Square 21 - Hyatt Regency by Nightsky, on Flickr
Centenary Square 22 - Hyatt Regency by Nightsky, on Flickr
Centenary Square 23 -Symphony Hall by Nightsky, on Flickr
International Convention Centre, ICC 03.JPG by Nightsky, on Flickr
International Convention Centre, ICC 04.JPG by Nightsky, on Flickr

Library of Birmingham 01 by Nightsky, on Flickr

Library of Birmingham 04 by Nightsky, on Flickr
Library of Birmingham 05 by Nightsky, on Flickr
Library of Birmingham 06 by Nightsky, on Flickr
Library of Birmingham 07 by Nightsky, on Flickr
Library of Birmingham 08 by Nightsky, on Flickr

Library of Birmingham 09 by Nightsky, on Flickr

http://www.worldtravelimages.net/Bir...Centenary.html
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Old Posted Jul 3, 2017, 2:55 PM
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THE VIEWS FROM THE LIBRARY OF BIRMINGHAM AND THE SHAKESPEARE ROOM:

Library of Birmingham 10 by Nightsky, on Flickr

Library of Birmingham 11 by Nightsky, on Flickr
Library of Birmingham 14 - Shakespeare Room by Nightsky, on Flickr
Library of Birmingham 16 - Shakespeare Room by Nightsky, on Flickr
Orion Tower, 10 Holloway Circus by Nightsky, on Flickr
Views from the Library of Birmingham 01 by Nightsky, on Flickr
Views from the Library of Birmingham 02 by Nightsky, on Flickr
Views from the Library of Birmingham 03 by Nightsky, on Flickr
Views from the Library of Birmingham 04 by Nightsky, on Flickr
Views from the Library of Birmingham 05 by Nightsky, on Flickr
Views from the Library of Birmingham 06 by Nightsky, on Flickr
Views from the Library of Birmingham 07 by Nightsky, on Flickr
Views from the Library of Birmingham 08 by Nightsky, on Flickr
Views from the Library of Birmingham 09 by Nightsky, on Flickr
Views from the Library of Birmingham 10 by Nightsky, on Flickr
Views from the Library of Birmingham 11 by Nightsky, on Flickr
Views from the Library of Birmingham 12 by Nightsky, on Flickr
Views from the Library of Birmingham 13 by Nightsky, on Flickr
Views from the Library of Birmingham 14 by Nightsky, on Flickr
Views from the Library of Birmingham 15 by Nightsky, on Flickr
Views from the Library of Birmingham 17 by Nightsky, on Flickr
Views from the Library of Birmingham 18 by Nightsky, on Flickr

http://www.worldtravelimages.net/Bir...Centenary.html
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Old Posted Jul 4, 2017, 5:21 PM
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Centenary Square 17 - Family sculpture

Family sculpture ???
Am I the only one who thinks that there is something wrong with this family?
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Old Posted Jul 4, 2017, 10:17 PM
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Family sculpture ???
Am I the only one who thinks that there is something wrong with this family?
Yeah, probably. But you go on living in 1955.

Fantastic photos of a dynamic and eclectic city... i'd love to get back to Birmingham someday! It looks like the built environment there is changing rapidly!
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Old Posted Jul 5, 2017, 1:29 AM
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Very gothic.
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Old Posted Jul 8, 2017, 1:24 PM
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Thanks for comments!
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Old Posted Jul 8, 2017, 1:26 PM
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CATHEDRAL SQUARE, NEW STREET, CORPORATION STREET:
- St Philips Cathedral, Steelhouse Lane, Victoria Law Courts, Methodist Central Hall, Aston


Cathedral Square, bordered by Colmore Row and Temple Row, is the green space that surrounds the Birmingham Cathedral, also called St Philip's Cathedral. This baroque cathedral, designed by Thomas Archer, was built 1710-25 at a time when St Martin in the Bull Ring became too small for Birmingham's growing population. It is a state church of England and the seat of the bishop of Birmingham, a grade I listed building. During our visit there was a school class going on, so we were by some strange reason told to leave the building after a short photo session. At the Cathedral Square, divided from the street by a fence, you also find a churchyard, the Burnaby obelisk, a high British flag, a memorial to the 1974 pub bombings, statues, beautiful flowers, trees, benches and lots of greenery.

New Street is the main pedestrian shopping street of Birmingham. It is 500m long, has red and brown tiles on the ground and links Victoria Square with the Bull Ring shopping complex. Here you find many popular brand stores. The large New Street Station is not directly situated at New Street, but one block to the South. At New St you find the Piccadilly Arcade, a small but beautiful sloping arcade with paintings in the roof.

Corporation Street is a main shopping street that begins at Stephenson Place at New Street, passes near the cathedral, is filled with large stores and is trafficated by modern trams and double decked buses. Battery powered trams were introduced again in 2015, more then 60 years after the old trams stopped service. There are many Victorian buildings along the road, like the red brick and terracotta Victoria Law Courts with its bell tower, and the similar looking Methodist Central Hall opposite. The mall Martineau Place is also here, as well as an Apple store and a HSBC bank. At Old Square, that Corporation St passes, you find the Tony Hancock artwork and the Hammer and Evil metal bar. At the end of Corporation Street, you reach the Aston district, a working class area. Here you find the Aston University and Ozzy Osbourne's childhood home.

Steelhouse Lane is a lane that goes parallel to Corporation St, filled with redbrick historic buildings, like the Childrens Hospital.

The beautiful, historic, Victorian Great Western Arcade with vintage shops, goes between Colmore Row and Temple Row.

NEW STREET:
New Street 07 by Nightsky, on Flickr
New Street 06 by Nightsky, on Flickr
New Street 05 by Nightsky, on Flickr
New Street 04 by Nightsky, on Flickr
New Street 03 by Nightsky, on Flickr
New Street 02 by Nightsky, on Flickr
New Street 01 by Nightsky, on Flickr

CORPORATION STREET:
Corporation Street 34 by Nightsky, on Flickr
Corporation Street 27 - Methodist Central Hall by Nightsky, on Flickr
Corporation Street 25 by Nightsky, on Flickr
Corporation Street 23 - Methodist Central Hall by Nightsky, on Flickr
Corporation Street 20 - Victoria Law Courts by Nightsky, on Flickr
Corporation Street 19 - Central Hall, Law Courts by Nightsky, on Flickr
Corporation Street 15 - Old Square by Nightsky, on Flickr
Birmingham’s double deckers.
Corporation Street 14 by Nightsky, on Flickr
Metal bar!
Corporation Street 13 by Nightsky, on Flickr
Corporation Street 10 by Nightsky, on Flickr
Corporation Street 08 by Nightsky, on Flickr

Corporation Street 07 by Nightsky, on Flickr
Corporation Street 05 by Nightsky, on Flickr
The new electric trams.
Corporation Street 04 by Nightsky, on Flickr
Corporation Street 03 by Nightsky, on Flickr
Corporation Street 01 by Nightsky, on Flickr
Great Western Arcade 03 by Nightsky, on Flickr
Great Western Arcade 02 by Nightsky, on Flickr
Corporation Street 36 by Nightsky, on Flickr

http://www.worldtravelimages.net/Bir...Cathedral.html
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Old Posted Jul 9, 2017, 9:03 AM
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Originally Posted by BnaBreaker View Post
Yeah, probably. But you go on living in 1955.
Hahaha! And this is the way to the future, you think?
Keep going there, my friend. Will see whose way is right.
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Old Posted Jul 9, 2017, 9:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Boroda View Post
Hahaha! And this is the way to the future, you think?
Keep going there, my friend. Will see whose way is right.
For all you know it could be two friends taking their kids out for a day shopping in the city, strange that you would make such a big thing over a sculpture of a regular everyday scene.
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Old Posted Jul 17, 2017, 12:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonesy55 View Post
For all you know it could be two friends taking their kids out for a day shopping in the city, strange that you would make such a big thing over a sculpture of a regular everyday scene.
That was my interpreting of the sculpture.
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Old Posted Jul 17, 2017, 12:33 PM
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Old Posted Jul 17, 2017, 8:45 PM
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Old Posted Jul 23, 2017, 8:24 AM
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Wow, I think you really catched the new-industria/burnt-brick/wet-cement/futurism-is-our-only-way-out/we-are-still-here/layers-over-layers/retro-futur/post-past/post-war feel of this singular city.
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Old Posted Today, 12:05 AM
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Looks like a fascinating place to see. Thanks.
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