Tag Archives: Liverpool

A rare thing indeed

Reid shop window

After the demise of Waterstones in Bold Street, see my earlier post: http://bit.ly/1W4XOBF bookshops in Liverpool are becoming few and far between. Reid of Liverpool is one of the few independent booksellers left in this city. A very rare thing indeed.

Reid of Liverpool is a traditional antiquarian & used bookshop, established in 1975. Over 40,000 titles of a most varied stock, from academic, science, fiction, unusual and arcane.

Reid of Liverpool

If you are interested in more go here: http://bit.ly/1W6fMc8

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Filed under Books and authors, Liverpool

A farewell to Waterstones, Bold Street, Liverpool

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I’m seldom moved by the closure of something so mundane as a shop, after all they do come and go on the high street, these days with ever increasing frequency. But this is different, this is personal.

I discovered the sad news via Twitter that my favourite bookshop and coffee bar is to close in February 2014. I suppose the writing was on the wall. The academic section on the top floor has been empty for a while and Waterstones had opened a ‘flagship’ store in Liverpool One. This new bookstore is large and well-stocked but it just doesn’t have, for want of a better word, ‘soul’ like the Bold Street bookshop. It’s too clinical and corporate – too spacious even. For me the old Bold Street Waterstones had everything a good bookshop should have. Multiple floors, well-stocked shelves, a good choice and an excellent children’s section. The staff were always helpful and the place had a small and ‘family’ feel about it.

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Over the years I have always spent time there every week, often to buy books for myself, my wife Gina or close friends. I made a point of purchasing my Christmas gifts there in the last few years as I wanted to give the place a fighting chance. Not that my small endeavours would ever amount to a rescue package – but I did make the attempt. I would even see a book I wanted on line, make a copy of the ISBN no etc and order it from the book counter at Waterstones Bold Street. They would even send me a text once it had arrived. Sure, it was a slower way of getting my books, but so what – the shop was far more important.

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But all this has been to no avail and the fine old place is to close after all. I’m devastated and looking at the torrent of tweets I’m not alone.

I can only hope that the staff in the bookshop and in the Costas coffee bar all manage to find work elsewhere.

Bold Street has lost a jewel and will never be the same again. So farewell Waterstones you will be sadly missed but never forgotten.

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Filed under Liverpool, Uncategorized

Thought for Friday

Poster on St. Lukes (The bombed out church) Liverpool

Poster on St. Lukes (The bombed out church) Liverpool

I hope that 2013 will be a good year to you and to us all.

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Not Christmas Shopping at the Museum of Liverpool

Museum of Liverpool

Museum of Liverpool

I carefully planned my time and recently put a day aside for Christmas shopping. This was to be an expedition to Liverpool city centre to finally begin to tick off presents for people on my list. No I’m not being organized, not at all, more like planned chaos and panic. All late and not very many good ideas.

I set off with thoughts along the lines of ‘why do we do this to each other every year’ and ‘this is madness, I’ve no idea what to get so-and-so’ and I’m really too busy for all this… You get the idea. At least it’s not Christmas Eve and buying what’s left at the local all night garage. Not quite.

On the drive in to Liverpool it was mutually decided that we (my wife was with me) couldn’t face the city centre after all and so we headed for the Albert Dock instead with the idea we could combine shopping with a visit to the Tate to see the Alice in Wonderland exhibition currently showing.

Walking through the Dock after parking up and putting the dread of paying the parking fee later to the back of my mind we looked across at the Museum of Liverpool. Now, we both wanted to visit the new museum, but we simply hadn’t had the time. (Being self-employed can make time management difficult). But we thought, now or never, and headed over to the sparkling ultramodern structure.

The museum was designed by the Danish practice 3XN and the exhibition areas by the Los Angeles-based exhibition and theme park designers BRC Imagination Arts. (Not much local talent there then).

Rowan Moore of the Observer had this to say back in July:
How can this have happened? How could so many positive words – “regeneration”, “vision”, “culture” – plus so much public and private funding, plus so much scrutiny by bodies such as the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, have led to what now stands on Liverpool‘s waterfront? How could so many noble titles – Unesco world heritage site, capital of culture, the “Three Graces” – have been bestowed on what is, to use a sophisticated critical term, a godawful mess?

If you want to read the complete review go here.

I’ve lived in Liverpool all my life and the ‘Three Graces’ are simply beautiful, but I don’t find the new Museum of Liverpool a ‘godawful mess’ (possibly the black structures nearby maybe).

I realize that the finished design is not exactly as 3XN would have wanted it but looking at their website they are certainly proud of the end result. There is no intention to compete with the ‘Three Graces’ and the structure remains firmly in it’s own space and it’s own century.

The museum was a pleasure to explore and the light and views from the huge windows at either end of the building very much bring the outside in and almost become part of the exhibits themselves.

A view from the Museum of Liverpool

A view from the Museum of Liverpool

The interior is a little dumbed down but not excessively so and there is a great flexibility built into much of the interior space.

Outside the light sparkles off the materials used and although the landscaping remains unfinished the potential remains for an impressive visitor experience.

Fitting well into it’s allotted space the Museum of Liverpool tells a positive, uplifting story of Liverpool despite the city’s varied fortunes over the years.

Wall painting

Wall painting

I for one enjoyed the my visit and driving back I realized that I still had my Christmas shopping to do… Oh well, there’s always the all-night garage.

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Filed under Architecture, Liverpool

Farewell Everyman – for now…

Everyman theatre

Everyman theatre at 10.00pm 2 July 2011

I gathered with others last Saturday evening to watch the end of an era as the Liverpool Everyman theatre closed for a two-year refurbishment.

The lettering appears on the roof

The lettering appears on the roof

One by one letters appear on the roof of the building…

With a flash of fire the letters ignite

With a flash of fire the letters ignite

The Everyman says farewell in a blaze of light…

See you in a couple of years! Goodbye for now…

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Thought for Friday

One of the greatest things in life is spending time in public places with the people you love. These spaces can better serve the people who live, work, and play in them. Candy Chang

I wish sticker

I wish this was sticker

Walking up from town today in the pleasant sunshine I couldn’t help but notice the number of shops along Bold Street (Liverpool) that had closed and were now empty, sadly Oddbins now among them. Then I came across this via Design Observer and thought it was a brilliant concept.

“Many cities are full of vacant storefronts and people who need things. … I made these fill-in-the-blank stickers to provide an easy tool to voice what we want, where we want it. Just fill them out and put them on abandoned buildings and beyond. It’s a fun, low-barrier tool for citizens to provide civic input on-site, and the responses reflect the hopes, dreams, and colorful imaginations of different neighborhoods.” Candy Chang, designer, artist, urban planner; www.candychang.com

More I wish stickers

I wish stickers in action

Candy Chang is a public installation artist, designer, and urban planner who likes to make cities more comfortable for people. She co-founded Civic Center, an urban design studio in New Orleans where she combines architecture, graphic design, and urban planning to make thoughtful public spaces and communication tools for everyday issues of city life.

Candy Chang

Candy Chang

She’s passionate about redefining the ways we use public space to share information important to our neighborhoods and to our individual well-being.

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Made me think

 

Futurist cinema

What remains of the Futurist cinema

The Futurist Cinema was very popular and managed to retain its hold even after competition from the huge Paramount (Odeon) and Forum (ABC) opened which sometimes forced the Futurist into taking off-circuit films.

Not much of a future here these days. I can’t remember the films I’ve watched in the Futurist over the years, but I always loved the name. I’m sad to see it in such a bad shape. The font looks like Futura, very apt in an ironic way.

 

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Filed under Art, Liverpool, Made me think, Typography