I love the wit in Birmingham’s subcultures. Mario, is that yow ar kidder?
Yes, I love Brownhills, and I’m very fond of Walsall and Lichfield too. But there will always be a special place in my heart for Birmingham – like most kids who grew up in Brownhills, I hopped on the Midland Red and developed an attachment to Brum as a teenager. Working there, passing through, after decades I still adore the place.
Sorely maligned, this wonderful city has so much to offer. Visiting early yesterday before it got too busy, the first thing I did was visit a high multi-storey car park to catch the view in the beautiful morning sun. Afterwards, a little shopping, the German Market, big wheel and new library.
I’m not a fan of the exterior of the new one, but inside, despite the clear corner-cutting in construction, it’s very much a temple to learning, and I was very impressed. The views from the terrace garden are incredible. It’s a great asset.
It was liberating to visit without the bike once in a while, but the crowds soon got to me, and having done my shopping I returned home happy.
As ever, loads more of this stuff on my 365daysofbiking journal.
That terrace is ace, and open to the public.
I adore the Selfridges building. The aluminium discs were made in Walsall, too.
I love the way the new Bullring made a centrepiece of St. Martins – an otherwise odd but handsome church.
The density of the sprawl is breathtaking.
Of course, the fruit and veg market was up and bustling way before we got here.
Over there, Barr Beacon and Walsall.
The Moor Street Viaduct. It must have been one hell of a project. ‘Paddy, will you lay us some bricks?’
Cute chocolates on the German Market.
The sun was beautiful, and the city very quiet.
This wee dancing puppet was accompanying a busker in High Street. I never noticed the interesting array of surrounding stuff when I took the photo.
Love the elegant curves of the Bullring car park ramp. (No, seriously I do).
Over to Eastside, the new development frontier.
Camp Hill, Tyseley incinerator running in the distance.
On the side terrace, there’s a bird garden. This pied wagtail was having a ball.
The sunken coffee shop was a surprise. A great view from the Big Wheel, and only £4 a pop.
Not often you get such a good view of Brum
The colour. The characters.
I can’t get used to the legobrick feel of the new library, but it’s an interesting new focus as you cross Paradise Forum.
Across the rooftops to Lee Bank.
That skyline. I could look at it for hours.
The wheel fascinated me. I spent ages looking at the hydraulic drive wondering how it all packed away.
Sadly, with the dismantling of the microwave network, the BT tower is looking very forlorn without it’s antenna.
So many spires, towers,cupolas and yes, even the odd minaret.
Lines and circles are very much the theme of the library architecture. I was surprised how open the terrace was.
Alpha Tower, one of my favourite Birmingham buildings.
Oh, brave new world.
Beneath, the city is waking up.
Digbeth is a hive of industry.
I’m sure the model for this drinks in Brownhills….
Beneath all that, a sprawling, mostly flooded nuke-prrof telephone exchange, called Anchor.
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