As one does, i went for a stroll to pass the time of day before meeting my friend for beers and what passes as conversation between two blokes. By this I naturally mean; inconsequential references to all that the internet has to offer, music and what beer to have next. For reference my friend, let us call him Simon as that is his name, had a coconut flavoured rum and coke, but that is his lifestyle choice
But i have digressed before even starting. I swapped the rolling moors of the Peak District, having given up on finding the ability to successfully photograph natural beauty, and opted for Manchester’s streets. And as I strolled down Oxford Road and then up again i was reminded of two instances where kindly developers/owners have tried to blend old buildings with a modern purpose. In this instance, both buildings were former Picture Houses(I like the name “picture house” over cinema, much more convivial, don’t you think?).
The first one, down in the heart of University land is a wonderful box of lurid green and white tiles with a dome on top. Time has transformed this in to a student pub and a plethora of Day-Glo signage, but largely intact. The second is one if those marmite moments in Manchester architecture, orange tiles. I love this style of building, many others, don’t share my enthusiasms.
It was the second picture house that brought to mind a lame family friend, frothing at the mouth and barking a non-existent squirrels.
Is it fair and right to underscore a reminder of the entertaining past in neon red and yellow plastic, cardboard food and hideous uniforms? Should the past be erased and started again, or should we keep a mishmash of styles, ages and tastes? Can they live together or should we just ignore the plastic and revel in the existing little details?
On another note, if you ever want to go to a bar that used to be a toilet, you have the visit the “Temple of Convenience”, just off Oxford Road. Fantastic!