My Favourite Paintings In The Louvre

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The Louvre *

 

The Louvre museum in Paris has one of the most impressive collections of paintings by European Old Masters in the world. Perhaps the only museum to really rival it in this field is the Prado in Madrid (the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the National Gallery in London and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York are a few close contenders). But not only does it house an impressive collection of paintings and sculptures from that age, it also has a substantial collection of Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Islamic and other World artefacts through the ages.

In this post I am listing my favourite paintings from the enormous collection of paintings on display by Old French, Italian, Flemish and Spanish Masters

 

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Nicolas Poussin (1594 – 1665) – Saint John Baptising The People (1634-5) 

Many art writers and historians argue that Poussin was the first great French painter who changed the face of art in France and blazed a trail for all French artists who came after him. The art scene in France during his time was very staid (yet in a state of transition finally moving away from the traditional apprenticeship methods of working) and for this reason he spent most of his life in Rome. The American author Micheal Kimmelman goes as far as saying that Poussin was, ”the springboard for the greatest French artists from David to Matisse”

 

 

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Claude Lorrain (1600 or 1604/5 – 1682) – Port With Capitol (1636)

Claude was another great French painter who like Poussin spent most of his life in Italy. He was also a prominent landscape painter. As can be seen in the port painting, the landscape was the dominant subject. At the time, making the landscape the dominant feature of a painting as opposed to actual figures/subjects was seen as groundbreaking. Claude’s paintings were an enourmous influence on the dramatic abstract-like landscape paintings of the revolutionary British painter J.M.W.Turner.

 

 

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Adolphe-Joseph Monticelli (1824 – 1886) – The Diner 

Monticelli was a very individual painter with his own unique style. What is even more amazing is how ahead of his time he was regarding his unusual style. Like the other great French painter, Eugene Delacroix (whose oil sketches Monticelli highly admired), he predated the Impressionists by many years.

 

 

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Herman Naiwincx (1623-1670) – Baptism Of The Ethiopian Eunuch 

 

 

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Alexandre-Gabriel Decamps (1803-1860) –  A Begger Counting His Money (1833) 

 

 

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Jean-François Millet (1814-1875) – The Hay Trussers (1850-51)

Millet was a huge influence on Vincent Van Gogh and this painting, as well as being a landmark work of art, perfectly encapsulates what Van Gogh first set out to achieve when he established himself as an artist. Van Gogh had a strong desire to paint the rural folk and their way of life as can be seen in his early paintings such as The Potato Eaters and many of his early sketches.

 

 

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Jules Dupré (1811-1889) – Sunset After A Storm (1851)

 

 

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Eugène Delacroix (1798-1863) – Pietà (1837)

This is a gem of a painting by the great French painter Eugene Delacroix. What is amazing about this painting is, stylistically, how loose and free it is and one could argue that it is a strong example of proto-Impressionism since it predates the movement by four decades (give or take a few years). Furthermore, Delacroix was an enormous influence on that generation of artists. In fact many argue that he planted the seed for the Impressionist movement.

 

 

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Jaques-Louis David (1748-1825) – Death Of Maret (1794)

This painting is of the murdered leader of the French Revolution, Jean-Paul Marat, and is one of the most iconic images of its time.

 

 

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Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732-1806) – Rinaldo In The Gardens Of Armida

 

 

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Cimabue (1240-1302) – The Madonna And Child In Majesty Surrounded By Angels

Cimabue was a revolutionary artist. Arguably the first of the major early Italian Renaissance artists and the first artist to break away from the traditional Italo-Byzantine style art of the time. The above painting is one of his series of famous Maestà paintings.

 

 

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Giotto di Bondone (1266/67 – 1337) – The Crucifixion

Giotto was a student of Cimabue and along with him a major artist of the early Italian Renaissance movement.

 

 

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Lo Spagna (d. 1529) – St Jerome In The Desert (1531)

 

 

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Antonio Campi (1522-87) – The Mystery Of The Passion Of Christ

 

 

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Bartholomé Esteban Murillo (1617-82) – The Young Begger (1645-50)

This painting, for me, is striking for it’s gritty realism and social context. It was painted towards the end of Spain’s Siglo d’Oro (Golden Age) around the middle part of the 17th century when Spain had an enormous global empire. But what is clear is that, as evident by the acute poverty in the painting, it wasn’t a Golden Age for everyone. Much of Spain’s wealth accumulated from its former colonies was squandered on wars and in spite of its global clout at the time, the Spanish Crown filed for bankruptcy several times.

 

 

By Nicholas Peart

26th October 2016

(All rights reserved)

*image source: symmetrymagazine.org

Touring The Local Pubs Of Glasgow

Earlier this month I visited and stayed with a couple of friends of mine in Glasgow. I had an absolutely stellar time over there. Yet one integral aspect of what made my time in Glasgow truly memorable was visiting some of the city’s local boozers. In this article I will be selecting some of these pubs which I particularly enjoyed.

 

 
Kelly’s Bar

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This pub is a proper authentic Irish boozer located off Polokshaws Road south of the city centre and an important part of Glasgow’s traditional and historic Irish community. My friends both took me there on my first night in Glasgow after we had a delicious vegetarian Indian feast at nearby Ranjits Kitchen. As we all ordered pints of Tenants a stocky Irish lad was playing songs on his acoustic guitar. Many of the songs were traditional Irish songs with a smattering of pro IRA ditties thrown in for good measure. You can take it or leave it, I suppose. But I like this pub. Not many outsiders venture here. There is nothing ostentatiously hip or pretentious about this place and if you want a cheap pre or post curry pint, you could do far worse than rock up here. Most of the time the pub is refreshingly devoid of big crowds except when Celtic are playing.

 

 
Saracen’s Head

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The Saracen’s Head, or ‘Sarries Head’ as its better known to locals, is a notorious Glasgow pub directly opposite the Barras market and very close to the Barrowlands concert venue. As I was ordering our drinks, I was mulling over whether to order a separate glass of the infamous Glasgow brew called Buckfast Tonic wine. The guy serving me was three parts Billy Connolly and two parts Gregor Fisher. He gave me a strong look to break my indecision and said, ‘ya cannoe gorra Glasgow and no av a wee bita Buckfast lad’. It seemed I had no other choice in the matter.

 

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At the Saracen’s Head pub with my Tenants and Buckfast

 

My friends and I found a corner of the pub to sit down. There I was with my Tenants in one glass and deep crimson Happy Shopper cassis in the other. I approached the Buckfast like it was a glass of black mamba venom. This toxic liquor was absolutely vile. I badly needed a kale, kiwi, cucumber – you get the picture – one of those uber healthy raw juices to cleanse by desecrated internal body after this legendary assault.

 

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Not feeling the Buckfast

 

 


The Star Bar

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The Star Bar is located on the corner of Pollockshaws and Eglinton streets. On the surface this is an unassuming and nondescript place. But once you open the doors and enter you are immediately catapulted into a genuine and uncorrupted slice of Glasgow. All the Rab C Nesbit stereotypes are pungent here. Yet this place exudes warmth. My principle reason for coming here was to sample their 3 course meal for only £3! I have never heard of anywhere else offering such deal. I loved the sound of it and I thought it would be rude not to resist.

 

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I couldn’t say no

 

The landlord was monumentally friendly to an outsider like myself and even offered me a free half pint of Carling as I was about to order my drink. A salt of the earth person with a heart of gold. I was very touched. My starter came in the form of canned minestrone soup. I could handle it, almost.

 

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Course One: Canned minestrone soup

 

Then for my main I received a Scots pie with fat green beans and boiled potatoes. This was by far the most ‘wholesome’ part of the three course meal even if the pie and mince inside was about as processed as processed pies got but you would have to be a real wolly to complain considering the price. And besides, I would be dead offended to be served anything remotely representing ‘gourmet’ quality here.

 

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Course Two: Scots pie with potatoes and green beans

 

Finally for dessert (or ‘sweetie’ as the landlord called it) I was served green jelly, tinned fruit and cream in a small tin cup. This was more challenging. I could handle the fruit but not the rest.

 

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Course Three: Green jelly, canned fruit and cream

 

 

 

The Brazen Head

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Further up Pollockshaws road and past the Star is the Brazen Head. I was expecting a gritty, rough and tumble affair judging by some of the online reviews I’d read. The Sunday Times even wrote an article on it entitled ‘Inside the Gorbals hardest pub’. Yet I was unexpectedly surprised to discover a rather pleasant and friendly Celtic Irish pub. On the other hand it was verging on dead when I was there save for two or three long timers. Perhaps I should go there when the football is on to give this place a more realistic assessment? I found a corner at the far end of the pub nestled amongst a galaxy of Celtic memorabilia. The widescreen plasma TV was on mute as I quietly drank my pint of Guinness.

 

 

The Alpen Lodge

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Around central Glasgow station are a number of down and out local boozers which are unlikely to ever make an appearance in a Lonely Planet guidebook. The Alpen Lodge is one of those places. Here it is semi packed yet everyone mostly keeps themselves to themselves. There is absolutely nothing remarkable about this pub but if you want to visit an authentic Glasgow boozer, albeit uncomfortably voyeuristically, you can do far worse. After a while I just wanted to get the hell out of here. Out of all the pubs I had visited in Glasgow, it was here where I felt the most self conscious. Yet as I drank my pint of Tenants in haste, I discovered a very enlightened poem on the wall next to me entitled Smiling which began…

‘Smiling is infectious,
you catch it like the flu,
When someone smiled at me today,
I started smiling too…’

I read the entire poem and immediately felt more relaxed and at ease. I savoured the remainder of my pint.

 

 

The Laurieston

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Saving the best til last, The Laurieston is the granddaddy of all the pubs I’ve mentioned. An institution and a unique and untouchable gem of Glasgow. What a place! On the outside it could be mistaken for a typical council estate drinking den. This pub is similar to the Star Bar in some ways. Both places exude legendary Glaswegian warmth and are as authentic as pubs get. Yet whereas the Star Bar projected a fatigued and rather downbeat vibe, here the energy is infectious. What’s more, all kinds of people come here; long timers, football fans, students, local trendies and even a smattering of tourists like myself. It was on the awesome recommendation of my Glasgow based friends that I first became aware of this place. This pub has been in the family for decades who, amazingly, have so far resisted any offers to sell the place. The family who own the Laurie are very proud of their pub and I feel a change in ownership could potentially dent a great part of what makes this pub truly special.

 

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Inside the Laurieston 1

 

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Inside the Laurieston 2

 

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At the Laurie sipping my pint of Guinness

 

As my friends and I sip our pints, I venture over to the jukebox which is free. There is a large selection of songs much of which are from old 60s, 70s and ‘Now That’s What I call Music’ compilations. I select Blondie, Thin Lizzy, The Troggs and Status Quo before I return to my friends and my pint of the black stuff.

 

 
By Nicholas Peart

26th October 2016

(All rights reserved)

My Favourite Things To Do In Liverpool

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Liverpool waterfront*

 

Liverpool is a great city to visit. There are simply tons of things to do here to occupy you for at least several days. I was in Liverpool for only a few days and I still feel like I would like to go back and visit certain places I didn’t get the chance to visit this time around. However I did do some internet research before coming to Liverpool and already had a few specific places in mind which I wanted to visit. There are all the obvious sites such as all the Beatles related landmarks (which I could not possibly shun especially since I myself am a huge fan of their music). There are also some world class art museums such as the Tate Liverpool and the Walker Gallery – sadly I didn’t have enough time to visit the latter although I hope to visit it on another trip to Liverpool. If I do return to Liverpool I would like to explore more of the city’s local arts and music scene. There is a building on the waterfront, right by the Tate Liverpool, which houses the Liverpool Maritime museum and the Slavery museum – both definitely worth a visit to gain a better understanding of the city’s history. Like Glasgow further north, the shipping industry flourished in Liverpool during the 19th century and brought incredible prosperity to the city. At one point Liverpool was wealthier than London. Evidence of this past wealth can be seen in many of the architecturally beautiful buildings dotted around the city as well as the rows of handsome Georgian houses on many of the city’s streets.

Below I am featuring certain sites and places in Liverpool which I particularly enjoyed.

 

Beatles Landmarks

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Those Fabulous Four**

 

For me my favourite Beatles related thing to do is to visit the houses where John Lennon and Paul McCartney grew up. There are some agencies which offer tours but in reality you can visit independently. However if you want to go inside John Lennon’s house that can only be done via the tours offered by the National Trust. Both houses are located several kilometres outside of the city centre in the suburb of Allerton. I decided to check out Macca’s childhood gaff first but before I did I thought it would be rude if I didn’t break the journey in Penny Lane which is located en route via the 86 bus from the centre. The Penny Lane street sign is completely defaced just like the Abbey Road sign at St Johns Wood in London. I ask a passerby to take a photo of me next to it. Listening to the music of the Beatles and my second favourite band from Liverpool, the La’s, I develop many romantic notions in my head of the city some of which I can’t explain in words. Penny Lane is quite an ordinary street yet it’s thrust and propelled into a dauntingly significant part of history because of that song.

 

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The Beatles song Penny Lane was named after this street

 

I get back on the 86 bus before disembarking at the junction of Mather Avenue and Forthlin Road. The latter street is where Paul McCartney’s childhood home is located. Macca’s house is very modest and nondescript. Now I am sure he can easily afford to buy up the whole street and still barely make a dent on his vast fortune. There is no one else on the street but myself until a few moments later a mammoth tour group arrives all descending on Paul’s humble childhood abode.

 

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The childhood home of Paul McCartney

 

John Lennon’s house is located about 20 mins away off Menlove Avenue. To get there I walk via the Allerton Golf club. I am using Google Maps on my iPhone and try to utilise the shortest route possible. Lennon’s childhood home is larger than Macca’s with its own front drive. A blue plaque adorns the front of the house. There is the option to enter the house if you do one of the National Trust tours yet I feel there is nothing more I need to gain. I would rather spend that time losing myself in his amazing music.

 

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Outside John Lennon’s childhood home

 

I return to the city centre from where I take another bus north east of the city to the suburb of West Durby. It is here on a leafy and seemingly affluent street with some lovely villa-like properties where the Casbah Coffee Club was once located. It was established by Mona Best (the mother of Pete Best, the original Beatles drummer who was unceremoniously fired from the band just before they hit the big time) in the celler of their substantial family home in a beautiful rural setting to provide a space for local bands to play and socialise.

 

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The Casbah Club was located in the celler of the pre Ringo drummer, Pete Best’s, family’s home

 

The club was established in August 1959. It was here where the Beatles, then known as the Quarrymen, played their first gig. This was before they would regularly play at the legendary Cavern club in the centre of town which at the time was only putting on Jazz.

 

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Outside the famous Cavern Club which was the epicentre of the early 1960s Merseybeat scene in Liverpool where the Beatles regularly played before they hit the big time

 
Chinatown and St Luke’s Church

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The famous Chinatown Arch

 

Liverpool’s Chinatown is the oldest Chinatown in Europe. I’ve already touched upon this historical part of Liverpool in a separate post which can be viewed here. The roots of Liverpool’s Chinese community date back to the 1860s with the establishment of the Blue Funnel Shipping Line by Alfred Holt and Company which employed many Chinese seamen who came all the way from Shanghai. The original Chinatown was established around Cleveland Square close to the docks. When that entire area was bombed during the Second World War, a new Chinatown was established on Nelson Street and surrounding streets where it continues to flourish today.

 

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St Luke’s church

 

At the intersection of Berry and Renshaw streets which marks the unofficial beginning of Chinatown is a bombed out church called St Luke’s, which was destroyed during the Second World War. This church reminds me of St Dunstans to the East in the City Of London close to Tower of London.

 

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St Luke’s church today resembles more an ancient negleted ruin as a result of heavy bombing during World War Two

 
The Ye Cracke and Dispensary pubs

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The Ye Cracke pub

 

The Ye Cracke pub is a great old fashioned pub on Rice Street off Hope Street, close to the Philharmonic Hall. This place is crammed full of early pre Beatles history. John Lennon’s uncle was a regular here as was John himself and his girlfriend Cynthia when they were both at art school in the 1950s. I love this pub. When I stopped by one mid afternoon there was just a mere smattering of punters and I had a whole wing of the pub to myself. I ordered a pint of Thwaites for only a couple of quid. In my corner Beatles related artwork by local junior artists adorned the walls.

 

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Inside Ye Cracke. Notice both the black and white photos on top left corner which feature a young pre Beatles John Lennon from the 1950s. John was a regular here.

 

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At the top of the photo is a very early back and white Beatles photo when Pete Best was still in the band

 

In front of me was a turquoise portrait of John Lennon by a local artist. In the portrait, John’s face appears tired and washed up; like he’s been on crystal meths for two weeks. In the entrance there are a few black and whites photos featuring a young John Lennon in the 1950s plus one of the very early Beatles line up when Pete Best was still in the band.

 

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The Dispensary pub

 

The Dispensary pub is a cracker. A proper place with all the original features, warts, shit stains and all. Something of a rarity today. And boy do they do amazing ales. Have a pint of the Plum Porters. It is one of the best and tastiest ales I’ve ever had. The songs Hush, Mr Tamborine Man and Tiger Feet seem to be on continuous repeat on the jukebox. Being here I feel like I’m in the Newcastle pub Michael Caine enters at the beginning of Get Carter where he asks for a pint of bitter ‘in a thin glass’. On various online forums there is a lot of talk about the pub’s notorious ‘volatile’ landlord, ‘Crazy Dave’. Immediately I think of the low budget 1993 US film Red starring legendary hard man Lawrence Tierney as the cantankerous and unstable landlord of some dive bar in Philadelphia. In the film he gets periodically prank called and every time ends up losing his shit at the offender down the phone. I was at the Dispensary two times and on both occasions Dave was present. In the wake of reading all the online stories about him, I felt a perverse temptation to add to the existing chain of Crazy Dave agro and order a Smirnoff Ice with a straw but I chicken out. Astonishingly, on my second visit Dave recognises me and greets me with an unusually cordial ‘alright mate’. Yet examining him further, he looks like the sort of person who wants to keep his place local and wouldn’t hesitate to crush a Shoreditch trendy like a butterfly on a wheel if they rubbed him up the wrong way. This is a place where Trip Advisor reviews mean jack shit. The Dispensary ain’t The Old Blue Last, that’s for sure

 


Breakfast at Shiraz Café

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Full English breakfast at Shiraz café

 

Come to Shiraz, located on Williamson square, for breakfast (or lunch) and order the Full English Breakfast for £5.50. This is one hearty and powerful Full English. My only complaint about it is the black pudding ring which at times feels like you are chewing on a cooled melted ice hockey pick. Yet apart from that the breakfast is top here and great value. All stripes come to Shiraz. This is an institution and an invaluable reference point if you are ever hungry and don’t want to break the bank. The Full English aside, Shiraz also does good size portions of cheap no nonsense comfort fare dishes like Chilli Con Carne, casseroles, lasagna etc. On one of my many trips here I ordered a half roast chicken with a mountain of fries, rice and salad for a little under £6. The vegetarian Mediterranean breakfast is a healthier alternative to the full English but before you order it request that they don’t put so much sauce over the feta salad which on its own is perfectly fine. A good local cafe/restaurant which I highly recommend.

 
Zanzibar club

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The Zanzibar club***

 

Whilst in Liverpool I wanted to find a good non pretentious live indie/rock music venue similar to the Camden Barfly in London or the now defunct CBGBs in New York. There is no shortage of live music venues in Liverpool yet I hand picked this venue because of its focus on unsigned indie/rock bands and also it’s history especially regarding the city’s local music scene during the last 15-20 years. During the early 1960s the Cavern Club on Mathew Street was the epicentre of the emerging Merseybeat music scene with the Beatles it’s most successful band. Then later towards the end of the 1970s during the whole punk and new wave movements the nearby club Eric’s also on Matthew Street was the centre of that scene where local bands of that time such as Echo And The Bunnymen, The Teardrop Explodes and The Mighty Wah emerged from. The Zanzibar club located on Seel Street, which has a number of trendy bars and clubs, has been an integral part of the local Liverpool music scene for close to 20 years. Two key Liverpool bands, The Coral and The Zutons, used to gig here regularly when they were still relatively unknown. Noel Gallagher also once played a solo gig here in 2003. I came one Saturday night when four local unsigned bands were playing. I managed to catch two. Neither band was particularly original nor did they ooze much charisma or play a set that was truly memorable. On the other hand the first band where the members were around the 19-20 mark played a good tight set. Perhaps with time their musical influences will expand and they may start making some very adventurous and challenging music. It is incredibly hard and gruelling work being in a band in these digital post internet days (unless you are the Rolling Stones), especially with the collapse of much of the music industry. In a way I think local bands should be supported now more than ever before. Most bands essentially do their best whether I am a fan or not.

 

By Nicholas Peart

 20th October 2016

(All rights reserved)

 

*Image source: http://www.wikipedia.com

**Image source: http://www.bilboard.com

***Image source: http://www.mycityvenue.com

 

Photographs from Liverpool’s Chinatown

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The Chinatown quarter of Liverpool has a very interesting history. It has the unique distinction of being the oldest Chinatown in Europe. During the 19th century when Liverpool was a thriving and increasingly prosperous port city through the booming shipping industry, and when Britain was an enormous colonial power, it was trading with most of the world.

The seeds of Liverpool’s link with China go back to 1834 when the first ship from China arrived in Liverpool to trade products such as cotton wool and silk. Yet it wasn’t until the creation of the Blue Funnel Shipping line in the 1860s by Alfred Holt and Company, which employed many Chinese seamen, when the first real migration of Chinese to Liverpool began. This shipping line established robust trade ties between the cities of Liverpool, Shanghai and Hong Kong.

The Chinese seamen who stayed on in Liverpool settled by the docks on and around Cleveland Square, where the Holt Shipping Company built boarding houses for them. This was the beginning of the original Chinatown in Liverpool. Around the 1890s, some of the Chinese settlers set up their own businesses mainly for the sailors who worked on the Holt shipping lines.

When the First World War broke out in 1914, there were around 6000 Chinese seamen in the British Merchant Navy with a quarter of them in Liverpool. Much of the original Chinatown around Cleveland Square was destroyed during the Second World War. Liverpool was already by then a city in economic decline.

The Chinatown one sees today in Liverpool was only established in the 1970s on Nelson Street as its official street, although it extends along Berry Street up to where the bombed out church, St Luke’s, is located. On these two streets and some surrounding streets are a plethora of Chinese restaurants and some supermarkets such as Chung Wah and Hondo. The imposing and ornate Chinatown Arch at the beginning of Nelson Street was officially opened in the year 2000 on Chinese New Year. The arch was constructed from an estimated 2000 block components manufactured by the Shanghai Linyi Garden Company Ltd and shipped over to Liverpool from Shanghai along with twenty specially selected Shanghai craftsmen to build the arch.

 

Text and Images by Nicholas Peart 

19th October 2016

(All rights reserved)

 

 

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Photographs from The Barras

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The Barras*

The Barras is a popular weekend market in Glasgow in Scotland and the biggest in the city. It is located in the East End district and right by the famous Barrowlands concert venue where many well known bands and singers have played.

The genesis of the market goes back to the early 20th century where traders would be selling their products from handcarts (‘barras’).

Many different types of items can be found here. It is a great place to hunt for bargains. You may get lucky and find a rare vinyl record for a few coins or a scarce out of print book or perfectly fitting tweed jacket in excellent condition for a fraction of its real value.

Most of all, it is the atmosphere and energy here which is the main draw for me. If I find something I really like for a good price, that is a bonus.

After the market, head down to the nearby Saracen’s Head pub (or ‘Sarie’s Head’) for a Tenants and (if you are feeling a brave) a Buckfast tonic wine.

 

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Text and Images by Nicholas Peart

18th October 2016

(All rights reserved)

*Image source: yelp.com

Baba Vanga: The Nostradamus Of The 20th Century

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Vangelia Gushterova or Baba Vanga as she was better known was born on January 31st, 1911 in Strumica, former Yugoslavia. She is often referred to as the Nostradamus of the 20th Century for her prophecies and unique ability to foretell the future

 

The Life Of Baba Vanga

When Baba Vanga was only three years old her mother died and her father went to fight during the First World War meaning she grew up pretty much alone. Her father later remarried when she was seven years old and at the age of twelve they all moved to a town called Novo Selo where Baba Vanga went through a period of tremendous unhappiness.

One day something unusual happened which would change her life completely. She was with her cousins outside when a powerful tornado appeared and proceeded to catapult her into the air and into a field of crops some distance away. When she was eventually found in the field after a long search, witnesses say that she was very frightened and in considerable pain. Her eyes were covered in dirt and dust and she ways unable to open her eyes because of the pain. The incident left her permanently blind and she was sent to a home for blind people in a town called Zemun until the age of eighteen. Afterwards she came back home to care for her brothers and sisters after her stepmother passed away. It was during this time back at home when she experienced unusual metaphysical activities. She would often dream, hear voices, have visions and even communicate with the dead and plants. More significantly, she predicted many events which came true with unbelievable accuracy.

Some days before her death on November 11th 1996, she said the following worlds in a TV interview, “Don’t hate each other, because you are all my children!”

Also, some time before her death, she said that a blind 10 year old girl living in France would inherit her gift, and said that the world would soon hear about her.

 

Baba Vanga’s Prophecies and Their Significance Today

Many of Baba Vanga’s predictions came true. Some of the more recent events happening in the world today most notably the 9/11 attacks and the rise of ISIS have been linked to Baba Vanga’s prophecies and have put her in the spotlight.

Some of her predictions which came true include…

The beginning of WW2

The date on which Tsar Boris III died (Bulgarian king from 1918-1943)

The break-up of Czechoslovakia

The riots in Lebanon (1968)

The war in Nicaragua (1979)

The election of Indira Gandhi and her death

The break-up of the Soviet Union

The nuclear disaster in Chernobyl

The date when Stalin died

The 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami (This is linked to a prophecy she made where she said, “A huge wave will cover a big coast covered with people and towns, and everything will disappear beneath the water. Everything will melt, just like ice.”)

The 44th President of the United States would be African-American (yet she also said that he would be the last US President)

The 9/11 Twin Tower attacks (This is linked to a prophecy she made in 1989 where she reportedly said, ‘Horror, horror! The American brethren will fall after being attacked by the steel birds. The wolves will be howling in a bush, and innocent blood will be gushing’.)

The disaster of the Russian “Kursk” submarine

 

Other Predictions

There has been quite a hullabaloo recently regarding some of her other predictions. Some claim that she had warned that Muslims would invade Europe in a ‘great Muslim war’ which would conclude with the establishment of an Islamic caliphate by 2043, with the city of Rome as its capital. This prophecy has propelled conspiracy theorists to highlight the rise of ISIS as evidence.

She also forewarned how the world would change due to the effects of global warming (“Cold regions will become warm … and volcanoes will awaken”)

Other predictions include a prediction that aliens would enable civilisation to live underwater by 2130 and another that in 3005 there would be a war on Mars

Although many of her predictions came true, many also didn’t. Most notably her prediction that in 2010 there would be another world war.

 

By Nicholas Peart

2nd October 2016

(All rights reserved)

 

 

Image source: http://www.catchnews.com

 

Text sources:

http://www.baba-vanga.com/

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baba_Vanga

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/baba-vanga-who-is-the-blind-mystic-who-predicted-the-rise-of-isis-a6765071.html

Photographs from Bo Kaap

The Bo Kaap district is a fascinating and unique part of Cape Town with an incredibly rich history and culture. It is located on the slopes of Signal Hill, to the west of the city centre. From the top of Bo Kaap on a clear blue day, one is rewarded with an amazing view of the mother city and Table mountain. The first thing that attracts one to this area are its multi coloured period houses, which are a delight to photograph. It’s not uncommon to often see large tour groups and many tourists and travellers with their cameras. I’ve also fallen under its spell.

The residents of Bo Kaap have a very unique, exotic, complex and painful cultural history. When the Dutch first arrived in Cape Town in the 17th century as the Dutch East India company, they brought over slaves from various parts of the world where they had trading posts such as in South and South East Asian countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka and other countries in Africa like Madagascar. These slaves were known as Cape Malays (even if many were not of Malaysian descent) and the residents of Bo Kaap are descendants of these slaves. The takeover of the Cape Colony by the British from the Dutch in 1795 and the subsequent abolition of slavery gave the former Cape Malay slaves a newfound freedom including religious freedom. The Bo Kaap area is predominantly Muslim as can be seen by the mosques in the area and the residents refer to themselves as Cape Muslims.

The Bo Kaap is home to some important historical landmarks. The Bo Kaap Museum is the oldest house in Bo Kaap, dating back to the 1760s, still in its original construction. The museum is small but definitely worth a visit. There is a room dedicated to the history of the area. In another room one can watch a short documentary film featuring Bo Kaap Malay residents talking about the history of the area, their experiences of living here and their feelings on how the area is changing. The nearby Auwal Masjid is the oldest mosque in the Southern Hemisphere established in 1794.

If you want to sample some delicious Cape Malay cuisine, Biesmiellah restaurant serves excellent and authentic Malay dishes. The bobotie and prawn curry are very good. Directly adjacent to the restaurant, there is a cheap takeaway place which sells mutton curries and also small snacks like samosas and chilli bites. The Rose Corner cafe is the place to go to buy spices if you want to have a go at making some traditional Cape Malay dishes. The small corner shop called Jordaan Superette close to where I was staying on Jordaan Street sells delicious homemade chocolate biscuits.

In the past few years prices for property in Bo Kaap have been increasing at an unprecedented rate and many of the original Malay families who’ve been living in their houses for generations have been tempted to sell up. Yet many defiantly are staying put not swayed by the increase in value of their homes. On a sunny Sunday afternoon (or any other time of day) you will see local families relaxing by their front yards. If you are in the neighbourhood, a simple ‘salaam alaykum’ greeting goes a long way.

Cape Town Free Walking Tours, located on Green Market Square in central Cape Town, does free walking tours 2-3 times daily and is a fantastic way to get to know the area and it’s interesting history.

During my time in Cape Town, I stayed for close to a week in one of the Bo Kaap houses located on Jordaan street. From there I went for several strolls through the neighbourhood and the result is the many photographs (I hope not too many) I took, which I am featuring below.

 

by Nicholas Peart

6th August 2016

(All rights reserved)

 

 

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The heart of Bo Kaap

 

 

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The heart of Bo Kaap

 

 

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The heart of Bo Kaap

 

 

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Georgian style houses

 

 

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The Bo Kaap museum and the oldest house in Bo Kaap

 

 

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Inside the Bo Kaap museum 

 
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The Auwal Masjid: the oldest mosque in the southern hemisphere established in 1794

 

 

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Keeping up with the Finklesteins

 

 

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Your’s truly

 

 

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Rose Corner Cafe – sells great spices and other Maley culinary delights

 

 

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Biesmiellah Restaurant: excellent Malay Cuisine. Try the bobootie or prawn curry

 

 

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My neighbourhood on Jordaan street

 

 

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My temporary residence

 

 

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Nurul Islam mosque

 

 

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The Markets Of Warwick Triangle

 

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Warwick Triangle

 

Around the Berea Road Station in central Durban and the flyover passes marking the beginning of the N3 highway is a fascinating dishelved mess of markets known as the Warwick Triangle. These markets are so raw and alive they make the infamous Tepito Mercado in Mexico City look like Portobello Road market in Notting Hill. One day I decided to go on a tour of this part of town with a local guide from the tour firm Markets Of Warwick.

 

The Bead Market

This market has been temporarily relocated onto the narrow sidewalk of one of the busy flyover passes. Walking here was a challenge and trying desperately to be on your guard – even with a guide!

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The Bead Market

 

The Impepho Market

Entering this market was like walking through a post war bombed out Barbican or Westway. Here traditional Zulu women sell impepho and bowling size balls of red and white limes mined from iNdwedwe, north of the city.

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The Impepho Market

 

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Impepho

 

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White lime

 

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Red lime

 

The Brook Street Market

This market sells mainly textiles…

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Brook Street Market

 

The Berea Station Market

This is the place to go for pirate DVDs, CDs, shoes and designer clobber at rock bottom prices as well as traditional Zulu King Shaka spears and shields…

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Berea Station market

 

The Early Morning Market

This market is known as the Mother Market and has now been going for 100 years. This is the place to go for fruit and vegetables as well as spices. The quality of the fruit and veg is better than what you’d find in Pick n Pay and Checkers and at a fraction of the price. The spices here are cheaper than those in nearby Victoria market…

 

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Inside the Early Morning Market

 

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Abundant veg 

 

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Spices at rock bottom prices

 

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Early Morning Market trader

 

Bovine Head Cooking Market

I think if I took Morrissey here he’d have a stroke. This is not a place for animal rights activists. Yet Francis Bacon would be captivated. This place is raw and visceral. The severed heads and other body parts of cows and goats lie openly in green rubbish bins and black rubbish sacks – life here is cheaper than table salt.

 

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Inside the Bovine Head Cooking Market

 

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Super gourmet food I just can’t wait to dive into

 

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Too much

 

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Look away

 

The Herb Market

My guide explicitly tells me not to take photos of the herbs as I’d be ‘diminishing their potency’ – the last thing I want to do is incur the wrath of the traditional Zulu people so I only manage one cheeky photo from the entrance. As well as traditional herbs and plant extracts, one can find small used whiskey bottles now experiencing a new lease of life carrying the contents of different animal fats including those extracted from the Big Five.

 

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The entrance to the herb market

 

by Nicholas Peart

23rd June 2016

(all rights reserved)