2018 IN PICTURES – SEPTEMBER

September 2018 began for me with a trip to Windsor Park to see Linfield take on Ards on the first day of the month, for a match that finished 0-0.

The following day, I headed out on bike to check out the latest scribbles on the Belfast Peace Wall.

On the third day of the month, yes, three successive days of photo adventures, I headed to The Limelight to see The Kooks in concert.

The following weekend, it was a football double header, taking in Linfield’s trip to Warrenpoint Town, and then Northern Ireland’s first ever UEFA Nations League match, at home to Bosnia-Herzegovina.

There was more football, taking in Linfield’s matches against Dungannon Swifts and Coleraine.

Sandwiched inbetween that was a trip to The Palm House to see Kyle Falconer in concert, and then Belfast Culture Night.

In the aftermath of Culture Night, I was out getting photos of new Street Art which appeared in Belfast, as part of Hit The North.

The month ended with me taking in Linfield’s home match with Ballymena United.

Linfield v Ards

Belfast Peace Wall Art

Belfast Peace Wall Art Photo Album

The Kooks live at The Limelight

The Kooks live at The Limelight Photo Album

Warrenpoint Town v Linfield

Northern Ireland v Bosnia-Herzegovina

Northern Ireland v Bosnia-Herzegovina Photo Album

Linfield v Dungannon Swifts

Kyle Falconer live at The Palm House

Kyle Falconer live at The Palm House Photo Album

Culture Night Belfast 2018

Culture Night Belfast 2018 Photo Album

Coleraine v Linfield

North Street Art

North Street Art Work In Progress

North Street Art Photo Album

Linfield v Ballymena United

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CULTURE NIGHT BELFAST 2018

It’s an annual tradition in Belfast, but it’s hard to believe that Culture Night has only been around since 2009, meaning that this year’s event was the milestone tenth Culture Night. I’ve been to eight of them, not a bad ratio.

Another tradition, that it linked to Culture Night, is the booking of a half day from work for me. This is due to the fact I want to arrive in the City Centre between 4pm and 5pm, but I don’t want to go straight from work as it makes what is already a long day even longer.

I made the most of my half day by heading to North Street and that general area to have a look at some Street Art which is in progress as part of Hit The North, which runs alongside Culture Night.

That Street Art, a few hours further on, was my first port of call when I arrived in the City Centre for Culture Night.

That was, when I eventually arrived in the City Centre, as I had to jump off the bus at Havelock House and walk the rest due to the volume of traffic trying to get into the City Centre. It defeats the purpose of Translink marketing their services as a way to get to and from Culture Night when they can’t even get you into the City Centre.

Shortly after getting off the bus, the rain started to fall. This was not a great start. Thankfully, it was the only bit of rain all evening, keeping up another tradition of it being dry on Culture Night.

Being an eight time veteran of Culture Night, I know where to go in terms of what to see, which was handy, with a section of Royal Avenue still closed off due to the fire at Primark last month.

In truth, these diversions didn’t really affect me as I wouldn’t usually be around Royal Avenue on Culture Night.

My time was spent mostly in the Cathedral Quarter, checking out Street Art and venturing into University of Ulster, before a trip to the Oh Yeah Centre, then back to St Anne’s Square for some wrestling. Yes, you read that right.

Pro Wrestling Ulster set up a wrestling ring in the middle of St Anne’s Square and hosted matches. I went to see the first one. I don’t really know the names, so here goes ….

There was a guy wearing a lion mask and a guy whose character was that of a baddie. He punched a child’s balloon for crying out loud.

There was a third wrestler in this three way bout, and he was the eventual winner.

I was very happy with the photos of the wrestling I got, certainly ore interesting than the football ones I usually take.

Although, you don’t usually see clotheslines, chokeslams or flying kicks hen you watch football, apart from when you watch Crusaders play.

After that, it was more wandering about, making sure to take in Culture Night traditions such as Street Coundown and a bit of Cabaret, performed by Britney Spears.

Disclaimer, it might not have actually been Britney Spears.

The streets were busy, but not packed, which made it a lot easier getting around.

If you care, according to my Activity Tracker, I covered 34.37km on Friday.

There is one aspect of Culture Night which cannot be left uncommented on.

Usual drill, as with any outdoor event , the City Centre absolutely stank of fags and vapes. It was rancid, you literally could not move for it.

Absolute scummy tramps. I’ll repeat that. Anybody who smokes in public is a scummy tramp.

Imagine waking up one day and deciding to take up smoking because it will make you look cool, make you look sexy, and that nobody will ever laugh at you behind your back.

I’ve got a bit of bad news for you folks, I don’t know how to break it to you.

At least I can hold my nose, cover my mouth and swerve to avoid people. A child in a pram doesn’t have that luxury. There were people bringing their children to this event, and they still haven’t got the most basic decency or courtesy to others.

And yet, Belfast City Council will wheel out a few celebs for promo video with a trendy hashtag such as #yourbelfast

Too fucking right it’s my city, i’d love to get an opportunity to enjoy it, instead of having to hold my nose and cover my mouth as a form of self protection every time I leave the house.

Going to an outdoor concert. Going to a football match. Eating outside on a nice day. Going to a beer garden. Walking through the city centre. Queuing for a bus.

Just some of the things you can’t do in Belfast without having cigarette smoke blown into your face.

This has to stop. A total ban is the only answer. Fuck em. We are dealing with people who have proven time and time again that they can’t be trusted to show consideration for others. Treat them with the same contempt they treat others.

Dogs aren’t allowed in beer gardens but smokers are. That’s the sign of a failed society. I know who i’d rather be in the company of.

If smokers faced the same level of vitriol as cyclists face, Belfast would be a far better city.

And yet, the fire at Primark is a handy excuse. Have you ever been to Belfast City Centre? It’s a truly grim experience.

Sandwich boards clogging up the footpaths, cigarette smoke and broken glass everywhere, getting pestered for bus tours and broadband.

No amount of selfies in a trendy Cathedral Quarter bar with somebody from Game Of Thrones will disguise the fact that Belfast City Centre is a rancid shithole.

If Culture Night is a showcase, what did the rancid smell on Friday say about the city?

Time to decide what type of Belfast you want to live in. Apathy will give you a shithole.

Let’s get that sorted for Culture Night 2019.

Photo Album

Culture Night Belfast 2017

Culture Night Belfast 2015

Culture Night Belfast 2014

Culture Night Belfast 2013

Culture Night Belfast 2012

2017 IN PICTURES – SEPTEMBER

September 2017 began with a road trip, and a long one at that, to Edinburgh, to see Linfield take on Spartans in the Scottish Challenge Cup.

Two days later, it was another football match with an international feel, an actual international, as Northern Ireland took on Czech Republic at Windsor Park.

The following weekend was busy, taking in Ryan Adams at Ulster Hall and then Linfield’s match against Glentoran.

There was more football to follow, taking in Linfield’s matches against Crusaders and Ballinamallard.

The following weekend was football free but not photo free, as I was out capturing Culture Night, and Street Art painted as part of Hit The North.

The month ended with a trip to Solitude to see Linfield take on Cliftonville. The less said about which, the better.

Spartans v Linfield

Northern Ireland v Czech Republic

Northern Ireland v Czech Republic Photo Album

Ryan Adams live at Ulster Hall

Ryan Adams live at Ulster Hall

Linfield v Glentoran

Crusaders v Linfield

Linfield v Ballinamallard United

Culture Night 2017

Culture Night 2017 Photo Album

Hit The North 2017

Hit The North 2017 Photo Album

Cliftonville v Linfield

CULTURE NIGHT BELFAST 2017

Winter is coming.

I know you’re going to expect this post to go in a Game Of Thrones direction but i’m going to disappoint you. I know this is a Game Of Thrones quote, but I don’t know any more than that. No, this is a statement of fact. Winter, is coming.

How do I know that? The appearance of Belfast Culture Night on the calendar, the last event of the summer, one last chance to enjoy oursleves, and Belfast got to work to ensure they did just that.

As it tradition, more a happy accident but we’ll take it, the weather behaved itself and gave us dry skies. Off to a good start.

Culture Night is one of the highlights of the year but it wasn’t in my schedule in 2016 as I missed it due to being in England that weekend.

Ironically, this year’s event was held a week later than in 2016. If they’d held it on this weekend in 2016, I would have been able to make it.

As it turned out, I was hoping it was held in the same weekend as last year due to Linfield’s match being moved forward to the Friday.

I didn’t want to miss Culture Night two years in a row and Linfield go to Warrenpoint again in January, so I thought to myself that I could give this one a miss. My lucky scarf was in my right hand coat pocket as is now superstition. If I can’t bring them good luck in person, I may as well do it in spirit.

In the first years I started going to this, I arrived in Belfast City Centre just after 7pm. As each year passed, it became clear that I was already missing out on a lot by doing this, so I booked a half day, just as a did in 2015, arriving in the City Centre just after 5pm. However, the earlier arrival does make me lose track of time, wondering why it’s still daylight so late in September, not realising what time it really is.

My first port of call was the Cathedral Quarter, to take in the atmosphere, and to check out some of the Street Art photos I was monitoring over the previous days.

I headed to City Quays which was hosted events but there was nothing which interested me, so it was back to the City Centre and Cathedral Quarter.

I stopped off to St Anne’s Square to take in a wrestling match, there were matches all night. The match I saw (I didn’t picked up what their names were) the guy in the orange leotard beat the guy in the black trunks via a submission despite the guy in the black trunks giving him a hiding throughout.

There was more walking, venturing to University Of Ulster and Buoys Park, and then to the Gay Village in Donegall Street which was hosting live cabaret.

Inbetween that, I managed to check out some fencing and fire displays.

It was then back to Buoys Park to take in some Street Countdown, and that was me or the night, I was knackered and my feet were sore.

I’d like to think I will have recovered by the time Culture Night 2018 comes around

Photo Album

Culture Night 2015

Culture Night 2014

Culture Night 2013

Culture Night 2012

NORTH STREET (AND SURROUNDING AREAS) STREET ART SEPTEMBER 2016

Culture Night is one of the highlights of the year in Belfast. I may not have been able to attend the festivities last weekend, but that didn’t stop me getting to experience it.

One of the highlights of Culture Night is Street Art being painted live, incorporating the Hit The North Festival, where the northern parts of the City Centre become an art gallery, usually around, but not exclusively, North Street, Garfield Street and Donegall Street.

Returning from Liverpool on Monday, I had some spare time on my hands in the afternoon, so naturally, I got on my bike and headed to the City Centre to get some photos.

Too many people, too many cars, too many obstacles, and crap weather. It turned out to be a frustrating trip.

So, I decided to wait until Sunday morning and head out again when things were a bit quieter to go a bit snap happy.

There was one of the murals which has suffered some structural damage. What is should look like can be found here.

Enjoy.

Photo Album

See also

North Street Art September 2015

North Street Art September 2014

North Street Art September 2013

North Street Art September 2012

2015 IN PICTURES – SEPTEMBER

September began for me on the road to Fermanagh, to see Linfield take on Ballinamallard, and get a 1-0 win on a lovely sunny day.

From the road to Fermanagh to the road to France. My next football match came two days later when I saw Northern Ireland take on Hungary in a Euro 2016 Qualifier, knowing that a win sound them to France.

They didn’t get the win they wanted, but a late draw kept them on course to qualify.

Inbetween those two football matches was some graffiti spotting around Belfast.

Two days after that, I was at The Odyssey, now renamed The SSE Arena, to see Florence and the Machine perform the first concert at the newly renovated venue.

Back to Irish League action the following Saturday, a trip to Seaview to see Linfield take on Crusaders, the less said about, the better.

The following Friday, was the highlight of the year in Belfast, Culture Night, and I was out with my camera snapping the action.

I recovered from Culture Night in time the following day to head to Windsor Park to see Linfield take on Warrenpoint.

The following day, I undertook a post Culture Night tradition by checking out the newly painted Street Art on North Street and the surrounding areas.

The final weekend of the month saw me head to Windsor Park to see Linfield edge past Glenavon 4-3.

Like the previous weekend, I headed to North Street to get a look at the Street Art painted for Culture Night, as some pieces were still being worked on when I went down the previous week.

I also headed to City Quays Walk for the first time, to see some Street Art that had been painted there.

Ballinamallard United v Linfield

Belfast Street Art

Northern Ireland v Hungary

Northern Ireland v Hungary Photo Album

Florence and the Machine Live At The Odyssey

Florence and the Machine Live At The Odyssey Photo Album

Crusaders v Linfield

Culture Night

Culture Night Photo Album

Linfield v Warrenpoint Town

North Street Art

North Street Art Photo Album

Linfield v Glenavon

North Street Art Part 2

North Street Art Photo Album Volume 2

City Quays Walk Street Art

NORTH STREET (AND SURROUNDING AREAS) STREET ART – OCTOBER 2015

Ok, one last post relating to Culture Night, I promise. It was one month ago and I should probably let it go.

Street Art I missed in my previous blogs keep getting brought to my attention, so here is the last two pieces.

The first piece is by an artist called Irony, and appears on Berry Street, in the sidestreet as you walk from Tesco Metro to Mourne Seafood, if you know Belfast City Centre.

The second piece is by Friz and appears on William Street (to the side of Royal Aveneue, opposite Central Library), beside previous Culture Night pieces, which are also still there.

I think that’s every piece of Culture Night covered. Hope you enjoyed it.

Only eleven more months until Culture Night 2015, when i’ll be out with my camera in North Street again. Can’t wait.

North Street Art Part 1

North Street Art Part 2

NORTH STREET (AND SURROUNDING AREAS) ART – SEPTEMBER 2015, PART 2

Mopping up from last week, I headed to North Street, Donegall Street and Joy’s Entry to get photos of some of the Street Art as part of Culture Night that was still being finished last week.

I also headed to City Quays Walk to have a look at some Street Art that was also painted as part of Culture Night.

There is plenty of room in City Quays Walk for more Street Art, so i’ll be keeping an eye on that over the coming months to see if there are any new additions.

Photo Album

City Quays Walk Street Art Photo Album

See Also

North Street (And Surrounding Areas) Art Part 1

North Street Art September 2015 Photo Album

NORTH STREET (AND SURROUNDING AREA) ART – SEPTEMBER 2015

As much a tradition as Culture Night, is the aftermath of it, most notably, checking out the final result of the Street Art that gets painted on the night.

I headed over to Garfield Street to have a look, as well as North Street, and the upper end of North Street, as well as Donegall Street where Irish News is based, and then round to where Sunflower Bar is.

There were still some final touches being made to some pieces around Donegall Street, and there were bottle bins blocking any good photos of the piece at the back of Black Box, so i’ll have to make a second visit to get the photos I wanted.

Until then, enjoy.

Photo Album

See Also

North Street Art 2014

North Street Art 2014 Photo album

North Street Art 2013

North Street Art 2013 Photo Album

North Street Art 2012

CULTURE NIGHT BELFAST 2015

The one ray of sunshine in the post summer comedown arrived in Belfast, as Culture Night 2015 took over the city. It’s hard to imagine a time before Culture Night, but it was only as recently as 2008, the event now becoming a circled red date in Belfast’s diary.

I decided to break my habit of previous years by taking a half day so I could be there between 4pm and 5pm. It turned out to be a good move as I managed to see the Street Art being painted from the very beginning, not that I actually missed out on much by arriving at 7pm as I had done in previous year, it felt like a more wholesome experience arriving there earlier.

My evening was spent mostly in North Street, Gordon Street, Cathedral Quarter and Smithfield, just walking around. Culture Night, like life sometimes, is a lot better when you just go with your instinct.

Of course, it wouldn’t Culture Night without taking in some Street Countdown.

Overall, it wasn’t a bad night. The only downside of it being over is that it’s the last big event of the Summer months. Still, you’re never more than 365 days away from the next one.

Photo Album

See Also

Culture Night 2014

Culture Night 2014 Photo Album

Culture Night 2013

Culture Night 2013 Photo Album

Culture Night 2012

Culture Night 2012 Photo Album