Archive for the ‘art’ Category

Ruddock’s to close after 163 years in business

March 4, 2017

Ruddock’s and Stokes on High Bridge are permanent features of Lincoln High Street.

Ruddock’s, a printer and a shop, the shop a bookshop, stationary, art supplies, upmarket pens, located in the top half of the High Street in Lincoln.

Or was, the printing business is to remain, the shop is to close.

Ruddock’s is to close after 163 years in business. A family business, the plan is to close in April 2017, 113 years in the present location, prior to that a little further up the High Street.

Henry Ruddock blames the lack of parking.

That is not the problem, the High Street is busy, there is footfall on the street, the problem is people are not passing through the door into the store.

I am sorry to see Ruddock’s close, but sadly not surprised, it lost its way years ago.

Lack of car parking in the town centre is simply an excuse. Yes, there is a problem of traffic congestion, solve that by improving public transport.

I see a High Street packed, but I see Ruddock’s empty.

But I would agree most of the developments within the city centre have been to the detriment of the town centre. For example the ugly high rise buildings, destruction of Sincil Street and the market, allowing motorised traffic through a pedestrianised city centre.

Ruddock’s used to be an excellent bookshop. Ruddock’s lost their way when they stopped selling books, though difficult to compete with on-line and Waterstone’s selling cut price best sellers, deals that are not offered to indie bookshops. Walk in now, and it is newspapers, magazines and rubbish.

Though first floor is a specialist art supplier.

Henry’s tea shop upstairs, is nicely done out, has atmosphere, but the coffee when I tried was not good. These days if open a coffee shop, ok it is a tea shop, you have to employ top class baristas and take a pride in the coffee you serve, not leave it to someone who makes the sandwiches. And how many passing by know there is a tea shop upstairs?

The tea shop will remain open or for the time being, but it is difficult to see how this will work if the shop is to close.

The tea shop is also placed at a competitive disadvantage when Starbucks and Caffè Nero dodge tax.

Ruddock’s also sells high quality pens, and I do not mean trendy rubbish Ted Baker as they promoted on twitter.

Montegrappa The Alchemist

Montegrappa The Alchemist

One of the rare shops I have found selling Montegrappa pens though not their top range, for example The Alchemist pen.

Lincoln will now have lost all its indie bookshops, or soon will have.

Readers Rest closed a couple of years ago. A great loss, and still missed.

Harlequin is going, driven out of business by a greedy landlord hiking the rent.

BookStop Cafe remains, local authors and second hand books, located in an undercroft beneath a Norman building with stunning view down Steep Hill.

Business rate hike is going to kill off many more indie businesses.

Development of Sincil Street has done an excellent job of driving out indie businesses. The street is now derelict. It used to be between ten in the morning and four in the afternoon busier than the High Street.

What is left? The same boring chains as seen in every town.

And where we do see indie coffee shops like Coffee Aroma, harassment from the County Council for leaving their tables and chairs outside in a pedestrianised area.

Yet what we see sadly is not only Lincoln, planners who care not for the local town, lack vision, lack understanding of town centre planning, and too often in the pocket of greedy developers.

When I attend a planning meeting and find a planner arguing on behalf of a greedy developer, dismissing any local objections, often quite well founded local objections, blatantly lying on the presentation, then I know something stinks.

And we only have to look at the results.

That is why time and time again, when English visit small towns across Europe, and still find the butcher, baker and indie bookshops, the historic centre free of traffic and unspoilt, they ask, why is my town not like this?

Libreria Palazzo Roberti

Libreria Palazzo Roberti

In Bassano del Grappa, a small town north of Venice nestling in the foothills of the Alps, we find traffic free streets, little shops, three indie bookshops, one of which is in a former palace where Napoleon once stayed.

Lincoln City Council, shedding crocodile tears, wringing of hands, not us guv.

Of course they are at fault, they are the planning authority hand in hand with Lincolnshire who are the Highways authority.

A classic case study in bad town centre planning.

And then have the gall to blame Lincoln for being a historic town. That is its attraction, there is nothing else of attraction. Or do they think people visit to admire the ugly buildings, to shop in the same shops as found elsewhere?

I fully back Henry Ruddock in his damning critique of the City Council.

Lincoln would make a case study in unimaginative, bad town centre planning.

Where I would disagree, is in the comments on car parking.

In the last decade or more we have seen ugly high rise buildings, each one uglier than the other.

Brayford is an eyesore.

This was an area of old warehouses and mills. This area could have been restored, to create an attractive and vibrant atmosphere, ground floor indie coffee shops and other indie businesses, first floor small businesses, design studios, hi-tech, top floors living accommodation.

Look to Bristol for an example.

A couple of years ago Sincil Street was thriving, between ten in the morning and four in the morning, it was busier than the High Street.

Now it has been blighted by development and sky high rents. And if look at the hoardings, more High Street chains, where once we had indie businesses.

Look to North Laine in Brighton, three streets each longer than Sincil Street, associated side streets, always busy, not a single chain, all indie businesses.

We see harassment of Coffee Aroma for leaving their tables and chairs outside, rather than deal with the real issue of stopping traffic through a pedestrianised area and delivering by handcart and trolley, as the norm in Europe.

Raices

November 27, 2016

Arte en si mismo.

Nudo ancestral.

Artist in Roman Agora

October 17, 2016
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artist in Roman Agora

This girl was producing an excellent sketch in her sketch book.

Kostas Nikolaou

October 17, 2016
Kostas Nikolaou

Kostas Nikolaou

Kostas Nikolaou, musician and photographer, exhibiting his works outside the Roman Agora

Aristotle

October 17, 2016
Aristotle

Aristotle

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Aristotle

Aristotle

Aristotle

Aristotle

Aristotle

Only in Athens the graffiti from Aristotle.

Rooted

July 23, 2016
Rooted

Rooted

Rooted, an art exhibition in St Mary’s.

Very much influenced by Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso.

Unfortunate too many of the displayed works covered in glass, making impossible to see.

Emanuele Dascanio

July 14, 2016

Dascanio art 00

Dascanio art 01.jpg

Dascanio art 02.jpg

Dascanio art 03

Italian artist Emanuele Dascanio uses techniques from the the Renaissance in his drawings and paintings.

He was taught these oil techniques used by old renaissance masters by renowned Italian painter Gianluca Corona, then added his own style.

Hundreds of hours goes into each artwork.

John Lennon Wall

May 12, 2016
John Lennon Wall

John Lennon Wall

The John Lennon Wall, or John Lennon Peace Wall, is a rather unsightly graffiti covered wall opposite the French Embassy.

I happened upon it walking down from Prague Castle on my way to cross Charles Bridge and going on a slight detour.

The wall is owned by Knights of the Maltese Cross.

Anyone can paint on it. Bring along your own pots of paint.

Periodically it is whitewashed.

What has John Lennon to do with Prague?

Absolutely nothing.

Under the Communists and Russian Occupation, graffiti was one of the few forms of protest.

The music of John  Lennon was banned.

Do not expect murals. It is graffiti, nothing more.

The only interest was finding Thom Artway playing.

Cashing in on the John Lennon Wall, nearby a John Lennon pub.

Glass museum in Municipal House

April 12, 2016
vases

vases

objet d'art

objet d’art

vases

vases

jewellery

jewellery

cups

cups

To be honest I do not know the name of this museum in Municipal House or Obecní dům, the stunning Art Nouveau concert venue. It is more a design exhibition, but most of the exhibits are glass, and not all are exhibits, some are on sale, and not only glass, also books and music for sale.

The style is from a particular period of Bohemian glassware. The books were of this period.

The music on sale was of performances in Smetna Concert Hall.

construcción de castillos en la arena

March 9, 2016
castillos en la arena

castillos en la arena

Day 1

First day of the construction of a new castle in the sand at Playa Jardín.