Tag Archives: tourism

Titanic Town fever

It must be catching, this Titanic fever. There’s no escaping it on telly or in the news. Here’s my contribution…

In other words – enough already. We built it. It crashed. It sank. Continue reading

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Filed under history, life

There’s more to Belfast than peace walls

Arthur Magee - Ambassador of the humane to humanity

How could you not love a face like that? It’s playwright and tour guide Arthur Magee. He has a bee in his bonnet about the type of tourism that goes on in Belfast – sometimes called “terror tours”. You know the sort of thing – here’s the Falls Road, here’s the Shankill, here’s where he was shot and she was blown up.

Anything wrong with it? Maybe not. Can be educational, even respectful. And it’s clearly part of the history and undeniably internationally known. I’ve even done it myself in an informal way for foreign mates who, to my surprise, had studied Northern Ireland at college. Odd to think of yourself as a laboratory specimen.

But though Norn Irn’ers have been known to revel in their notoriety and believe – or demand – that the world revolves round them (“Never mind the fall of the Berlin Wall – what about the Apprentice Boys wanting to march across the Ormeau Bridge!?!) – you can imagine that it can become tiresome to feel that visitors see you solely in the context of the Troubles. A bit like being in a zoo too. In the cage.

Brendan Deeds - writer

Which is why Arthur Magee has come up with an alternative Continue reading

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Things you don’t expect to see in Harlem

So I was wandering through Harlem (New York) when I saw this sign. I did a double take. Checked my surroundings. Re-checked. Yup, still in Harlem.

No – the letters on the sign haven’t been mischievously rearranged Continue reading

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Filed under art, politics

Don’t mention the handbag

I have discovered the origin of the handbag. And there’s a shock in store for all you fashionistas out there. Two actually.

I made the surprising discovery in Berlin. But the trail goes back far at further – to ancient Babylon.

Unexpected discovery no.1

It wasn’t just you ladies who felt bereft without something gripped in your fist.

Here’s a full length picture of what could be the original bag man himself, showing off his latest to-die-for acquisition. Continue reading

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I need this: How to control your local weather.

We’ve all been there. You leave home – where it’s dry, bright, pleasant, a bit warm even.

You travel thousands of miles to end up somewhere damp, drear, dank and drizzly. In my case New York.

Oi! Sort it out Bloomberg. You need to get your hands on this Qatari weather technology Continue reading

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Filed under life

Is this racist?

Is this racist? Or sectarian? Or more simply – just bullying?

Or perhaps it’s somewhere on the spectrum between fair comment and edgy political satire?

That’s one side of a lantern at what some call the world’s biggest moving outdoor art display – the Basel Fasnacht. The other side – the more offensive side is Continue reading

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That gorilla has stolen my coat hanger…

David Mach's Silver Streak (coat hangers)

It’s step back, jaw-droppingly, massively impressive. It makes your twisty metal art mobiles and car aerial replacements seem, frankly, pathetic. Continue reading

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Filed under art