Thursday, September 24, 2009

A time of new beginnings - hotels, culture, cycling and pizza

I remember being in Lisburn’s previous hotel. The Woodlands Hotel was set in off the Belfast Road, I think roughly on the site where Garvey Manor’s houses sit. At the time, Crossroads was still showing on Ulster Television (as they were then known), and it seemed very like Woodlands. Lots of low chairs. Not too many customers.

Premier Inn logo

Today the media are making a bit of a fuss over the well named Premier Inn in Lisburn ... well just a bit outside. No longer holder of the coveted title of being the only city in the UK that didn’t have a hotel.

Tonight was also the unveiling of the hard-to-wrap steel squiggle in Belfast’s Cornmarket. With the design chosen as the result of a public competition at the tail end of 2007, the Spirit of Belfast is a £200,000 investment by the Department for Social Development in the retail renewal of Belfast. Maybe someone will move into Littlewoods’ old shop around the corner soon?

Culture Night Belfast (25/Sep/2009) banner

There’s a free, repeat free, night of arts across Belfast on Friday night. Check out the Culture Night Belfast website for details. It’s a first for Belfast, joining in with other cities across Ireland and beyond.

Critical Mass Belfast poster

Friday night also see the first local Critical Mass cycling event – a kind of flash mob on wheels.

If you’re a cyclist, then the organisers encourage you to saddle up and ride past the Belfast’s Albert Clock around 6.30pm – “rain, hail or shine.”

There’s a 45 minute route for you to follow, “advocating the simple joys of cycling”

And it’ll also serve as a reminder to the car drivers around you that they pay road tax so you have smooth streets to cycle down!

Little Wing Pizzeria logo

And next Monday 28 September sees the opening of what sounds like a interesting (Belfast) city centre pizzeria on Ann Street just round the corner from the steel squiggle.

Little Wing Pizzeria could turn into a new lunch venue if it’s nice.

2 comments:

Niall said...

Alan,

Not sure if your comment on "road tax" was tongue in cheek, but I'll assume so. There's no such thing.

Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) has, since 1937, gone into the general taxation "pot". Road building and maintenance hasn't (in your or my lifetime) been funded from VED - it is funded by council tax / rates and general taxation. Put another way, VED is no more directed towards road building than stamp duty is!

So, the cyclists have paid as much for the roads as the drivers :-)

And (just to deal with other similar myths to save anyone else the bother :D) they're more likely than not to be insured, and tend to run red/amber lights no more or less than drivers :-)

Alan in Belfast said...

It was entirely tongue in cheek! Though your clarification is interesting - I hadn't realised that.