Everyone who goes to Birmingham takes a photo of the Selfridges building. It's the law. Here's mine.
What is this colonnaded cube, sitting on a post-industrial wasteland? A stately home that's fallen on hard times? Nope. It's Curzon Street station - Birmingham's first railway station. It's been disused for years, but in the near-ish future it will become the terminus of the new Hi-speed line to London.
There is, inevitably, a Masterplan. Be afraid, Birmingham. This is your future!
Just along the road from Curzon Street station, we find this pub. Last orders were called some time ago, it seems.
Every time I see buildings like this I can't help thinking how they might work as a gig venue. This one would be pretty good, I think. Near the city centre, close to the universities (students do still go to gigs, right?) - and no neighbours to worry about.
In the end I suppose this pub will be swallowed up in the new redevelopment Masterplan (see link above), but a short lease until then would be fairly cheap, surely. A few years' worth of rock 'n' roll is just waiting to happen here...
Down the road a bit, the Birmingham cityscape starts looking like the Lower East Side of NYC, circa 1982. Here's a massive, empty warehouse, which is for sale and/or to let. How come it's not being squatted by No Wave bands?
Again, the opportunity might not last forever, because the redevelopment steamroller is a-comin' through - but for a few years there's a chance for ART to happen, surely?
And finally, in our Birmingham architecture selection, here's a house - near the warehouse pictured above. It's just a house. But I like it.
Some nice brick detailing, and those splendid sash windows in authentic green (the notion that window frames should always be white is very recent - up to about 40 years ago you'd paint your window frames any colour you like).
It should really have a beaten-up Morris Minor parked outside, and some kids playing hopscotch in the road. Sorry about that ghastly great BMW. But you can't win 'em all!