for preventing the problem of the gentrification of our inner cities, and for making this trend beneficial to the public By Howard Swift Nothing can be more melancholy than seeing our once vibrant and battered brownfield spaces caked with checked shirts and reappropriated early-modernist design. The pastel colours, the exposed brickwork not as an opportunity, a canvas, but as a faux-individualistic statement. How are we to cope with Keith from Moseley’s Prince of Wales turning from whacky local character with a thin grasp of planning law to a perfidious influence on independent culture at the exact point he owns not two pubs but three? And worse the third in an area which prides itself on its down at heel quirk. To some the chain is a signal of hatred, but its main value is that the process of gentrification is complete: up-dos and animal print (that is …

A modest proposal Read more »

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FIRST HIPSTERMAN (Craig): That was, literally, a lovely flat white?   SECOND HIPSTERMAN (JB): ..and those artisan chipotle fish tacos were really quite something too.   THIRD HIPSTERMAN (JH): Best I’ve had since I went to visit my more successful friends down in Islington.   FIRST HIPSTERMAN: Who’d have thought, eh, that three years ago, we’d all be sitting here, in Birmingham, in a crowd-funded pop-up streetfood bazaar, watching a circus skills workshop, eating a fine selection of ethically-sourced Italian meats served on a piece of slate, eh?

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Editor’s Note: The PR Who Loved Me. We have rules, you have to have rules or everything falls apart. But you can bend them… Despite our rules, we still get offers — a lot of offers: “Come to the opening of this”; “Help us celebrate that”; “Hot new band blah blah”. We normally bounce them back: “nope”; “read the manifesto”; “in the nicest possible way, please fuck off”. Sometimes we bait them for a bit, for lols, or just to prove a point. And on a few occasions we are just brutally honest “we love free lunch, and will come to your launch and eat but you are not going to get a write up out of it” (PRs normally say “fair cop, in the nicest possible way please fuck off”). So what did we do when a PR type invited us to a ‘premiere’ of the …

Review to a Kill: The Resorts World Birmingham Is Not Enough Read more »

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Birmingham doesn’t have any of those picturesque wind turbines, but we bet a certain class back in Tolkien’s day would have been collecting to buy and close down Sarehole’s water mill  and move it to Hall Green. You see, the people of Cambridge Road, B13, are revolting. The Council have told them that, as with the rest of the city, they need new street lights. Not so bad you’d think, it’s nice to get anything new in these days of cuts. The good burghers of Cambridge Road do not agree. Aghast at what the modern lamp looks like, they’ve cried out “not in my backyard” and taken out a crowdfunding appeal to buy themselves some prettier street lighting, more in keeping with their road’s vintage aesthetic. In truth it’s not a terrible idea: the council offer a baseline service, the service users talk to the council about …

Tilting at Sarehole Mill? Read more »

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For ages New Street has been an embarrassment to Birmingham, just not giving the sort of welcome that a bustling european city of culture should. Yep, ever since they started putting a new shopping centre on top, where the car park was, it’s been a nightmare. But soon, very soon, at the end of Super September, the second city will finally get the train station it deserves: one that’s overcrowded but has a John Lewis on the top. To celebrate his arrival here, John Lewis himself has made a movie about his kind of town. It’s a town where everybody is a young professional or something much more upscale and aspirational, like a guy who runs a sandwich shop. It’s a town where everybody wants to sleep in 100% Egyptian cotton. To thank Mr Lewis we’d like to make him a film too but just like the …

Let’s make a thank you film for Mr John Lewis! Read more »

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What a time to be alive. We are the second city to get one hour Amazon deliveries. But what can you do while you wait for your package? Here are a few ideas Wait for the Library of Birmingham to open on a Sunday, whilst imagining what it looks like inside Wait for a drink to be served at The Botanist — where the dream of the 1890s is alive

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Wes Mundell, our political editor, continues his #hyperlocal coverage of the 2015 General Election with this dispatch from Perry Barr… Round the grounds 2015 No. 2 — the election view in Perry Barr   PC predicts: Labour hold. And a close watch on the post. Not turkeys voting for Christmas, but a possibility of stuffing. If you like your jokes live, come see our show at MAC, 21st May.

There are too many negative satirical and cynical voices in Birmingham – join us to celebrate the wow, the positive, the top choices we’ve all made to be in the global city with the big heart of England! With all the new developments we’re being involved with, with all the independence our council, the hyperlocal media in partnership with the Post and Mail, and various quasi non-governmental organisations are supporting, with all the impact we can have when we come together — we live in Paradise. And we get great cake! LOL. Sign up now for Paradise City – the weakly freemium email that is always first with the big cultural news! Wow, Birmingham! Subscribe to our mailing list We’ll never spam you, sell your email address, or ever bother to send an issue, probably. See an sample issue:

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This week, Danny writes a eulogy for Birmingham’s last independent bookshop. Some things, like grotty flats, go with a bang: a big showy controlled demolition surrounded by smug men in yellow jackets who pretend that playing with explosives doesn’t give them trouser tents. Some things, like the Central Library, go with a fight: even if all that fight actually consists of is an echo chamber of social media, people showing each other photographs of what was and what could have been. And some things, like dear Readers World, slip off in the night like a pensioner on the morphine train to oblivion: creaky middle finger raised in rigor mortis.

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