Last week our little family spent a few days in Blackpool. The reason? The Beard fondly recalls childhood daytrips to the seaside town and he wanted to make sure Bailey saw it before the end of her magical time in childhood.
Upon reflection, I've come up with a list of how the trip shook down...
The Grundy Art Gallery is an oasis. It's housed in an Edwardian building, away from the madness. The current exhibition, Rank, was fab fab fab...thought provoking, funny, sad, and very engaging. I enjoyed it so very much, especially the work of Jenny Holzer entitled Truisms (which have been projected all over the world but at the Grundy, were scrolled on an electronic display board, like this one).
The Central Library is gorgeous. It's attached to the Grundy Art Gallery so has the same fascinating architecture, but the interior is all about the user. The interior contains art displays by the local college students, catchy signage, and an entire youth section designed by young partons. Their neon chandeliers in that section are very cool (see my Facebook page for images of that).
Our B&B accommodation was completely functional, friendly, and clean. It wasn't at all swish, but we were very comfortable there and could walk everywhere we wanted to go. The breakfasts were delicious and the other guests were polite and calm. Plus, the hotelier had a dog, a very sweet Alsatian (see photo above), so Bailey was thrilled.
The renovation work on the beachfront walk is lovely and when it's finished, it will look gorgeous. Some serious thought has gone into the design and colouring for this coastline sidewalk and it's clearly going to be a highlight of the place when the development is complete.
The Tower Circus was one of the best I've ever seen, and the clowns were quite amusing.
Most everything looks very run down. A good partion of the amusement park, Pleasure Beach, looked this way; the hotel and store fronts looked this way; the entire Promenade looked this way.
Everything on offer seemed tacky. I can't explain it except to say all items you could buy (food, gifts, amusements) were surrounded by some weird but strong cheesy aura.
I saw more than my fair share of cleavage, ample arms, hairy backs, ill-fitting outfits, and high heels. I also saw some incredibly tacky t-shirt messages. My fav was one with an arrow printed toward the wearer's face, under which "The man" was printed, and an accompanying arrow pointing toward the man's crotch, which stated "The legend".
Horrible tattoos on too many people to calculate; every gift shop sold sex toys and drug ecroutements (not an easy thing to keep covered whilst a small child looks for souvineers); eating establishments ranged from fish and chips (not a bad thing at all) to McDonalds, with nothing for those who didn't want their food deep fried; a disproportionately high amount of pubs per street which led to a disproportionately high number of drunks everywhere you went.
Overall? You can see Simon and Bailey enjoyed the trip (in above photo). I enjoyed being with them and laughing it up, but am happy to be home.