Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Pure tourism

[Figure at Stormont.] I overcame the waking at 1am bit last night and stayed in bed and went back to sleep and woke up at 8am to pounding winds. It was so disheartening that I stayed in bed for another two hours before jumping out and rushing out into the rain and cold to the studio in hopes that Erika (studio mgr) would be there. No one was there, but I managed to get through the gate lock, two front door locks, two studio floor locks, and an alarm all by myself.

[Stormont: Parliament.] I met Erika briefly to go over a few questions. Of course the trash didn't get picked up today--still a holiday. Instead, people decided to use my bin as their dumpster so now it is full of crap that I get to hold onto for another week. I told her about what the guy said yesterday about visiting the "bad" parts of town and she said, DON'T DO THAT unless I ride one of the tour buses.

[I finally figured out what this is: an observation dome, people at the bottom of the picture on the deck, at the fancy new indoor/outdoor shopping mall downtown.] So after wandering some more and visiting the tourist center, I chucked my plans of library research and got a ride on a big red double-decker bus. I got the last seat in the covered top area but it was still COLD.

[H&W built the Titanic; this is one of their two cranes on Belfast Lough--I forget if it's Samson or Goliath. I had seen a Titanic exhibit at City Hall yesterday; I hadn't known until I arrived here that it was built here. Insult to injury; it's hard being an underdog!] I was surprised that the city airport and Ikea were two big landmarks, but I guess they are a big step for a place that previously had a hard time attracting foreigners and foreign investment.

Going into a Catholic area, we passed an old sign for a printer/stationer's shop that I wasn't able to snap, called Reid & Wright. Great name! But those areas were so depressing. Resources are clearly going to some areas and not to others. Typical of any city, but it becomes really obvious as you go from one place to another. I am still trying to warm up after such a long cold spell, and the ominous vibes. Like someone said on my first day, it's not a "post"-conflict city; it's still conflicted.

1 comment:

Velma Bolyard said...

marc warned me it was a present conflict city--he's concerned about you. be smart and careful, please!