Tag Archive: City

Light Night Leeds: City set to glow in nature’s elements

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UNIQUE CREATION: Aragorn Dick-Read’s impressive sculptures will take centre stage at this year’s Light Night

UNIQUE CREATION: Aragorn Dick-Read’s impressive sculptures will take centre stage at this year’s Light Night

Breath-taking sculptures illuminated by bright orange flames are set to fire the imaginations of visitors to this year’s Light Night Leeds.

The incredible creations are one of a huge programme of installations inspired by the elements, which will be on display across the city as part of this year’s two night festival.

Created by international artist Aragorn Dick-Read, the impressive sculptures will be put in place on Queen Square on 7th October.

Based in the British Virgin Islands, Aragorn first began crafting his designs when a huge buoy washed up on the beach near his studio in Trellis Bay Village, which he cut out and lit up internally with fire.

Using welded steel, with designs drawn on by hand and cut with a plasma cutter, Aragorn’s work has since been displayed across the world including in London, New York and Antigua.

His designs for next month’s Light Night, called Fire Balls, will mark his first taste of life in Leeds and, speaking ahead of the event, the artist said he hoped they would inspire the thousands of people set to flock to the city centre.

Aragorn said: “It’s a wonderful honour to be selected to participate in Light Night and great credit to the city of Leeds that it can engage with an artist from a small island nation like British Virgin Islands. It also fits well with the city’s historically strong relationship with the West Indies and it is an exciting prospect to have my work shown in such a historic and important city.

“Art serves as an international force that brings people together, so we can all try to better understand the human condition - and to live in peace. Festivals of art are an important tool to achieve this goal.”

FUN FOR THE FAMILY: Entertainment will be on offer from a variety of acts including Flame Oz (pictured)

FUN FOR THE FAMILY: Entertainment will be on offer from a variety of acts including Flame Oz (pictured)

Aragorn said his designs follow themes of a ‘primal and pastoral time, where humans lived closer to nature’ and he draws inspiration from studying the world history of art, its role in society and his Virgin Island roots.

His fire-themed work will be on Queen Square from 6pm-11pm and is part of the event’s elemental theme. It will also be counterbalanced elsewhere by a series of ice sculptures on Briggate, which will be on display at the same time.

Entitled Ethereal Freeze, the frozen sculptures use ice and light to capture the beauty of the elements.

Now in its 12th year, Light Night is organised by Leeds City Council in association with the LeedsBID (Business Improvement District) and supported by Arts Council England.

Light Night features more than 50 events outside and in venues across the city centre and this year, for the first time ever, will take place over two nights on 6th and 7th October.

Thursday night will feature a family-friendly programme, including a dazzling light triathlon and lantern parade as well as the spectacular Phoenix in the Stone projection on Leeds Civic Hall, which will also take place on the Friday.

Friday’s expanded programme will see local and international artists transforming locations around the city, including The Falls, a 100ft digital waterfall on the Queens Hotel, and Today, a ground-breaking music and light project in the Trinity Leeds shopping centre.

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#LoveBradford #DoWeReally? Word on the street says locals do in fact love their city

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RECORD HOLDERS: Over 2,000 people turned out in Bradford last week to break the world record for the longest chain of people making heart shaped hand gestures

RECORD HOLDERS: Over 2,000 people turned out in Bradford last week to break the world record for the longest chain of people making heart shaped hand gestures

After breaking the world record for the longest chain of people making heart-shaped hand gestures earlier this month, Bradford - from the outside - looks like a city which has a lot of love to share.

However, it is only by talking with local residents and those who work in the area that you can really gage a true picture of whether people do in fact #LoveBradford.

Asian Express have been out on the streets this past week, asking people whether they love the city and what makes it a special place to live.

Here are their responses:

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Mohammed Islam

“People love it for different reasons but I like it because it is a lot quieter than London yet there’s still lots to do. There are some fantastic places to visit, to eat and for shisha. It is a close knit community and people are together here.”

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Mohammed Azam

“It’s very peaceful and equal with multinational people living here. I have been here for the past 16 years and haven’t seen any conflict. It is just a very nice place to live.”

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Fatima and Humera Khan

“It’s got more variety here in comparison to other cities. There are lots of shops and cater for all cultures. We have Indian restaurants, Thai, Italian, just everything really.”

Siddique Ali

“The whole city is just a different makeup to anywhere else in the UK. We have so many communities living side-by-side and although there may sometimes be differences, it is a very peaceful place to live.”

Nasir Mehboob

“My kids love it here. They love school and being able to visit their grandparents without having to travel too far. I like the community feel in my neighbourhood.”

Sara Farooqi

“The Broadway shopping centre is just what the city needed I think. It has helped us to stand out from the crowd and Bradford finally feels like a city to be proud of.”

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Extortionate expat expenses: World’s priciest cities for expats revealed

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SKYHIGH PRICES AND SKYSCRAPERS: Hong Kong is now the world’s most expensive city for expats

SKYHIGH PRICES AND SKYSCRAPERS: Hong Kong is now the world’s most expensive city for expats

In the annual chart compiled by consultancy firm Mercer, Hong Kong is the world's most expensive city for expats, pipping Angolan capital Luanda to the number one spot.

Luanda’s local currency has weakened which is why it fell in the ranking this year.

Zurich and Singapore were third and fourth on the list, unchanged from a year ago. Tokyo rose to fifth.

The survey is designed for companies to calculate expat workers' allowances.

It weighs up the cost of living in 209 cities across the world, comparing the cost of more than 200 items in each location, including housing, transport, food, clothing and entertainment.

In Hong Kong, the world’s most expensive city, it will cost $12,077 US dollars to rent a 3-bedroom house over a year, a whopping $7.8 for a cup of coffee and nearly $5 for a hamburger meal.

AFP

In the UK, London dropped five places to 17th, Aberdeen fell seven places to 85th and Birmingham, in 96th, dropped by 16 places. Further down the list, Glasgow dropped 10 places to 119th and Belfast was down three places to 134th.

A survey earlier this year, by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), ranked Singapore as the priciest city in the world ahead of Zurich, Hong Kong, Geneva and Paris.

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Water problems in India

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CUT OFF: Around 10 million citizens in India’s capital were unable to access water as taps ran completely dry

CUT OFF: Around 10 million citizens in India’s capital were unable to access water as taps ran completely dry

New Delhi left thirsty for over 24 hours after supply cut off by rioters

Rioters in the Indian state of Haryana took control of –and damaged - the Munak canal last week, cutting off the water supply in New Delhi for more than 24 hours.

On Monday, troops were sent in to take back control of the waterway following the civil unrest which resulted in the death of 19 people.

10 million citizens in India’s capital were unable to access water as taps ran completely dry. Those who could afford bottled water rushed out to buy it whilst others filled their buckets from the trucks that brought water to the affected neighbourhoods.

Kapil Mishra, the Delhi state water minister said: “It was the worst crisis Delhi has ever seen.

“Seven [of nine] water treatment plants were totally shut down. Right now the canal is damaged very badly. I’ve not seen anything like this...But there was no panic.”

Neeraj Semwal, a senior water board official, told The Wall Street Journal that the full restoration of piped water supplies would take 15 days because of the time it will take to repair the Munak canal in Haryana that supplies 60 per cent of Delhi’s water.

Delhi’s problems won’t be over even when normalcy returns to the city.

About 70 per cent of Delhi's residents receive only three hours of running water per day, according to India's Ministry of Urban Development, a supply which is not even guaranteed as more than half of the city’s running water leaks from rusty pipes before it reaches households.

Another problem with Delhi's water supply is how pure it is. Those who can afford it buy bottled water or reverse osmosis filters for their drinking water.

A political dispute in a neighbouring state has caused this latest crisis, but it is a reminder that water shortages and pollution problems continue to be prevalent in India, which is home to 1.3billion people.

India is a country that uses so much irrigation that the groundwater is already severely depleted and rivers often run dry due to the artificial pumping of water to land and soil to assist in the growing of crops in agriculture.

A member of Delhi Legislative Assembly representing the Janakpuri area in West Delhi, Rajesh Rishi, told The Wall Street Journal that the people in his area had no piped water for the last few days.

He said: “[The] Government is providing water to the people through tanks for essential purposes like drinking and cooking.”

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Five in a row! Bradford retains Curry Capital crown

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WINNERS: The 2015 Curry Capital bid team from Bradford celebrated their fifth title in as many years earlier this week

WINNERS: The 2015 Curry Capital bid team from Bradford celebrated their fifth title in as many years earlier this week

After clinching their first Curry Capital title in 2011, Bradford has more than excelled in living up to its title. So much so, that the city has just retained its crown for the fifth year in a row.

In previous years, the city’s bid has been praised for its individuality and commitment to promoting inclusivity, something the 2015 team have once again emulated.

This year saw Visit Bradford and the team of four chosen restaurants work alongside Bradford's Probation Office and the Fresh Start 4U project to produce a Curry Capital Garden.

There was also a fun social media campaign where ‘Peshwari Paws’ - the Curry Capital mascot, had fun around the district, taking photos at various venues and logging his adventure on Twitter.

The bid was eventually handed over last month at the Peshwari Paws Teddy Bear's Picnic where probation service users helped chefs from the selected restaurants prepare a variety of picnic dishes, served up to the Deputy Lord Mayor and guests.

On Tuesday 20th October, Bradford was officially named the Curry Capital of Britain once again, as the city celebrated an unprecedented fifth crown.

Bradford Council tourism manager, Patricia Tillotson, said the award came as a surprise to the team, but they were thrilled to hear the news.

“It’s absolutely amazing to win it five times, it would be for any city,” she said. “The team have really worked hard on the bids over the last five years and this year we have gone that little bit further.

“The other teams had a blue print this year of what we used in the past and therefore we thought it would be good to really push the boundaries once again. Instead of just doing things at a local level through cohesion, we did it at regional and national levels as well.

“I couldn’t believe it when we won it three times in a row and then it was a real shock to get it the fourth year.

“Even though we knew we had worked really hard on the bid this year, you cannot expect to just win it for a fifth time. We knew all the other cities had put in good bids as well so it was a fantastic surprise to receive the phone call saying we had won.”

This year’s team of restaurants included: Akbars, Aakash, Kiplings and Shimla Spice, who worked alongside Bradford Council throughout the bid.

Speaking on behalf of the businesses, Mohammed Rafiq, of Kiplings, said the fifth title was even more special than previous years.

“This is a momentous occasion really because it is unheard of,” he said. “No other city in the UK can claim a national title like this in the country’s biggest food industry.

“You’ve got London, Birmingham and Manchester – the biggest cities, and then you have Bradford here and size wise we are no match to them.

“However, this award just goes to show that the quality of food we provide here far excels all others.

“I’m a firm believer that we set the standard for the rest of the country when it comes to curry and that is shown by us winning this title for five years running.”

This year’s Curry Capital top five cities:

  • Bradford
  • Glasgow
  • Brighton
  • Leicester
  • Birmingham
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