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BELFAST CITYMY WEEK LONG VISIT IN MARCH 2022

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This was my most intense visit to Belfast but unfortunately I had a very bad fall on my second day at 9am so it was not because I had too much wine. I was in a lot of pain for about two days but I was more worried about my camera and my new Sony 20mm lens. Initially, after the fall, I could not get the camera to work but after shutting down by removing the batteries everything returned to normal.

In order to reduce weight I limited myself to three lenses. My new Sony 20mm G, a Zeiss Batis 85mm lens and my new Voigtlander 60mm and I was very pleased by the performance of all of them but I am convinced that the Batis produced the best results. I should also mention that I also used an iPhone 12 Pro Max and the results were impressive.

I have visited the city once every year for the last fifteen years with the exception of 2019 because of Covid-19 restrictions and every time I visited it rained. This year I visited I took a gamble and visited in March and much to my surprise the weather was beautiful but I was somewhat limited by the fact that sunset was at 18:30 [that caught me by surprise].

Belfast is the capital and largest city of Northern Ireland, standing on the banks of the River Lagan on the east coast. It is the 12th-largest city in the United Kingdom and the second-largest on the island of Ireland. It had a population of 343,542 in 2019. Belfast suffered greatly during the violence that accompanied the partition of Ireland, and especially during the more recent conflict known as the Troubles.

By the early 19th century, Belfast was a major port. It played an important role in the Industrial Revolution in Ireland, becoming briefly the biggest linen-producer in the world, earning it the nickname "Linenopolis". By the time it was granted city status in 1888, it was a major centre of Irish linen production, tobacco-processing and rope-making. Shipbuilding was also a key industry; the Harland and Wolff shipyard, which built the RMS Titanic, was the world's largest shipyard. Belfast as of 2019 has a major aerospace and missiles industry. Industrialisation, and the inward migration it brought, made Belfast Northern Ireland's biggest city. Following the partition of Ireland in 1921, Belfast became the seat of government for Northern Ireland. Belfast's status as a global industrial centre ended in the decades after the Second World War.

Belfast is still a port with commercial and industrial docks, including the Harland and Wolff shipyard, dominating the Belfast Lough shoreline. It is served by two airports: George Best Belfast City Airport, 3 miles (5 kilometres) from the city centre, and Belfast International Airport 15 miles (24 kilometres) west of the city. The Globalisation and World Cities Research Network (GaWC) listed Belfast as a Gamma + global city in 2020.

ST PATRICK'S BALLYMACARRETT CHURCH OF IRELAND PARISH CHURCH NEWTOWNARDS ROAD

This image demonstrates just how much the Harland and Wolff cranes Samson & Goliath dominate the Belfast skyline.

According to contacts in Belfast the Newtownards Road is generally safe and well lit at night. One potential flashpoint is the interface with the nationalist Short Strand neighbourhood. Though fairly well kept and safe during the day, it is best to avoid this area at night.

According to a local that I had a chat with this large Church of Ireland Parish Church was rebuilt after the War to the original plans, having been destroyed in the Blitz.

Here is an extract from the churche's mission statement: Due to the extensive redevelopment and the ’Troubles', the demography of the area has changed enormously in recent years and is still grappling with regeneration. This may explain why I found the area to be more than a little bit confusing.

Ballymacarrett or Ballymacarret (from Irish Baile Mhic Gearóid 'MacGearóid's settlement') is the name of both a townland and electoral ward in Belfast. The townland is in County Down and the electoral ward is part of the Titanic district electoral area of Belfast City Council.

The ward was created in 1973 with most of the population coming from the former Pottinger ward. The ward was slightly enlarged in 1985, taking in part of the Island ward.

The ward consists of two distinct districts : Ballymacarrett itself, which is almost entirely Protestant, and the Short Strand which is almost entirely Catholic, with the two separated by a peaceline. Consequently, in the 2001 census, the Roman Catholic community background figure was 51%.

Set in the shadows of the Harland and Wolff cranes Samson & Goliath, large numbers of local men worked in the shipyard during its heyday. The area is also well known for 'Ulster's Freedom Corner', a series of loyalist murals.

Ballymacarrett and the nearby Newtownards Road played a key part in what became known as the 2011 Northern Ireland riots. At first, the riots were only located in the area and were known as the 2011 East Belfast riots but by July, the riots had spread to other parts of the region.
THE ORIGINAL WAS DESTROYED IN THE BLITZ

THE ARC CHURCH PHOTOGRAPHED IN MARCH 2019 PUBLISHED SEPTEMBER 2022

The number and variety of churches in Belfast never fails to surprise me.

In 1998, the Ulster History Circle unveiled a commemorative blue plaque to Chaim Herzog [who later went on to become President of Israel between 1983 and 1993] at his birthplace on Cliftonpark Avenue. The plaque was removed by the Circle from the building in August 2014, at the request of the Cliftonville Community Regeneration Forum, who are based there. The plaque had become the subject of unwelcome attention, and in the interests of health and safety it was taken away for safe keeping, until such time as it can be reinstated, with the consent of the owners and occupiers of the premises.
THE ARC CHURCH

EWART’S WAREHOUSE BELFAST NOW PART OF THE NEW EWART OFFICE COMPLEX

When I first photographed this building about ten years ago a waiter in a nearby restaurant told me that it was to be converted into a hotel but this proved to be untrue. It would appear that it has been incorporated into a larger 17-storey office complex. The historic building and the new build structure will be linked at first and second floor, grouped around a central courtyard.

The same waiter also told me that the Ewart building was originally a box factory but further investigation leads me to believe that the business in question was located at 35 Bedford street which is now the Bridge House JD Wetherspoon [a superpub].

Because of its size and location it is/was not easy to photograph this four-storey sandstone building, which as lain empty for about twenty years. It was designed by James Hamilton, also the architect of the Waring Street Ulster Bank, now the Merchant Hotel.
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ADELAIDE STREET IN BELFAST PHOTOGRAPHED IN MARCH 2022

When I last visited in March 2022 A scheme to revitalise Adelaide Street to make Belfast a more "accessible and liveable" city had been substantially completed. The pilot project was funded by Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon’s Blue/Green Infrastructure Fund and was delivered in partnership with Belfast City Council.
ADELAIDE STREET IN BELFAST

DEANS DELI ON BEDFORD STREET IN BELFAST IN MARCH 2022 THIS RESTAURANT HAD NOT YET REOPENED

In 1997 he opened a two-storey establishment in Belfast's city centre on Howard Street. It included Deane's Brasserie on the ground floor and Restaurant Michael Deane on the first floor. In the same year the restaurant was awarded a Michelin Star. In 2007 the name of the restaurant was changed to the simpler Deanes. It held this for 13 years, making it the longest running and only Michelin Star holder in Northern Ireland however lost this accolade in 2011, because of a 4-month closure due to frost damage and severe flooding. Deanes has also been awarded four Automobile Association Rosettes. The Brasserie held a Bib Gourmand from Michelin. Deane now owns Deanes Meatlocker, Deanes Love Fish and Deanes Eipic, all of which are located on the ground floor of the Howard Street building with a private function room on the first floor. He also owns Deanes Deli on Bedford Street, located close to the BBC NI headquarters, Deanes at Queens in the Queens University area and Deane and Decano on the Lisburn Road, both in the South of the city.
DEANS DELI ON BEDFORD STREET IN BELFAST

THE CATHEDRAL AND WRITERS SQUARE BELFAST MARCH 2022

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DOCK STREET AND PRINCES DOCK STREET SAILORTOWN AREA OF BELFAST MARCH 2022

SAILORTOWN AREA OF BELFAST MARCH 2022

BLINKS ON QUEENS ROAD IN BELFAST BELFAST MARCH 2022

THE BLINKS SCULPTURE ON QUEENS ROAD IN BELFAST
Street Photography and the associate websites and blogs are the elements of my main hobby. I say main, as I do have other hobbies.

Over the years I have experiments with different forms of hosting and software but as I have progressed I have found must hosting service to be very restrictive and constraining so I have tended towards self hosting solutions. I have tried many software solutions but eventually settled of Rapidweaver however I do operate a number of Wordpress Sites which I will discontinue over the next two years.

One problem that I have had is that according to Google my sites failed to meet their strict requirements for mobile sites [Core Web Vitals]. I have tried multiple solutions but the changes have been minor. At best my rating was about 37%

Recently things at Rapidweaver have become complicated and as a result I may not be able to depend on their software going forward so I have had to examine other solutions and one that I investigated is Sparkle which performs very well if Google Core Web Vitals is the gold standard. I should mention that I do intend to remain with Rapidweaver and I will employ their new solutions going forward but I will also employ other solutions. I am also testing Blocs 4.

Web Vitals is an initiative by Google to provide unified guidance for quality signals that are essential to delivering a great user experience on the web.
Google has provided a number of tools over the years to measure and report on performance. Some developers are experts at using these tools, while others have found the abundance of both tools and metrics challenging to keep up with.
Site owners should not have to be performance gurus in order to understand the quality of experience they are delivering to their users. The Web Vitals initiative aims to simplify the landscape, and help sites focus on the metrics that matter most, the Core Web Vitals.

Core Web Vitals are the subset of Web Vitals that apply to all web pages, should be measured by all site owners, and will be surfaced across all Google tools. Each of the Core Web Vitals represents a distinct facet of the user experience, is measurable in the field, and reflects the real-world experience of a critical user-centric outcome.
The metrics that make up Core Web Vitals will evolve over time. The current set for 2020 focuses on three aspects of the user experience—loading, interactivity, and visual stability—and includes the following metrics (and their respective thresholds).

CITY QUAYS AND CLARENDON DOCK AREA BELFAST MARCH 2022

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THE DECLINE OF A RED K6 TELEPHONE KIOSK PHOTOGRAPHED MARCH 2022

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THE DECLINE OF A RED K6 TELEPHONE KIOSK PHOTOGRAPHED SEPTEMBER 2021 - WEEDKILLER HAS BEEN APPLIED

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THE DECLINE OF A RED K6 TELEPHONE KIOSK PHOTOGRAPHED MARCH 2019 - NO DOCKING STATION

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THE DECLINE OF A RED K6 TELEPHONE KIOSK PHOTOGRAPHED MAY 2018 - DOCKING STATION STILL THERE

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THE DECLINE OF A RED K6 TELEPHONE KIOSK PHOTOGRAPHS FROM 2016 AND 2017 VISITS

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NEW DOCKING STATION AND OLD KIOSK MAY 2015

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BANKMORE SQUARE MARCH 2022 HAS THE PROJECT STALLED

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THE ETAP HOTEL MARCH 2022 WHY ARE THERE NO STREET FACING WINDOWS

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ONE END OF GREAT VICTORIA STREET PHOTOGRAPHED MARCH 2022

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FILTHY McNASTYS PUB AND NIGHTCLUB PHOTOGRAPHED MARCH 2022

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FLYING FIGURES SCULPTURE PHOTOGRAPHED MARCH 2022

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ART DECO BUILDING ROYAL AVENUE BELFAST MARCH 2022

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NEAR LANYON PLACE TRAIN STATION MARCH 2022

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THE GASWORKS AND CROMAC PLACE IN BELFAST MARCH 2022

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GAELTACHT QUARTER ST JOHN'S CHURCH ON THE FALLS ROAD AND NEARBY

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THE TITANIC KITBY TONY STALLARD

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ELMWOOD AVENUEPHOTOGRAPHED MARCH 2022

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ELMWOOD HALLPHOTOGRAPHED MARCH 2022

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EXPLORING LISBURN ROADPHOTOGRAPHED MARCH 2022

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UPPER NEWTOWNARDS ROADPHOTOGRAPHED MARCH 2022

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CRESCENT CHURCHPHOTOGRAPHED MARCH 2022

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BELFAST WHEELKING WILLIAM PARK MARCH 2022

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DIVIDERS BY VIVIEN BURNSIDECLARENDON DOCK MARCH 2022

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THE MARITIME MILEIS ACTUALLY TEN MILES LONG

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SAMMY THE SEALLAGAN WEIR MARCH 2022

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ALL SOULS CHURCHELMWOOD AVENUE BELFAST MARCH 2022

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BLOOMFIELD AREANEAR THE CONNSWATER SHOPPING CENTRE AND CS LEWIS SQUARE

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WAR MEMORIAL AT QUEEN'S UNIVERSITYMARCH 2022

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LAGANVALE GOSPEL HALLSTRANMILLIS AREA OF BELFAST MARCH 2022

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STRAMILLIS ROAD AREA OF BELFASTMARCH 2022

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CATALYST SCIENCE PARK MARCH 2022

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STORMONT PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH UPPER NEWTOWNARDS ROAD

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THE SEARCHER BY ROSS WILSON CS LEWIS SQUARE AT CONNSWATER IN BELFAST

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LAGANSIDE WALKWAY FROM ALBERT BRIDGE TO CROMAC PLACE

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LANNISTER WINDOW AT HMS CAROLINE GLASS OF THRONES 6

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GLASS OF THRONES 4 WHITE WALKERS LOCATED AT THE SS NOMADIC

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THE IRON THRONE AT THE TITANIC SLIPWAYS IN BELFAST

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GLASS OF THRONES 4 WHITE WALKERS LOCATED AT THE SS NOMADIC

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GLASS OF THRONES 2 THE RED WOMAN MELISANDRE LOCATED AT THE LAGAN WEIR

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GLASS OF THRONES 3HOUSE OF TARGARYEN - LOCATED AT THE ODYSSEY

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GLASS OF THRONES 1LOCATED AT THE AC HOTEL

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SAMSON AND GOLIATH MASSIVE GANTRY CRANES

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SNAX IN THE CITYBELFAST MARCH 2022

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As I know nothing about the business based in Belfast I have decided to use their own description:

"Our awarding winning Gourmet Sandwich Bar began in the heart of Belfast in 2003 and has been serving great tasting, freshly made and locally sourced food ever since; we offer you healthy and oh so tasty range of food that is hand-crafted in-house and ready to eat, take away or even have delivered to your desk."

SAINT MOLUA'S CHURCHCHURCH OF IRELAND

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CUT IN CORTEN OR WEATHERING STEEL THE TITANIC SIGN

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TITANICA BY RENOWNED IRISH SCULPTOR ROWAN GILLESPIE

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SCULPTURE BY LUCY GLENDINNINGAT SAINT ANNE'S SQUARE

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ROYAL MAILTOMB STREET

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LAGANSIDE WALKQUEEN'S BRIDGE TO ALBERT BRIDGE

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NO PUBLIC ACCESS TO BELFAST CITY HALLBECAUSE OF A TRADE DISPUTE

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FLYING ANGEL BY MAURICE HARRON [] DEDICATED TO SEAFARERS []

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KIRKPATRICK MEMORIAL PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH UPPER NEWTOWNARDS ROAD BELFAST

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THE GREAT LIGHTON THE RIVER LAGAN

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RANDOM EXAMPLES OF STREET ARTMARCH 2022

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DEEP LOVEA MURAL FEATURED IN BELFAST TO MOVIE

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ASLAN THE LION AT CONNSWATER

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THE UPPER CRESCENTNO MORE DIRELECT BUILDINGS

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RECLINING FIGUREBY FREDERICK EDWARD MCWILLIAM

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URBAN EXPRESSIONBALLYHACKAMORE MURALS

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ECO BY MARK DIDOUAT QUEENS UNIVERSITY

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SWEET WATER ARCH BY DENIS O’CONNOR AND BERNIE RUTTER

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STENA FERRY TURNSREVERSES UP THE RIVER LAGAN

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AN OPEN BOOK AT STORMONTSPELLS - MYTHS - WISHES

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WOOD SCULPTURESTHROUGHOUT THE STORMONT ESTATE

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WHEN IT RAINS LOOK FOR RAINBOWSWHEN IT'S DARK LOOK FOR STARS

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ANOTHER VISIT TO STORMONTMARCH 2022

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BOMB CRATERTHE BELFAST BLITZ

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THE BOTANIC GARDENSWELL WORTH A VISIT

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THE LAGAN WEIR AND NEARBYI USED AN iPHONE 12 PRO MAX

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NEW PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE AT STRANMILLISACROSS THE RIVER LAGAN

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BELFAST CITY CEMETERY140 PHOTOGRAPHS


RED METAL SCULPTUREBY BOB SLOAN


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