Broad Street, Bristol

In a part of Bristol that tends to be referred to as “Saint Nick’s” (after the street, church and most particularly the indoor and covered markets named after said saint), there is a road called Broad Street. It’s not that broad – in fact, it’s about as broad (and only slightly longer) than Small Street, which runs parallel.

It’s a funny old road. Starting at the end you can reasonably reach by car, there’s the Registry Office on the corner. It’s lovely on the outside and surprisingly grand on the inside. Continuing, you pass a few coffee shops and wedding-related shops (tailoring & alterations etc.), and a hotel called “The Grand Hotel”, which is moderately grand. Further on, there’s a real institution of Bristol, a pub called Hort’s, that boasts the city’s only “cinema in a pub”. Then, Maximillion’s (another institution – you can check their website to see which roasts they have on each day…) and Bristol Guildhall (which houses solicitors), and if you’re still going by this point, you either have a specific destination in mind, or are lost, because from here it’s a very funny sort of road indeed.

There’s a Belgian beer pub called Strawberry Thief which looks to be in a living room, and some ugly concrete office buildings (this area of Bristol in particular was hit quite badly in the war, which has led to some real mish-mash of architecture). And then. Oh, then. You get this view. Actually, even at this point it still doesn’t seem like much. But this part of the road, which is technically not a dead end (but may as well be), is a treasure trove of strange and wonderful buildings.

To your right: Everard’s Printing Works, now just a facade for DirectLineGroup’s offices. It is the largest decorative facade of its kind in Britain, according to Wikipedia. It’s gorgeous, and has a lot of history.

To your left: Bristol’s Palestine Museum & Cultural Centre, which has a bulging glass facade and used to be the Embassy.

Straight ahead: Saint John on the Wall church, which has plenty of history of its own, but in particular, the passageway underneath the tower used to be one of the gates of Bristol and features statues of Bristol’s supposed founders Brennus and Belinus. There’s also a fountain in the wall as this was one of the main conduits before everyone had running water. You can look around inside on streetview HERE!



Cities: Skylines

You can tell a lot about someone from the way they play The Sims: architect vs interior designer vs anthropologist (vs micro economist…).

As a lifelong”architect & interior designer” type, I can accept the suggestion that I prefer to control digital bricks, mortar & paint than simulated characters because they’re more reliable (no surprising adultery because you left a chair on Free Will Mode, either).

And so I, of course, hurried to buy Simcity as soon as it came out. I did enjoy it, but (like a lot of people), kept bumping up against the edges if what was possible within the game. Limited control of the terrain made city designs more controlled by the location than I’d have liked.

Later, my other half bought us Cities: Skylines, and it blew my tiny little city-designing mind. A wealth of objects come pre-designed & selectable (eg intersections) that make the game far less dependent on how long you’re willing to fight a snap-to-grid function. Different modes help see the city a different levels, to spot weaknesses or opportunities… or just to enjoy your creation 🙂

And that’s before you get onto user-created content!