A Slice of Life: 3. A Visit to Newcastle

As one might have gathered from my previous Slice of Life, there wasn’t much happening in my girlfriend’s small home village of Tow Law, hence the visits to Durham and now Newcastle. Special thanks for her father being our chauffeur for the weekend. Bet he loved that…

Angel of the North

Before we reached the city, we were first greeted by the Angel of the North; a steel sculpture overlooking the motorway. According to the designer himself, Antony Gormley,

The hilltop site is important and has the feeling of being a megalithic mound. When you think of the mining that was done underneath the site, there is a poetic resonance. Men worked beneath the surface in the dark. Now in the light, there is a celebration of this industry. The face will not have individual features. The effect of the piece is in the alertness, the awareness of space and the gesture of the wings – they are not flat, they’re about 3.5 degrees forward and give a sense of embrace. The most important thing is that this is a collaborative venture. We are evolving a collective work from the firms of the North East and the best engineers in the world.

Makes one appreciate the sculpture more when you understand the meaningful purpose and messages it conveys in the subtle details of construction.

Overall with the time we had, we didn’t do much sightseeing but of course we found time to eat!

I’ll admit, not exactly what you would call local cuisine but I was very glad we went to Osaka restaurant. The food was great and the funny part was that we had walked past here earlier only to return just minutes after the lunch menu was over. Any earlier and I probably would not have had this lovely bento box which always looks impressive when laid out in front of you.

Even after our large bowl of ramen and bento box, we still had to have dessert. We had spent time walking through the large Eldon Square shopping center but what had caught our eyes earlier was the smaller Grainger Market that featured a small bakery called the Pudding Parlour.

I wanna give special mention to this place not only because we were given ice cream with our cookie cake, which was much appreciated on that very hot day, but because of the service that was provided by the lady that worked there.

You could see her busy making the cakes but she was more than happy to have a conversation with us regarding the place and its stock of baked goods. There’s something reassuring about a place when you know that the person working there is passionate about what they do and you can literally see it.

Unfortunately a short adventure but my time in Newcastle was still enjoyable nonetheless.

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