All entries for Friday 11 March 2005

March 11, 2005

Feeling the Arts Centre love…

I would like to just take a moment to muse upon the greatness that is the Arts Centre… in the past few weeks I have laughed, cried, slept, worked, danced (don't ask), been saved from hypothermia and consumed vast quantities of soup within its breezeblocky walls. Oh, and I also may have gone to a few shows too.

Here is why it is great:

1. It's a place that's quiet enough to work, but not so quiet that its oppressive (like the library… where the sounds of fifty people trying to be quiet is more distracting than if they just talked out loud).

2. It's also quiet and private enough to sleep (up by the Haagan Daaz freezer is the best spot), and you don't get chucked out or laughed at if you seize the opportunity to have a quick snooze… or at least if people are laughing at you, they're generally far enough away from you that you don't notice…

3. If you nab the piece of floor by the window, you can obsessively people-watch. Almost everyone passes through the Arts Centre at some point during their day, and it's great, because 49 out of 50 people never think to look up; and you can also point and laugh at the poor unfortunates who get squashed in the door. NB: This is also a useful spot for the evenings… if you're dying of hypothermia and know the next bus isn't due for 35 minutes, you can save your fingers and toes from frostbite by nipping in there for a few minutes. You can see the bus coming, and as soon as it turns the corner there, if you run like hell you'll get there in time (and have a healthy bit of exercise too).

4. Bored? I can guarantee there will always be someone you know on the sofas. Personally, I'm not a sofa fan – they're always quite populated, and I quite like to be able to stretch out, so I prefer the carpet. Plus, there's a lot of dodgy stains on them, and you have to watch out for the sofa with the dicky leg that tips over backwards if you put your weight in the wrong place. Ooh, but if you want to arrange a secret transfer of a spy briefcase or something, I recommend using one of those big pouffe things – you can lift up the top and hide things in there. Sadly, you can't fit a person in – we have tried, but you'd need to actually be five to manage it.

5. Soup and roll – £1.50. 'Nutritious and Delicious' as it says on the side. These arts centre people, they don't lie… Today it was mushroom and capsicum flavour, and very good it was too with a sundried tomato roll. I can also recommend the triple decker choc fudge cake if you're feeling a bit special.

6. The eighties decor – pink carpet with those little geometric dashes and stripes, and the red hand rails. Ooh, and the breeze blocks are such a good look… It's just so kitsch and retro, and therefore very cool. Well, I've learned to like it anyway. And if you sit by those neon tubes up by the Mead Gallery, you can pretend you're doing your reading on a tropical island. That or a sunbed, which is probably less fun.

7. Sozo. They always have some sort of sale. Every birthday present I've bought for the past year and a half has come from within its hallowed walls. Thank god they change their stock fairly regularly…

8. You can cry undisturbed in there… in a corner, and nobody will notice… but usually someone will turn up just at the right point to give you a hug (thanks, by the way)

9. There's a see through glass lift. Enough said.

10. Oh, and the shows are pretty good too. :-)

All in all, it's a pretty great place… (do you think they'll pay me for this? I could use a bit of money…)

March 2005

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