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Inside Beer Ritz, Headingley, Leeds

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Possibly the best off licence in the North? Well, it’s certainly my idea of a well-hopped heaven… a true beer nirvana nestling on a quiet back street in the leafy suburbs of Leeds.

Beer Ritz has long been on my list of places to visit, due to the incredible selection of craft beers, real ales and imported rarities. Set up by acclaimed beer writer Zak Avery in the 90s, there’s one thing that’s not in doubt: these guys really know and love their beer.

And tastes are changing across the UK too; celebrating our brewing heritage, revelling in the fruits of the revolution from across the Atlantic from dynamic young craft breweries in the US, and enjoying more esoteric and exciting European brewers. After years where beer was largely synonymous with bland, base and bubbly lager, pubs and retailers are now catering for a public hungry for new tastes. Outlets like Beer Ritz, and the great beers they carry, are at the forefront of this change. I for one’ll drink to that. Cheers!

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May the 4th be with you: Star Wars exhibition at FullCircle Gallery, Leeds

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Click/tap the image above to view a panoramic 360° view of the scene in your browser

Friday May the 4th saw the opening of the excellent @StarWarsLeeds exhibition at FullCircle Gallery off Kirkstall Road, Leeds. Organised and curated by TheHangGang and Leeds Alternative Comics, it brought together a range of contemporary artists’ designs and creations unified by the Star Wars universe, and a collection of vintage toys.

Back in 2008 I shot a panorama of Barry aka TheHangGang’s toy room, and gawped at the selection of carded Star Wars figures he had displayed next to his vinyl toys. Fast forward a shade more than four years and his collection is bigger, better and badder than ever. As a kid, I had a decent collection of Star Wars figurines, and the imagination to transport them and I to wherever I wanted to be, but they were loved, used and abused rather than left box-fresh. So seeing a the range of pristine figures, and the accompanying vehicles, all displayed perfectly was enough to bring out the inner child in me once again.

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Work in progress, Leeds

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Empty spaces, lonely places

Abandoned office space, Leeds

Sometimes a picture says a thousand words. Sometimes a space resonates with memories long after it is emptied. Sometimes you don’t notice the frame until the canvas is empty. Recently vacated office space in a converted mill building in Leeds.

Click below for a fullscreen 360° view of the scene in Flash or QuickTime format, or locate the scene in Google Earth.

Too many toys … inside Barry’s toy room

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 A look around the home studio / toy room of my mate Barry, a talented designer and collector based in Leeds (check out his agency, Analogue, here).

He’s also a bit of a vinyl toy fiend: the range of toys, prints and paintings in this room is enough to make grown men weep with jealousy.

I wouldn’t even aspire to own a collection like this: I’d lie awake at night thinking of how to protect, insure and defend it too much to actually enjoy it!