Westside, Birmingham: Libraries, Canals & Club Nights!

Birmingham, you know that I love Southside but it's always good to be on the Westside! Once dubbed the 'Convention Quarter' this fast changing part of Birmingham's city centre has adopted a new name and look, I'm clocking your style! I am! From beneath the rubble the new 'Library of Birmingham' will school the children! Don't get stupid, Westside's got your number already, B! 

Westside knows that reading is fundamental, ushering the new Library of Birmingham made Centenary Square look less of a building site! Reopened alongside the Rep Theatre, because nobody's got time for all that rubble! Spending the final year of my university degree should have made me motivated to use the library for research purposes for my dissertation but like many others I saw it as a tourist attraction. Making my way around the rooftop gardens gave me a beautiful of Birmingham's developing skyline and the bustling Broad Street. That party street used to impress me! Who thought of the name 'Westside?' Birmingham is changing but from whats going on at the moment its not doing much harm to the city! Getting to grips with the towering bookshelves gave me a sense of how much work had gone into designing that Brummie house of books. Westside is fast becoming Birmingham's focal point, putting the Library up there to promote Birmingham as the first class, not so 'Second City!' Westside already knows! 

Birmingham's Symphony Hall and International Convention Centre both bring it for Westside in many ways! Clogging the streets with maximum security during the Conservative Conference that I remember from my time living nearby Broad Street, some of the things I remember about that time are quite random! No apologises! Seeing Peter Andre at the Symphony Hall was good but graduating with a 2:1 BA Degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management brought the house down for me! That day was something that I won't ever forget! Westside has seen a long, she's seen those students and has the t-shirt! W's currently being regenerated from the ground up, I believe its only getting started! I haven't had much of a look in to the International Convention Centre but I know for certain that it brings in some serious paper for Birmingham! Britain's Got Talent saw the appeal of Centenary Square and the Symphony Hall, well I you know what I mean? Nevertheless, Westside brings the books and brass, Birmingham! Read it B! Jog on, go!

Drinks by the canal? Westside presents Brindleyplace as a perfect Industrial mash of city living with the future in mind. Having more canals than Venice, Italy means that Brindleyplace looks even better with those trendy bars and restaurants! Overlooking another part of Westside that I will get to in good time. Gentrification can be a good thing when it comes to Brindleyplace because I believe the area that surrounds Brindleyplace used to be a dreary looking car park? Yes, so a little investment can go along way! 'All Bar One' offers the perfect outdoor seating for those summer nights, get a history lesson for the beginnings of Brindley's Place were very Industrial because factories are fabulous! You could say that Westside still works for its own? During my latest visit to Brindleyplace I stopped by one of the bars where my younger brother works, fixing me a pint I bumped into some of his former flatmates. It had been five years since I had started uni, I felt like my life needed to move forwards! It has and will, China time soon, B!

Birmingham's Westside brings the entertainment and then some! For those who likes their shows just so, they can see a show at Birmingham's own Symphony Hall. The Symphony Hall can be accessed via a footbridge from Westside's Brindleyplace, easy access for those pre or post show drinks! I have been able to see numerous concerts at Birmingham's own city centre arena in Westside. From Girls Aloud to Beyonce, I have been bopped to a Steps concerts through the years. Seeing the Pussycat Dolls, I was amazed to see Lady GaGa when she was their support act! Concerts of all types pull into Westside's own arena, we are attracting bigger acts every year! Remembering that Birmingham's Westside was part of my journey before my university days allowed me to know the twists and turns, I knew what streets to take! Westside brings the entertainment and then some, Birmingham's nothing without its lively 'Convention and Concert Quarter!' I made sure that final Brindleyplace drinks tasted good, it would be my last one! Yes!

No, I didn't have to collect any post! Westside brings the Mailbox to life with a range of bars and restaurants that look ace during the night time. Living close by in the Malting's Halls of Residence gave me the opportunity to pass through this Westside landmark. Accessing the city centre, I had the best diversion possible on my doorstep! Located beside that former Royal Mail sorting office is the Cube, a mixed modern development that is beating against the recession it faced! Anybody who is anybody knows that its cool to dine on Sushi on Sundays because students don't do roast dinners! Christmas gives Westside that something extra, the Mailbox had my full attention with the lights and Christmas tree taking centre stage! The Cube soon got its life back with a Hotel Indigo and Marco Pierre White Steakhouse that apparently gives the best rooftop view of Brum? I don't have the coins right about now, but I will make it my mission to stay at the Cube's own Hotel Indigo in the future! Yes, I will! Westside, I am in my feelings! OK!

I used to live in Westside, it just took me a while to realise that my 'Halls of Residence' fell under that zone. I moved into the Malting's 'Halls of Residence' during mid-September 2010, I had chosen to study at 'University College Birmingham'. Nestled over the canal, I had a great view from my initial student room, Davenport House held the key to my first portion of student life at UCB. I spent three years on and off living in the centre of Birmingham, that one-off experience provided me with a superb location for work and play all at the same time. Tesco Express in the Mailbox became a god send when I needed something to eat or pre-drinks! I adored being close to central Birmingham, Westside life held the key to being not far from Birmingham's Southside if I walked down Bath Row. Student life changed over the years but me and Westside knew to stick together, I feel all nostalgic when I return to that part of the city! Life won't ever go back to that situation but the memories keep the fire alive, the fire that is alive inside of me! Oh, W'side! 

Broad Street opened my eyes in many ways to the partying ways of Birmingham during a time when I nothing else to compare it with. Thrown into the twilight during my UCB Fresher's term at University College Birmingham, I endorsed my new student party lifestyle with much gusto! Along with my Fresher's gang from our halls we frequented Walkabout, RISA and Gatecrasher throughout the week. During the first year I didn't go out into Birmingham during the weekend. It was more of a Monday to Friday thing. Dipping into things along Broad Street as my student journey in Westside progressed, I felt more attracted to a quiet teatime meal at the Wetherspoon's. Broad Street's appeal changed for me as my final year approached, it was more of a pre-drinking meeting point before the LGBT Society from UCB would head down to Southside. As I was waking up to something else, I saw that Broad Street had changed. Those nighttime memories spent getting wasted won't be regretted ever, we needed 'Big Bite! burger' 

Broad Street brings the party for Birmingham's Westside corner but it is not all about the drinks, dining options can be found with a range of hotels that cater to all budgets. Blagging a blog opportunity at American themed eatery, 'Coast To Coast' showed me a great night with lots of great food and drink to shout all about for my blog viewers and for the Twitter-sphere to see! Will Broad Street change too much? I'm afraid change will be inevitable but we've all got to reinvent ourselves from time to time! Westside's got it in the bag, I'm sure of it because Arena One Central is on its way, ready to snatch HSBC from London's Canary Wharf for Westside's own Birmingham gain! Reading will always be fundamental for Birmingham's landmark library dominates the ever-changing Centenary Square! Life won't ever be the same again, I'll always be missing my Westside life! No longer a student, I will return every now and then because Birmingham's Westside won't ever leave me! Birmingham, you have me in my feelings again! 

Birmingham's Westside Story!

Joseph Harrison 


  1. I really enjoyed your post! I miss being able to travel so much and seeing pictures of another city are very relaxing. Thanks for sharing!


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