Telling a Story

For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to write. In the first grade my teacher recognized my keen ability to read and spell and placed me in a class better suited to my talents. Every day I would walk through a door that connected my classroom to another. Every day, for many days in a row, I cried as I left the comforts of my classmates even though I knew I would return within the hour.

As the door opened I remember unfamiliar faces staring back at me. A bunch of students who knew each other well and viewed me as an outsider among them. When my reading and writing lessons were over the teacher opened the door and led me back to my desk on the other side.

While I was away I had trouble focusing on the teacher and the lessons I was sent there to learn. I felt like I was missing something back in my own classroom. One day I returned and discovered that my classmates had been writing books in my absence. While I read books and spelled words just one room away they were drawing pictures and telling stories with fifth graders. The student who sat next to me leaned over and showed me the colorful pages of her staple bound book. Inside was a story about her cat or dog or some pet that I can’t quite remember. I stared at that book and could not look away. I felt jealous of all that I had missed and envious of all of the stories that had been told.

At six years old I felt spotlighted by my intelligence. My abilities were highlighted, but the limelight set me up for a fear of failure. What if I wasn’t as smart as everyone thought I was. After all if I was so smart that I couldn’t remain among my peers, then by golly I didn’t want to mess up a word in the teacher’s weekly spelling bee. I was the “smart” girl: a label that thirty-five years later still sticks to me.

My oldest child received the same stamp this year in kindergarten. His classmates wrote valentine’s cards proclaiming him “so smart” and the “smartest kid in the class” and at six year’s old he already senses the desire to prove everyone right and ensure he never gets anything wrong.

Don’t get me wrong, I fully recognize that being “smart” is not the worst label a child can be assigned, but nonetheless at that time in my life I didn’t want the light to shine on me. My shyness begged me to stay seated in the back of the classroom, but the teachers recognized my abilities and encouraged me to move out of my comfort zone even if that meant watching tears fall from my eyes day after day as I walked between that door to a seat on the other side of the wall.

My six year old asks many questions from the back seat of the car. The other day he asked what I wanted to be when I grew up. I told him I wanted to write a book and I told him that I learned to read and spell at a very young age.  Ultimately I told him the story of that first grade classroom. That room in which everyone wrote a book; well everyone other than me.

It was the first time in forty years that I understood where my desire came from. Perhaps it is as much about writing a story as it is feeling that my story was never told.

July 11, 2018 at 5:56 PM Leave a comment

Reviewing the Facts: 3 Reasons You Should Check More than one Lender Before Signing

Getting a loan is a big financial decision, the one likely to dictate the way you’re going to live for the next couple of years. Therefore, not jumping on the first opportunity that knocks on your door goes a long way towards making a smart choice you won’t end up regretting anytime soon. By doing your due diligence prior to entering a contractual relationship with a lender, you’ll lessen your chances of running into problems later on. In fact, you should be on the lookout for as many offers as possible, and there are 3 major reasons why you should do this:

1. Get some much-needed cost transparency

By going over what each lender out there can offer you in terms of costs, your decision will become much easier. If you are able to calculate your costs in advance, there won’t be any unpleasant surprises. However, you should also take the time needed to inquire about others fees you may encounter in the process.

For starters, you need to ask about the interest rates. It’s also important to verify that the rates quoted are the lowest for that day. Sometimes, interest rates can be adjustable, and you need to make sure the lender isn’t going to impose mind-numbing interest rate heights at a later date. Also, make sure to be in the know whether your loan payments will be adjusted in accordance with the fluctuating interest rates.

Then, it’s a good idea to make sure there are no other hidden fees that you’re going to encounter. This means there should ideally be no broker fees, no closing costs, and no underwriting fees. And in case there are, a reputable lender will be more than happy to be transparent about them, or at least give you a rough estimate of what you can expect to see. Application fees, for instance, are the first thing you’re going to encounter, and they may very well set the tone for the rest of the interaction with a lender you’re considering to be working with. If you can’t afford to pay these immediately, there’s an option of borrowing money to be able to cover them, but this will increase your starting costs.

Finally, keep in mind that although it’s possible to find a so called “no cost” loan, generally speaking, they tend to have a higher rates attached to them. Whenever you’re in doubt about something, do not hesitate to ask some questions. Sometimes, more than one type of fee will be meshed together in a single number, so – again – don’t be afraid to ask for additional explanation when needed.

2. Snag the best possible deal by researching multiple lenders at once and checking what others have to say

Thanks to the internet becoming so mainstream, gathering data on any particular service provider is now easier than ever before. All you have to do is type their name into a search engine of your choice, and off you go. If you’re going to follow this strategy, it’s best to make a spreadsheet and place any information you stumble across inside, which should allow for a side by side comparison at a later point.

Another very time-efficient way to gather all the info you need is to check out various lender review websites like https://loanreviewhq.com/. By doing so, you accomplish multiple things at once. First of all, you might discover a lender you haven’t even heard of before, and secondly, you won’t have to gather all the reviews and testimonials all over the internet, since it’s going to be neatly laid in front of you in a single spot.

One of the most important things to keep in mind is that by visiting a lender’s website, kind in mind the client testimonials you’re going to find there are moderated and hand-picked by the website’s administrator. In other words, in most cases, they only decide to display the ones that are to their liking, which means you’re not going to get an accurate idea about the quality of their services merely by looking at their website. Make no mistake; this is a great way to gather valuable information such as fees, cost comparison tables, estimates, selection criteria, etc. But when it comes to reviews and client testimonials, it’s best to stick to a third party source that can be trusted.

Lender review websites, as we’ve already mentioned, are one such example. Then, you should also check to see what the users on various social media channels have to say. Facebook is great for exactly this purpose, since it allows you to check exactly who said what, then examine that person’s claims by visiting their profile page and verifying it’s coming from a legitimate person. If it looks unbiased, it probably is.

Facebook groups are another great hidden resource that you can use to get great recommendations, but for whatever reason, people never think of them when they’re in the research phase. Sometimes, by asking around, people will be able to recommend you a lender you haven’t even considered or heard about up until that point.

Basically, whatever independent third party source you can find to study client reviews and testimonials is fine, as long as you can be sure that the data presented is legitimate and cannot be falsified or shown selectively.

3. See how the lenders you’re considering respond to negotiation

Here’s another secret to getting a good deal; by being a good negotiator, you can drive the prices down a bit. However, some lenders are going to be more receptive to your negotiation tactics than others, so it’s important to initiate contact with more than just a single one.

In order to do this step efficiently, you should have already completed your researched and filtered them down to just a couple of top contenders whose terms seem reasonable to you.

Did you know it’s possible for the same lender to offer different terms and rates to different customers, even though all the other variables are the same and these customers have the same qualifications? The reason being is that in certain cases, these brokers and officials are allowed to keep the difference as extra compensation.

Don’t think these differences only apply to fixed rate loans; they can also affect the variable rate loans. These can be in the form of fees, interest rates, points…

Therefore, by having this knowledge at your disposal, always try your best to negotiate a better deal. Have them write them down the updated terms, costs, fees, interest rates, etc. While negotiating, be careful that all of the fees are lowered; sometimes, in an attempt to make an offer more enticing, lenders will try to lower one variable while raising the other.

Even if you’re not finding any success with a particular lender, try another, and come back with updated results.

A great negotiation tactic you can use is to quote prices you’ve been able to find elsewhere (either on the internet or by visiting a particular lender). Then, by presenting these lower prices directly, you’ll have a much easier job negotiating a lower fee.

When you’ve agreed on the fees and terms you find suitable, it’s important to lock them in written form keep the agreement above the verbal level. The paper should contain the new terms, fees, costs, and everything relevant to the contract you’re about to sign. Of course, if the lender feels like an expiration date is in order after which the lowered fees are reverted back to normal (this takes effect in the event that you don’t sign until then), this is entirely respectable. In fact, some may even go beyond that and decide to charge you a fee for locking in the newly agreed-upon rates. On the bright side, many lenders will be willing to refund it back to you once the deal is inked.

Even though locking in the rates is negotiated to act in your favor, sometimes, the opposite can happen if the general rates get lowered just before you’ve decided to sign the contract. If the lender you’re about to sign a contract with is reasonable, you’ll be offered some form of compensation, should it ever come to this. It’s not a given that they will agree with you, but generally speaking, it’s in their interest to keep the relationships with their existing and potential clients in good standing, so chances are they’re going to cave in eventually.

Finally, keep in mind the lenders are obligated to play fair to remain compliant with the demands of the law. In other words, you should not be discriminated against based on your skin color, age, religion, handicap, etc. This means that the lender may never demand more money from you just because you are not to their liking for whatever (subjective) reason.

Conclusion

This should be more than enough information so you can begin your search. Now try to compare everything we’ve said with focusing on a single lender exclusively. As you can see, trying to get a better deal is much easier when you’re spinning multiple plates. When everything is laid out on the table, you can then simply proceed to pick the best offer you’ve been presented with.

July 6, 2018 at 12:46 AM Leave a comment

Why Fresno is Better Than You Think

When it comes to California, several premier destinations come to mind. The Golden State is home to Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, San Jose, and Sacramento, so people looking to move to the state have more than a handful of great cities to pick from. However, these mega-cities overshadow a hidden gem, Fresno. Fresno is often overlooked since it is smaller than the first 4 California cities, and is not the capital of the state like Sacramento is. All of the other major California cities gain more national attention from media, and possess major tourist attractions such as a major professional sports team. Despite this, Fresno has some great qualities that would make it a joy for anyone to live in. Here are some reasons why Fresno is much better than you think. 

Location

Fresno’s local geography is absolutely stunning for a major city. The city is located smack in the middle of the beautiful San Joaquin Valley. The valley possesses some of the most beautiful countrysides in the state, and is a major plus for anyone moving to the area. Fresno also has the great quality of being located in the geographical middle of California. This means that it is relatively easy and quick to travel to any place in California. California is a beautiful, large, and diverse place so it is important to be able to easily explore all corners of your new state. Fresno also has a claim to fame as being the closest major city to Yosemite National Park, being about just 60 miles from the national treasure. Fresno is not only a beautiful location to live in, but its location in the state of California allows for easy travel to some equally amazing places.

Economy

As the largest city in the San Joaquin Valley, Fresno serves as the economic center for the valley and most of central California. One of the biggest contributors to the local economy is the massive amount of agriculture that occurs in the region. The area produces a large amount of cotton, nuts, citrus fruits, and vegetables. Fresno itself is actually the largest domestic producer of raisins. In fact, the region has actually been called the “food basket of the world” due to its diverse and large amount of agricultural products. However, agriculture isn’t the only thing that is making Fresno’s economy strong. The city’s location make it the perfect place for distribution centers and various other businesses. Fresno is also home to various universities, who’s influx of new students further boost the local economy.

Housing 

One of the biggest draws to Fresno is the variety of housing and living options the city possesses. Regardless of what you’re looking for, the homes for sale in Fresno, CA will satisfy your needs. If you’re looking for a more metro home, then living downtown will more than satisfy your needs. Fresno is the largest non-coastal city in California and boasts a population of over 400,000 people. However, if you’re looking for something more nonchalant then the Fresno area has you covered too. Settling in the San Joaquin Valley offers a rich countryside experience with a major city at your doorstep. Some would say that it’s the best of both worlds.

Climate

Fresno possesses the typical warm California climate that you often hear about so much. The summers are hot but not usually humid and the winters never get too cold. If you’re looking to get away from the cold winters of the North, then Fresno’s winters typically hover around a crisp 60 degrees. While Fresno may not have the beaches of Los Angeles or San Diego to go along with the warm climate, there are still plenty of things residents can do in the local area in order to take advantage of the warm climate.

July 4, 2018 at 1:12 AM Leave a comment

The July Swago Board is here!

The digital rewards site Swagbucks is offering big payouts during on their July Swago Board, which runs from July 9th through July 16th at 9am PT! Swago is just like bingo, but in this case you’re filling out squares as you earn points on their site for doing things you already do online. If you’re thinking of trying Swagbucks, this is a great chance to learn all about how the site works and earn bonus points while doing it, meaning you can get more gift cards faster. Here are a few tips:

  • Each square on your Swago Board will contain an action item to complete. They can be anything from getting a search win, completing a survey, or just visiting one of our popular stores!
  • Once you complete the action item in a particular square the square will change color signifying the action item is complete.
  • You have until 12pm PT/3pm ET on Monday, July 16th to mark off as many squares as possible so use your time wisely.
  • Be mindful of the patterns and their corresponding bonuses located on the right of your Swago Board. The patterns will vary in difficulty and bonus value. Once you’ve achieved a pattern, the corresponding “Submit” button will light up. You can have multiple patterns available for submission, however, you can only submit ONE pattern so choose wisely.
  • Each activity you successfully complete on your Swago Board will give you anywhere from 1-20 spins on the Spin & Win Wheel. PLUS, when you submit your board for a bonus you’ll get additional spins. The number of spins will depend on the pattern you complete. The wheel has all sorts of great prizes that you can win, and each spin is a winner!

The Spin & Win Wheel will be available all throughout Swago and you have until 11:59pm PT on Monday, July 16th to use all your spins.

Fill up your board and then submit your pattern to get even more points – if you can fill in the whole board, you get a 500 SB bonus, which is enough for a $5 gift card from the retailer of your choice.

Click here right now and click “Join” to get started! If you don’t already have a Swagbucks account, you’ll be able to quickly sign up; PLUS, if you earn 300 SB before the first of August, you’ll get a bonus 300 SB!

July 3, 2018 at 1:03 PM Leave a comment

Get 300 bonus SB when you sign up for Swagbucks in July

All throughout July you can earn large bonuses when sign up as my referral on Swagbucks. Swagbucks is a rewards site where you earn points (called SB) for things you’re probably doing online already, like searching the web, watching videos, shopping, discovering deals, and taking surveys. Then you take those points and exchange them for gift cards to places like Amazon, Target, or PayPal cash.

When you sign up through me this month, you can earn a 300 SB bonus! Here’s how:

1. Sign up using this link

2. Earn 300 SB total before August 1st, 2018. You’ll get a 300 SB bonus for it!

3. That’s it. It’s super easy, and Swagbucks is for real. I use it myself and cash out all of my earnings to PayPal!

July 3, 2018 at 1:02 PM Leave a comment

Book Review: Can-Do Kids Series

Let’s face it as much as we want everything to be picture perfect in life the reality can be quite different. We want to believe our children can go to school, play on the playground and go to another child’s house without fear of sexual abuse, but unfortunately in this day and age we must teach our children how to protect themselves from the real threat of sexual predators. So how do you empower children to protect themselves? First, we must teach them to respect their bodies and to understand that although they are small they can still be in charge of who touches them.

That means a child should not be forced to kiss their grandmother or give their uncle a hug. It means they should understand that they can kindly say no to physical contact that they dislike; no matter the reason. In “My Body’s Mine” the author empowers children to speak up for themselves using a cute and catchy rhyme.

My body’s mine

From neck to knee,

And no one’s free

To be touching me.

From head to toe,

My body’s mine.

I love my body

And it’s all mine.

The book also goes on to explain what children should do if they don’t feel safe like yell, run and tell. The topic of sexual abuse is a difficult one to discuss at any age, but I think this book does a great job of explaining this topic to small children. When you teach your child that it’s okay to say no to unwanted hugs and kisses, (even those from well-meaning family members), you begin to teach them to have a voice, to understand when others do not have their best interests at heart, and how to scream and shout if something does happen.

If you like this book you can also check out two other books by Kayla J. W. Marnach including My Actions Matter and I Can Do That. I Can Do That focuses on teaching children how to maintain self-control. It includes simple techniques that children can utilize to help themselves calm down during times of distress. It also provides a conversation point, a way to talk about those wiggles and twitches that can be so difficult for some children to control.

Lastly, My Actions Matter, introduces children to the concept of impact and how their actions impact the lives and feelings of those around them. This book, told from a child’s point of view, focuses on being kind and respectful to other people and other living things.

All three books are currently available on Amazon.

June 28, 2018 at 4:55 PM Leave a comment

Debt Relief: 3 Options to Consider When You are Trying to Reorganize Your Finances

Is debt weighing you down? Being over your head in debt leaves you with the unnerving sense of not being in control of your finances. This feeling of helplessness can negatively affect other areas of your life, as well.

These three options for reorganizing your finances will help you take back control.

Change your repayment methods

There are a couple of strategies you can try to help you clear up debt quicker. These will require you to increase your payments now with the reward of cutting months or years off the life of your loan. By so doing, you reduce the total amount repaid, as well.

The first suggestion is adding a little extra to each monthly payment. Not so much, however, that it becomes a burden on your budget. Rounding up the payment to the next $100 is sufficient ($655 to $700, for example).

Secondly, talk to your bank about switching your monthly repayment to half payments every two weeks. This will add the equivalent of one extra monthly payment each year. With long-term loans, like a mortgage, you can shave years off the repayment period, and save tens of thousands of dollars on the total repaid.

Debt consolidation

If you have several loans with each one attracting its own rate of interest, then the best advice is to opt for debt consolidation. With debt consolidation you roll all of your debts into one with one interest rate, reducing the stress which comes from dealing with multiple lenders.

Consolidating your debts with one lender leaves you with a single loan and a single repayment on a single date each month. Plus, if you make on time payments to this new loan each month, you can start repairing damage your previous indebtedness caused to your credit score.

Additionally, debt consolidation usually gives you access to a lower interest rate and a lower monthly repayment. You effectively end up with more money to budget for your monthly expenses.

Talk with a credit counselor

There are several ways in which a credit counselor can help when it’s time to reorganize your finances. They can speak with your creditors and stop annoying calls from collection agencies. Their service also helps to improve your credit score – good news if you’re seeking rental approval or if you wish to avoid paying large security deposits on utilities.

They have the ability to help lower the interest rate charged on credit card debt; eliminate application of late fees and additional charges by the lender; reduce the debt settlement amount; and consolidate your monthly repayments into one.

Talk with a credit counseling service to find out the best debt relief options for you.  You can opt for online counseling, which is the mode chosen by most persons. Many online credit counselors will also give you the option of face-to-face consultation, if that is what you are most comfortable with.

Indebtedness is more than a financial burden. It can be one of life’s great stressors. Reorganizing your finances can help you to regain financial control and start moving ahead with your life.  Don’t wait – take the first step toward financial independence, now!

June 26, 2018 at 10:25 AM Leave a comment

The 14 Best Gifts for the Music Lover

Holidays come and go. Celebrations come and go. But family and friends are there with you, through thick and thin. There is a trail of holidays coming. There is something about gifting a person in a manner that says, I know you very well.” What are you going to get to that music lover in your life? Here are a number of gifting ideas to your music lover.

  1. Logitech Bluetooth receiver

Your music lover might be having an old radio system sitting somewhere in the basement because it cannot stream music to other devices. There is a new Logitech Bluetooth receiver which simply can be plugged into an old radio.

The gadget has the capability to pair multiple devises at the same time. Therefore, with this guy, your music lover can interchange between devices, whether mobile or not.

  1. AudioQuest Red

Ear plugs provide various experiences to your music lover. Some plugs output stereo, while others mono output. None out there that have the capability to amplify the output. AudioQuest will pick output from any gadget, whether mobile or not. Get this guy to our audiophile and he/she will thank you forever.

  1. Sony MDR

In the age of wireless headphones, it is easy for people to disregard old ones. However, little do people know that Sony MDR with a code gives quality and clear output just like recent ear plugs. This is definitely one of the best headphones to get your loved one for less than $100.

  1. Belkin Audio

Your music lover could be wondering where headphone jacks went to. He may be looking for one. Surprise him with a dongle that will enable him/her to multi-task. With the Belkin Audio dongle, the can now play their music to the amplifier and at the same time charge the phone.

version of Spotify at $3.99.0 per month. He will be the happiest person on the truck or running trail.

  1. Spotify

Your music lover may be wanting to be able list his music on his phone for workout. Does list music. However, it doesn’t list offline, unless you get the premium version. Get your loved one a premium version of Spotify at $3.99.0 per month. He will be the happiest person on the truck or running trail.

  1. Garage Band

Does your music lover need appreciate music creation? Music creation needs some instruments to create. One of those is the piano. If he/she is an aspiring piano learner, then apple devices, especially the iPhone and iPad have Garage Band. In there is a piano that has a number of preinstalled tutorials.

  1. 1001 albums

Your friend might be in love with workout music. However, his/her choice of music might be limited. Broaden your friend’s music list by sharing with him/her with a book with album lists. There is this book called 1001 albums. Get your friend this book and they will have more choices to select from.

  1. Music notes map

One of the instruments that people love to play is the guitar. Yet this is one of the toughest instruments to learn. The first thing to learn is the music notation. This map has music notation on the background. This will help your music lover take guitar lessons ery easy.

  1. A Music bangle

Still on guitar lessons; guitar 101 requires one to learn the ins and outs’ of music language. This hand bangle is a constant tutor and reminder for the music lover friend to always acquaint themselves with details about music.

  1. Portable music stand

While desiring more about guitar lessons, new learners are enthusiastic about the notes, music reading. Therefore, it is important that you make this as easy for them as possible so that they don’t lose morale. The portable music stand will make learning easy for them as they train themselves to read music.

  1. Bluetooth iPod Ear Plugs

Apple has released new ear plug or iPod. These iPod ear plugs are Bluetooth enables and are compatible with iPhones as well. These are good for both indoor and outdoor workout.

  1. Google PixelBuds

Your music lover friend must be tired of pulling his iPhone from the phone each time he wants to navigate through the controls. Google has produced these ear pieces that are operated wirelessly through touch and holding down for some time. They are so far one of the best wireless ear buds for jogging.

  1. Thicksound

Commonly these ear buds are loved by travelers. However, they do also fit runners who like ear buds that are tight fitting.

  1. A guitar pick

Guitar learners give up on lessons and practice too quickly because their fingers hurt so bad after two days of playing. Therefore, a simple and personalized plastic or leather guitar pick is such a sigh of relief for them.

June 25, 2018 at 4:59 PM Leave a comment

Reasons to Get Spiritual Beads

Have you ever heard of a chakra bracelet? And do you know what does it mean? If you’re not into yoga, you’ve probably never heard of yoga chakra bracelets. Maybe you’ve seen them a lot as they are very popular among those who don’t even practice yoga. But do you know the meaning behind those bracelets?

In general, the spiritual beads meaning is about energy recreation in your body. A chakra string of beads is created to balance energy portals. Are you already interested? Keep reading to find out more.

Chakra Bracelet: The Meaning of the Beads

Each bead on a yoga bracelet symbolizes something. Overall, there are usually seven different beads of seven different colors on a string of beads:

  • Red;
  • Orange;
  • Yellow;
  • Green;
  • Blue;
  • Indigo;
  • And violet.

Each of them symbolizes a different energy portal, which is responsible for a specific part of the body, as well as a set of particular emotions and feelings. For example, green color stands for the heart chakra. It is related to heart directly. This part is all about romantic feelings, compassion, love, forgiveness, etc. The same way every other chakra is responsible for something else.

How can a chakra bracelet help you to balance the energy? Just wearing a bracelet with the stones of different colors promises to make its owner feeling better emotionally. You can always check the reviews from other yoga bracelet owners and read how it has helped them with balancing their own energy.

Another effective way of using a yoga string of beads is by diffusing the essential oils with it. Just take it and sprinkle a drop of oil on two-three beads. Then, hang it somewhere around the house (for example, on a cabinet handle) and let it dry out. It takes no more than 20-25 minutes. After this, you can wear a bracelet all day long and enjoy the smell of your favorite essential oil wherever you are. Choose lavender oil to calm yourself down, or take orange oil that will help you to stay active from morning till evening. Try different aromas for different purposes.

Is a bracelet expensive? Everything depends. If you buy a string of beads with real gemstones, then it will be quite a pricey purchase. If the stones are fake, then it will be quite a cheap thing to get. Here’s a little lifehack on how to pick the real stones. If a stone is genuine, it feels cold when touching it with the fingers or feeling it against your cheek. Try this method whenever you’re choosing something pretending to be with the real stones. Don’t be afraid that you will need to replace a string of beads every time you sprinkle the oil. Usually, a qualitative yoga bracelet lasts for a long period of time. So, probably, it is better to choose quality over quantity. Look for yoga-related brands to be sure that you’ve picked something really nice and durable.

June 20, 2018 at 8:00 AM Leave a comment

Rediscovering Peace in the Bustle of a Thriving City

A plethora of developers have proposed a £4m-plus public realm scheme to include a Peace Garden in Manchester City Centre.

Over £65m over the next five years will be placed into the renovation of new and refurbished buildings in Lincoln Square. Landowners who are already investing have teamed up with Manchester City Council to contribute £1.2m to the project with an aim to transform Lincoln Square into a place to welcome the people of Manchester into an area of relaxation and tranquillity.

According to a planning and consultation document prepared by Deloitte Real Estate, “the area currently represents a missed opportunity to fulfil its original intention as a missing link between Spinningfields, the Central Business District, the Civic Quarter and beyond.

“The proposal represents a rare opportunity to provide a £4m worth of private investment to act as a driver for improved commercial opportunity in the area by creating a strong identity, a new destination and a place that people want to embrace as their own.”

Postgraduate students from Manchester School of Architecture worked closely with Manchester Metropolitan Universityand the University of Manchester to help shape the design of Manchester’s proposed new peace garden. Ranking 6thbest in the world and 2ndbest in the UK, they were given a week to devise proposals for a new-look space.

Working in close collaboration with the Friends of Manchester Peace Garden, who campaigned to get the garden re-instated, as well as a design practice Planit-IE, who were recently appointed to deliver the public realm of the area, 36 students worked in groups over an intensive week to explore how the word ‘peace’ might be translated.

The groups presented their proposals to a panel of judges. The winning proposal presented an oval reflecting pool semi-enclosed by a wall with a continuously flowing waterfall focused on ‘peace’ as a state of mind by interpreting equilibrium, contemplation and protection.

Their efforts were praised for simplicity, strength and professional vision of an icon for the city centre and a space to collect thoughts and enter deep contemplation -a perfect symbol of a regeneration after a disaster.

The town hall says it wants to make the run-down area, just off Albert Square, a ‘place to spend time in its own right’.

Trees will be planted from the trees of a Ginkgo tree damaged in the Hiroshima nuclear bomb that regrew that following year, intending to portray a ‘regeneration after the disaster, and of peace’.

Lincoln Square was a named is a tribute to the Grade II Listed statue placed in its centre, given to Britain as a symbol of 100 years of peace between the US and Britain and placed in Manchester due to its support for the abolition of slavery.

The council wants the space to become a retreat between Deansgate and the town hall, to become a place that one can admire and reflect whilst passing through on their daily commute to Spinningfields.

Plans for Lincoln Square, not only provide a space of serenity but also help complement a much larger private sector investment taking place in the new and refurbished buildings surrounding the square. Restaurants and cafes will be encouraged to take advantage of a new thriving area of the city and ultimately aim to create more than 3,000 jobs. Property companies like RWInvest are making the most of Manchester’s emerging presence on the property scene and surrounding buildings around the square have the potential to accommodate business professionals interested in urban living.

Lincoln Square is an idyllic retreat nestled amongst Manchester’s scurrying streets. A premium public square in the heart of the city centre.

June 19, 2018 at 11:49 AM Leave a comment

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