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Colors 55: Birmingham

Join COLORS on a tour of Birmingham, the city with more canals than Venice, more trees than Paris and more parks than any other European city. Visit the colorful neighborhoods of Handsworth and Sparkbrook, the Botanical Gardens, Europe’s biggest cinema complex and Birmingham Central Mosque.

COLORS sets out to see how the UK’s second largest city—over 1 million people live there—is reinventing itself as it tries to move away from its image of factories, smoke and ugly concrete buildings. Go shopping at Europe’s largest city shopping center (opening September 2003), go greyhound racing or have a drink in one of the bars and nightclubs on the newly rejuvenated Broad Street. But don’t forget to eat. France may have its cheeses and Italy its pasta, but Birmingham has the balti, a special type of curry born and bred in the city.

On the way round meet some of Birmingham’s residents as they show COLORS their homes, talk about their lives and explain what it means to be from Birmingham (and elsewhere, there are over 80 nationalities living in the city). There’s Tony Deep who arrived from India dreaming of earning enough money to make films back home, but ended up running a £23 million (US$36 million) a year spice business. There’s Richard Graves whose company burned many of the 4.2 million animals slaughtered during the UK’s recent foot and mouth disease outbreak. Or spend some time with Barry Austin, 368kg at his heaviest and famous for being able to eat eight curries at one sitting.

COLORS 55: Birmingham reveals another side to a city known for too long as just being home to one of the UK’s largest road junctions (Spaghetti Junction to locals). So stop and pull off the highway, COLORS will be glad to show you around.

 

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