Leeds today: over-indulgence, parks, boot camp, festivals, parking fines, police, preservation, love, drink and nudity.

Today sees the debut of our new Monday writer, Hazel! We’re really lucky to get her so please make her feel welcome 🙂

Hello all! Hope you had a lovely weekend, despite the declining weather conditions (is summer over?). I myself ventured down to the South West and spent the weekend gorging on Cornish pasties and various other pastry/batter/cream laden treats. The Otley Food and Drink Festival happened this weekend, so I’m comforted by my suspicion that many others will have spent Sunday participating in similar food-orientated pursuits. If you’re like me and are feeling the post-indulgence guilt creeping, there’s no better time to make use of Leeds’ wonderful array of parks for a spot of exercise. For the more ambitious, on a recent visit I paid to Roundhay I witnessed a large group of both young and old people running frantically around the park. A bit of investigation tells me it was the Roundhay Park Bootcamp in action. Any takers?

Also this weekend, the consistent heavy showers did nothing to dampen the spirits of tens of thousands of people at Leeds’ Party in the Park. Dizzee Rascal was correct when he said that the people in the north know how to have a good time!

In the local news over the weekend: plans for a new £1 billion fund, aimed at transforming West Yorkshire transport, are getting well underway. The idea is that local councils work in unity to create faster and more efficient transport links.  In other transport news, an embarrassing slip-up which lead to parking fines being slapped on Bruce Springsteen’s tour trucks ahead of a landmark gig marking the first performance at the new Leeds Arena has been described by Leeds City Council as ‘a little embarrassing’. They were quick to overturn the fines.

The new Leeds Police Station, due to open in March of next year, reached a milestone this weekend. Chief Constable Mark Gilmore helped to mark the ‘topping out’ ceremony at the 12,500 square meter facility, which is hoped to lower costs and improve police services.

We’re glad that, amidst the recent struggles to prevent the demolition of local community buildings, close to £100,000 has been allocated towards securing the future of West Yorkshire’s Sandal Castle, which dates back to the 12th Century.

Check out the insights that Leeds-list offers us into what the implications of spending cuts are for Leeds and its inhabitants.

Word of a brand new music, art and film festival hitting Leeds and Bradford this September has got us excited. The aim of the festival is to bring together emerging talent and to prompt new collaboration between the arts. You can pick up tickets from Crash Records or Jumbo Records in the city centre (if you’re going to buy tickets, make sure to have a browse of the records- always some absolute gems to be found). You’ll definitely catch us there!

Love, and finding it, is a big deal in Leeds. So much so that Channel 4 made a series, named ‘Love in Leeds’. For those of you who have ever wondered where would be a more weird or wonderful location for a date in Leeds, look no further! A list of more intriguing date locations than the run-of-the-mill dinner and cinema can be found here.

We’re excited to see that preparations for Leeds West Indian Carnival are already kicking off! A sunny Caribbean-inspired cocktail, the ‘Crème de Carnival’, has been created in advance of this years celebrations, which will be held over the August Bank Holiday. We can always trust a rum cocktail to put people in the party swing.

Finally, if you belong to the 18-25 Male demographic and are willing to bare all in the name of art, then you are wanted for a new exhibition at Hepworth Wakefield’s new Caddies Mill contemporary art space. Certainly not for the timid!

I believe that’s all for now, folks. See you Wednesday!

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