Manchester

Manchester Travel Blog

 › entry 16 of 87 › view all entries
Selfridges

Manchester is my second favorite city in England.  It's great. I can't really explain why - I'll have to make it up as I go along.  But it's a place that I want to spend a lot more time.  I want to eat more curry on the curry mile in Rusholme.  I want to spend more afternoons pretending I can afford stuff in the big flagship clothes shops, blagging samples in the department stores, mooching about in the galleries... 

Matt had to go to work in whereveritisthatmattworks, and by the time I woke up, it was pretty much lunchtime.  I got a bus into town on Matt's bus pass and bought a burger in the farmers market in Picadilly Gardens.  Picadilly gardens - where the buses go - has a farmers market with about three stalls, but it was an excellent burger.

Urbis
And it probably comes from a happy cow.  Well, not happy now.  But it used to be, and that matters.  And I went off to find something to do for six hours til Matt got off of work. 

Thing one was wandering about in the shops.  Manchester is a red hot place for shop wandering.  There are some great shops.  But I got bored of that - I had a three day hangover drifting over the horizon, and even Urban OUtfitters wasn't cutting it.  I needed coffee somewhere where I didn't feel self conscious about my lack of makup, and then I needed something where I didn't have any risk of accidentally spending a fortune on a skirt I didn't need.

big wheel
  What to do, what to do...

Regular readers will need no clues as to what happened next - a gallery!  I steered my hangover into Urbis, a design museum just opposite the cathedral.  Like a lot of Manchester, it's a shiny new building with interesting architecture bits.  Manchester has been the victim of the second world war, insensitive development in the 1960s, major industrial collapse leaving rotting warehouses, and a couple of unpleasant bombs.  In the late 1980s, there were only a few hundred people in the city centre left hanging on.  Then Manchester sucked it up, took a deep breath, and came back.  It rebuilt.  There are always going to be arguments about whether it went too far or not, whether it lost soul, particularly when they lost the hacienda, but I just like being there.

snail
  And Urbis charts this. 

Right now, Urbis is showcasing the history of the Hacienda, the legendary club that pretty much invented the superclub, reinvented the live music scene in Manchester, and probably launched more drugs than any other club in the history of narcotics.  WHich is a bad thing, natch, but a good story.  As an aside, Manchester is the only city where anyone has ever offered me ecstacy in public - again, a bad thing (especially given that I'm allergic to almost everything, so of course I said no, and the person in question still spent the next ten minutes telling me how lovely I was and that I really ought to come to some rock club to laugh at the EMO kids!) but a good story.  Urbis also had a big thing about the best advertising design awards and some contemporary art and the coolest diagonal lift I have ever seen ever.

cool sculpture thing

After that I went shopping again, and bought a cardi coz we were planning to go out.  Manchester also has a Fop, which I thought had gone bust (really cheap CD shop, cool books, quite a lot ace) and was really happy to find.  Then I got lost on the way back, couldn't find the bus stop, got stuck on the bus, missed the stop, and by the time I found Matt in didsbury I was an hour and a half late.  Matt forgave me, and we went out in China Town.  I can't tell you where we ate, but it was really nice.  I didn't go out in the end, we went home, because Matt had work and I was meeting a different friend for Lunch. 

londonstudent says:
Mmm ... that's rather what I thought it must be :) But why? Does it solve a problem, or is it just an architect's fancy?
Posted on: Feb 03, 2008
sarahelaine says:
at the risk of being flippant - it is a lift that instead of going up and down, goes on a diagonal track like an escalator, but it's a lift.
Posted on: Feb 03, 2008
londonstudent says:
So what - and this is a serious question from a fellow geek - is a diagonal lift? I've never heard of one, or seen anything that could be described like that ...
Posted on: Feb 03, 2008
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Selfridges
Selfridges
Urbis
Urbis
big wheel
big wheel
snail
snail
cool sculpture thing
cool sculpture thing
Manchester
photo by: klaaRA