There is beauty in the beast. It might not always be obvious but it is there in the twinkling neon reflections in an oil stained puddle at the kerb or in the soot blackened red bricks of old industrial factories whose raison d´être have been completely turned on their heads.
Grimy, wet Manchester; the heartlands of industrial England where the Spinning Jenny changed the world, the computer was invented and where that pesky atom was split for the first time.
There is a defiant attitude in its rock solid foundations and I adore every inch of its gritty side streets and soaring scrapers.
The Soup Kitchen
Pavement café society Manchester style – loading bays and lunch. The canteen of the creative in the Northern Quarter provides a hint about what Manchester is all about. Sophistication in Doc Martens.
The Dance Hall
Piccadilly Train Station car park by day, an industrial rave venue at night (now and again).
Art, humour, fashion and attitude rolled into one by Factory 311.
It’s a bona-fide pawnbroker in a modern city in 2011 – conveniently placed right outside Affleck’s Palace so you can pawn and buy.
Deansgate – home to bars, restaurants, clubs and the centre of Manchester’s Spanish world, the Insituto Cervantes where, incidentally, I studied Spanish at night school for a year.
Beetham Tower – nearly 169 metres high and looking like a Playstation 2 standing on its side. Beetham Tower on Deansgate was designed by Ian Simpson who also designed the city’s Urbis Centre and who lives in the penthouse high in the sky. My nephew insists Wayne Rooney lives one floor below.