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Famous For Lots Of Things – But Few Of Them Good….
Manchester in General
Member Name: zoe_page_1
Manchester in General
Date: 22/11/01, updated on 22/11/01 (425 review reads)
Manchester. Bit of a dump really, isn't it? Chances are that's what a lot of you are thinking, but really it is nowhere near that bad..... I'm not a native (thank God...) but I've been here for over a year so I know a bit about it - enough to write this at any rate.
There are lots of areas to the city, from everso lovely Chorlton (I have to say that so I don't get thumped by certain people who live there) to the infamous Moss Side, not forgetting Withington, Didsbury, Rusholme, Castlefield, Fallowfield – the list goes on. Since this category claims to be "Manchester in General" though, I'm going to forget those areas and concentrate on the city centre - the most important area after all, since that's where I live....
Manchester is a pretty diverse place to live in. Where else could you make a 12.5 minute (I've timed it) trip to work and in that time walk past 2 universities and through China Town and the Gay Village. The restaurants are diverse, the shops are diverse and the people are diverse, but somehow they all manage to co-exist in (mainly) perfect harmony.
Shopping in Manchester is not as wonderful as people make out but then I'm biased since working in a shop puts me off venturing out in my off hours. There are a number of decent areas though, including St Annes Square, Deansgate and the Triangle which offer "quality" establishments like GAP, Calvin Klein, Molton Brown and so on, as opposed to the terribly tacky and pretty much totally revolting Arndale Centre, home to Quarters and many a Pound shop.
For eating there're typical northern Cafes, along with places offering Italian, Indian, Chinese, French,Spanish, Korean and other nationalities I can't remember. Prices vary depending on the area, with Deansgate being more expensive than Piccadilly, and the Corn Exchange area pricier than Oxford Rd. Drinks wise you have to work hard to avoid the students. Dea
nsgate Locks and Oxford (through to Wilmslow) Road are their typical haunts, but since many of them (us?) want to avoid the normal crowd on occasion, even specified "safe" areas for non-students, like Deansgate Proper, can have the odd influx of the drunken academic types.
Manchester will be hosting the Commonwealth Games in 2002 (big whoop) and as a result lots of the locals (not me, I hasten to add) are attempting to get fit and feel all sporty so they’ll blend in. A new swimming pool has been built for the water based competitions, and the G Mex over near Deansgate is going to be turned into an indoor sports haven for many of the other events. Before the preparations for the games though, there were already many pools and gyms and leisure centres in and around the centre, although from looking at many Mancunians you’d never guess…..
Transportly speaking, Manchester is home to the busiest bus route in Europe which is most fun – usually busses wizz by every 3 seconds, but whenever I need to travel on one of the dreaded things it’s always a good 10 minutes before one appears (and even then it’s always expensive Stagecoach and not lovely Magic Busses, sob….). We also have a metrolink service – aren’t we lucky – that links Eccles, Altrincham, Bury (and soon Salford) with the central areas. There are 3 main train stations – Oxford Rd, Victoria and my next door neighbour Piccadilly from where trains depart to London and all other major cities (along with some cr*ppy little towns) on a regular basis. If you’re driving, motorways run practically into the centre itself, and of course there’s Ringway just outside the city if you fancy flying.
What else does Manchester have? Well there’s a canal they pulled a few bodies out of last year (next to the oh-so-imaginatively-named Canal Street made popular by the quality drama, “Queer As Folk”) and
a couple of decent theatres. We saw Oh What a Night at the Palace last year, and went to watch Snow White with the kids at the Opera House (although whether or not we’ll be allowed back in this year is a good question), and both were decent enough venues. Granada have their main studios here, and the BBC seem to have taken over a corner of Oxford Rd with their lovely brown building too – both offer free audience tickets although some of the shows filmed up here leave a little to be desired.
Manchester has more students per square metre than any other European City, mainly due to the fact we have so many unis and colleges, including UMIST, University of Manchester, Man Met, Salford (just outside the city since it’s, erm, in Salford, but still counts for these purposes), Royal College of Music, Northern Ballet Theatre and so on.
So there you have it – busiest bus route, famous nightlife, lots of students. What more could you want from a city? No, on second thoughts, don’t answer that…