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Manchester is magic-My hometown
Manchester in General
Member Name: duskmaiden
Manchester in General
Date: 04/11/03, updated on 13/11/03 (397 review reads)
Advantages: dining, selection of shops
Disadvantages: scallies, expensive trendy bars
This review is part of the HOMETOWN challenge where members are asked to write about any aspect of their home town - or a town they'd like/not like to be their home town. You can find all the participants by going to: http://www.dooyoo.co.uk/internet/internet_sites/do oyoo_co_uk_in_general/_r eview/426988/
I thought I would do Proxam?s My Hometown challenge However I have already written an opinion on my birthplace Dumfries so I thought I would write one on my adopted home town and current place of residence Manchester. This is actually very appropriate as it is three years to the week that I packed my bag, waved goodbye to my parents and moved down to Manchester.
Where Is Manchester?
Yes I know this sounds a silly question but I may as well be thorough! Manchester is in the North West of England in the very south of Lancashire. It lies on three rivers the Irwell, the Medlock and the invisible rerouted Irk. When talking about Manchester I could actually be talking about three different areas. If I was being very precise I could be talking about the city centre. I could also be talking about the larger area covered by Manchester city Council. This spans from Mosston in the north to Didsbury in the south. Finally there is the metropolitan area of Greater Manchester hat is huge. It covers Manchester, Tameside, Oldham, Rockdale, Bolton, Bury Stockport, Salford and Trafford.
His review will be talking about the city centre and to a lesser extent the areas just south of the city centre such as the university?s Rusholme and Fallowfierld as these are the areas that I know well.
How big is Manchester?
Manchester is the third biggest city behind London and Birmingham and has a population of 438202.
A short history of Manchester
Manchester is actually quite a historic town. The Romans colonised the area know known as Castlefield and built a fort there. This area was known as Mancunuim.
here is also a very small medieval area centring on the cathedrals and the Hanging Bridge. Little survives of this area but there are two pubs Sinclair?s Oyster bar and the Old Wellington that date back to the 16th century. However until the eighteenth century Manchester was something of a backwater. The Indu
strial Revolution changed Manchester?s landscape and fortunes completely. It became known as the Cottonoplolis due o the trade in cotton through the city and the number of cotton factories that sprang up around Manchester. It was one of the most famous cities in the world and its population soared. With this came a divide in living standards as the merchants lived a lavish lifestyle and slums spring up around Manchester. The worst one was Little Ireland which was located where Oxford Road Railway station is. There is still a plaque that commemorates it. The other bloody reminder of Manchester?s past is the Free Trade hall in Peter Street which is now sadly boarded up and will be turned into a luxury hotel. This is where the Peterloo Massacre took place in. 1819. The massacre happened when a meeting was called for political reform. Due to the Riot Act troops were called in and a bloodbath was caused. It was nicknamed Peterloo as it was compared to the Battle of Waterloo that took place the previous year.
How can I get to Manchester?
Easy. There are regular trains and national express coaches and here is an international airport that also has a rail link to the main train station of Manchester. Piccadilly Railway Station has been revamped for last years Commonwealth Games as has Chorlton Street Bus Station and they are both totally improved.
Manchester city Centre Landmarks
The Town Hall
This is an impressive Gothic building to show the amount of civic pride the Victorian Mancunians s had for their world famous city.
Sitting next door to the Town Hall this surely must be my
favourite building in Manchester. It is an Art Deco inspired 30s building and I unique as it is circular. I love sitting in the various specialist libraries such as the language and literature one.
This may not be the moss impressive cathedral but it is interesting. It has a b
rand new Visitor?s centred hat is based around the newly uncovered that has uncovered the Hanging Bridge an old medieval bridge that used to connect the town and the cathedral.
This is a new museum of urban life. It I has an impressive modern building but I was not that impressed with the contents and exhibits inside the building.]
This is one of the earlier buildings near the cathedral and is now a specialist music school.
I love o sit in cathedral Gardens and look around as you have contrasts from the 19th century Victoria railway station, the mediaeval cathedral, and the 1960s tower blocks of the CiS buildings and the ultra modernity of Urbis.
Manchester?s Culinary delights.
Manchester I a great place to eat out. It seems to have every type of cuisine under the sun. There is a Chinatown with loads of Chinese restaurants, shops and a lovely Chinese Arch. Near where I live is a road called the Curry Mile. It is full of Indian restaurants, jewellery shops and sari shops. It is quite a fascinating place to visit. If you like Italian there are number o nice little eateries. Try Leoni?s near the Town Hall. We have always had a good meal there. Cocotoo on Whiworth Street is great. It is situated in an old railway arch n has the most beautiful ceiling paintings including a miniature version of the paintings of the Cistean Chapel.
If you want something lighters such as a snack I can also recommend a few good places. The Dutch Pancake House near the Town Hall is wonderful and doe massive filled pancakes. Café Pop in the Northern Quarter does great veggie fare and has love
ly cheap home made cakes. Finally there is Zest. This is a smoothie bar and does lovely really fresh smoohies and juices and their coffee is not bad either.
Do not ask for a roll. It is either a barm(cake) or a muffin depending on whih part of Man
chester you are from.
There is something for everyone in Manchester. There is Market Street and the Arndale Centre that have your typical high street stores. The Arndale Market is worth a look and has a really good fish stall. If you want somewhere posher head to the areas around Deansgate, King Street and St Anne? Square these are the top end of the high street and minor designer labels. The Trainable shopping Centre is aimed at the same market and is housed in he old Cotton Exchange. For those of you with ultra expensive tastes there is the new Harvey Nicks and Selfridges.
For those who enjoy a more bohemian and interesting shopping expee4irncego to the Northern Quarter. This is an area beloved of the mosherss and other youth groups. Affleck?s Palace is always worth a root. Pop Boutique and Oxfam originals have some lovely retro bargains!
Outside of the city centre is the Trafford Centre. I personally o not like it. It seems over hot and you can get most of the stuff in the city centre anyway. Head south of the city centre to Rusholme for a sari or try Longsight market. Yes there is the dodgy clothes stall full of jumpers and tacky clothing but there are also good fruit stalls and a great fish stall.
Manchester is renowned for its team Manchester united. No visit would be complete without a tour of old Trafford though I have to say I have never been. There is also Manchester City who I would support I I did support football but I hate it. Manchester has also benefited from loads of new sports facilite3s due to the Commonwealth Games such as the new Stadium, and Melodrama. There
is also the Aquatics Centro that I use very regularly. For those who enjoy a flutter there I the greyhound track at Belle Vue which is east of Longsight.
Yes there is more to Manchester than flat caps and whippets. We have a number of theatres that have everything from obscure p
lays to the big musicals. There is the Bridge water hall that has frequent classical concerts. There is also the Lowry Centre in Salford Quays that has art exhibitions and cultural things such as ballets and plays.
In the centre of the city there is the City art gallery. This is award inning and very child friendly. There is also the Whitworth Art gallery on Oxford Road which is part of h university.
There are a number of Museums in Manchester. I have not visited all of them. I must get to the Jewish Museum in Cheetmahm Hill north of the city and there is supposed to be a Police Museum.
The main Manchester Museum is linked with the university. It is an old fashioned museum that is trying to change and has the usual animals, fossils and mummies. A more exciting museum is the science and Industry museum. The museum is situated on the site of the world? first passenger railway station. This has some great hands on exhibitions and the space and flight gallery that will please all boys big and small. For the girls there is the Museum of Costume in Platt Hall that is located in Platt Fields Park just past the Curry mile. This has some lovely exhibits going back the 16th century but is only open at weekends unless you have an appointment
The Pumphouse Museum is a social history museum and is not for everyone as it does feature trade unions heavily. It is trying to bring in more interactivity.
Entertainment and Nightlife
There are a number of cinemas to choose from. I depends on personal choice. The Filmworks is luxurious and where the Man United football players go but the Ode
on is more old fashioned and especially cheap on Mondays. The Cornernhouse shows more art house stuff
Pubs and Clubs.
There is certainly something or everyone in Manchester whether you want an old fashioned boozer or a trendy place. You just have to pick the right place.
Deansgate, peter Street, Deansgate lo
cks and the Printworks are for bright young things who like to party, wear very little and do not mind getting ripped off with drinks prices. I tend to avoid these areas.
Oxford Road, the area round UMIST and Princess Street are more student friendly. A few of my favourite places are in this area. Try the Lass of Gowrie or the sand Bar for some good company and some nice drinks. The Lass has its own micro brewery.
Another one to note is Fab Café on Portland Street. It is a cult TV and film bar an is open late and does not change to get in after 11 like most places.
When I go clubbing I tend to frequent small basements and attic clubs. They seem to be more relaxed and a funkier more individual crowd. I can recommend Smile at the Star and Garter, Voodoo lounge at the Retro Bar (I am biased as my friend is the DJ) and Tiger Lounge at Slice.
I must mntion the gay Village. i t is a vibrant nd fun plce although i have not been there that much Manchester is pretty toerent of different ways of life apart from the number of smll minded people in the areas surroudning Manhcester that have voted int he BNP
There are a number of venues to go to. I have not to been to all of them. The university and the Academy are always good for gigs as is the Roadhouse and the Night and Day Café. The MEN Arena has all the biggest names as does the Apollo
Scally- ruffian, cheeky guy
Shedhead- a stupid person
Top- fantastic wonderful
I have never stayedin a hotel in Manchester but I hear Malmasion is good as is the Midlnd Hotl where Rolls met R
oce and Posh met beckham
I hope that has given you an insight into Manchester. Any more established Mancunians let me know if I have missed something vital out!!
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