Posted: August 13, 2012 in England, This & That

Old and not so old buildings in Manchester.

I’ve always had a bit of a thing about Manchester. I’ve kind of liked it but at the same time I’ve always complained about its grottiness. I felt it was too run-down, dirty, old, and in need of a jolly good facelift. Then, in 1996 IRA blew a hole in it and the city centre just had to be rebuilt. I moved away and the rebuilding continued…Years later I hardly recognized the city centre. I was gobsmacked!

Cooperation Street. The fancy glass building is a National Football Museum. Yeah.

The public lavatory-like brown tiles of the Arndale Center were gone, no more boarded up windows or streets; lots of the buildings were totally made of glass and it looked modern and fine. I was very impressed. But then it hit me – was the character of Manchester lost? The grotty alleys and run-down buildings were part of its charm. What would Manchester be like today had IRA left it alone all those years ago?

If you leave the few streets right in the city centre with glass buildings and guys in pin-stripe suits behind, you’ll find what Manchester is all about. In the northern quarter of the city is a marvelous place called Afflecks Palace. It’s a big building with several floors of independent shopkeepers selling anything from “top hats to tattoos”. Not that I want either of those but I do like looking at unusual stuff that isn’t available everywhere. There are plenty of handmade items too, as well as vintage. The little punk in me likes it!!

This is one of the entrances to Afflecks Palace.

Even from the outside Afflecks Palace looks great. I guess what determines Afflecks would easily determine Manchester: alternative, eclectic and quirky. Well, at least this would be true if you know where to look.

Just look at that tree!

This cool mosaic was only just unveiled in May this year.

Art is everywhere! Go, Manchester, go!

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