Postcard from Manchester

Manchester is always associated with three things: one of Britain's major airports, a football team and the Madchester music scene.

I've recently foraged into this city, for once getting off the train instead of passing through on my way to and from the airport. When I got there, Manchester held a massive Gay Pride parade on Canal street, so people dressed in flambouyant outfits and waving rainbow flags were a common sight that day. Sitting down for some take away lunch on a little piece of grass in the middle of the city, I felt very much like I was sitting on a massive university campus. Some rastas were playing drums and dancing in one corner, couples (hetero and homo) kissed around us and the kids were cooling down by running through a fountain.

If you're the trendy, arty kind, make sure you wander around the Northern Quarter. This is not omly were many famous musicians and artists live, the whole area has this whole arty feel to it. Have a drink at Dry Bar, the joint formerly owned by Factory Records, the company which had the Happy Mondays, Joy Division etc on contract. You can find any album, new or old, in the record stores nearby.

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