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Yes Andrew, i certainly think you have a point about something missing from Manchester's cultural makeup, though i suspect it may be the reflections of its hard surface that distract one from seeking a deeper understanding of the city. Having just moved here myself i am experiencing a strange revulsion to its immediate superficiality. Flitting daily between West Didsbury and the City Centre i have yet to see anything other than the young urban 'elite' (characterised by bubble shaped cars and feathered haircuts) squeezing into every cultural parking space, contrasting grimly with the more disturbing elements of the city (i saw a filthy young women lie down in front of a bus in Piccadilly gardens). There doesn't seem to be much room for any homegrown wholesomeness. I think Matthew's point about a dichotomy between the organic city and urban planning could be illustrated and buoyed by my recent experience at the new glistening Urbis centre and its immediate environs. The centre (almost empty), featuring youth oriented exhibitions about the city, it's history and life and a feature about the Sex Pistols and manchester punk movement is flanked by an open space swarming with youngsters smoking pot and making their own culture. I wondered why none of them were interested in this largely free museum, and guessed that they viewed it as something utterly 'other' than their own lives and culture. It was part of the city's planned makeup rather than part of their city, and had failed to assimilate to two.
Toggle Commented Sep 6, 2005 on The Problem with Manchester at The Filter^