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« on: August 31, 2017, 02:04:58 pm »

London or Manchester
And it's that blend of friendliness and ultimate comfort in ourselves which makes us so down to earth and bvlgari necklace cheap able to talk to anyone we meet, crack a joke and rip the p in our own vernacular   and it's exactly why the place is so much fun.
Add to that how the rent on my one bedroom flat in north London would get you a three bedroom house up here   with the immeasurable beauty of the Lake District just an hour away. But there's so much more to Manchester's appeal than its residents and residences   and it starts with its foundation as the world's first modern city, which Benjamin Disraeli called "as great a human exploit as Athens".
Because Manchester wasn't just the birthplace of the industrial revolution. Ever since we built the Ship Canal in the 1890s, bypassing the need for our old mates the scousers and their hefty tax on trade, the city has really been about commerce, and an entrepreneurial spirit still apparent today.
Home of the first passenger railway station, first public library, first Trade Union Congress meeting, and the birthplace of modern vegetarianism and the co operative movement.
It's also where the women's suffrage movement began, where Rutherford split the atom, where Turing built the first computer, where the football league was founded, where Rolls met Royce, Marx met Engels.
'We know Manchester is great, but we didn?t try to make it so ? it just happened' Photo: AP/FOTOLIA
More recently: the Gallagher brothers, the Haienda, Ryan Giggs' left foot, I could go on all day. But in truth Manchester is not just about its history   it has big plans for the future, bigger than London's.
When industry in the region collapsed, Manchester set about reinventing itself, becoming a thriving cultural and sporting city   not even when the IRA bomb ripped its heart out in 1996 could progress be halted. And it continues to this day, with or without George Osborne's promise of helping to create a "northern powerhouse".
Take the Free Trade Hall   built at the site of the 1819's Peterloo Massacre to commemorate the repeal of the Corn Laws, it was bombed out during the Manchester Blitz. Rebuilt as a music venue, it was where a Manc heckled Bob Dylan as a "Judas" in 1966, and a decade later played host to the Sex Pistols gig that changed the world, inspiring the men who went on to found The Smiths, Joy Division and The Fall. It's now a Grade II listed hotel.
Now overall you couldn't say Manchester was pretty, but it has a style and a verve retained throughout its transformation, with Ancoats' Victorian mills, canal side bars in the Gay Village and glass monoliths like the Beetham Tower existing comfortably next to one another.
'The Gallagher brothers, the Haienda, Ryan Giggs' left foot, I could go on all day. Photo: GETTY
Once the city's Achilles heel   a dearth of fine dining   is no longer an issue, with a host of top chefs like Simon Rogan opening award winning restaurants (Rogan's The French closes this month   to revamp and expand).
And culturally, the biennial Manchester Arts Festival matches anything in the UK, then there's innumerable bvlgari B.zero1 necklace fake gallery, large and small, musuems on war, science, football, class struggles, transport and LS Lowry, a host of theatres and music venues, such as the 42m Bridgwater Hall, and the Out House project, a constantly evolving street art project in the Northern Quarter.
There are no tourist traps here or crumbling edifices preserved in aspic   it's a city which is alive, evolving organically.
I know because I've seen it for myself having walked the length of Manchester many times. A city which has everything (except a beach, as Ian Brown famously noted), yet can still be easily traversed on foot is a joyous thing.
And don't worry about getting soaked if you come to try it for yourself, because it almost never rains.
Why London is better than Manchester
I love Manchester. I worked in the city for some time before going to university there and, given how extortionate London's house prices are, if and when the time comes for me to buy a home I could well imagine moving back. Still, to claim that the city itself is better than London is preposterous, and a claim that seems to be uttered most loudly by locals rather than any assessors with a bit more objectivity.
Let's consider hard facts first: London is the world's most visited city. Released in June, the MasterCard Global Destinations Cities Index estimated that the capital is expected to this year welcome 18.82 million international overnight visitors, who will spend an estimated 13.3 billion. It's the fifth time in seven years that the city has topped the list and a definitive stamp of international approval. Bangkok and Paris were second and third most popular destinations respectively in the list of 20 cities; Manchester doesn't feature. The British Museum tops VisitEngland's most recent annual survey of visitor attractions, with 6,701,036 visits in 2013. Only one attraction in the top 10 (Brighton Pier at number 6) is outside the capital.
"To claim Manchester is fake bvlgari b.zero necklace price better than London is preposterous" Photo: AP/FOTOLIA
From visiting innumerable internationally lauded cultural attractions, often free, to watching world class productions in the West End, shopping for whatever you may desire or going mudlarking on the Thames, all interests are catered to here. And when the sun shines, every borough in the city has a park, well tended square or public garden in which to repose, relax and lap up the warmth. Roughly 47 per cent of Greater London is green space. The denizens of inner city London can skip from St James's Park to Green Park to Hyde Park and saunter on to Regent's Park while in central Manchester the pretty lawns and flower beds of Piccadilly Gardens were paved over to make way for a bleak and bland Tadao Ando designed concrete monstrosity. A travesty.
Rainy days, fewer though they are in London than Manchester, are better catered for too. Though there's a trite faddishness to the innumerable, tediously themed pop up restaurants that open in London every month (and I'd choose a meal in Rusholme's Curry Mile over Brick Lane any day), London's culinary diversity is unparalleled. It is the only British city to feature in the World's 50 Best Restaurants awards and the capital's ethnic diversity means virtually any national or regional cuisine is readily available here. There's no shortage of diverting drinking opportunities either. In the Langham hotel by Oxford Circus, Artesian has Bulgari necklace yellow copy been named the world's best bar for the last three years in a row. It's pricey, of course, and there are plenty of places where the cost of a pint can make your eyes water, but locals who know the city can still find bargains. A handsome retreat with wooden partitions and parquet flooring by Westminster Cathedral, Samuel Smith brewery's Windsor Castle pub is just one spot that still serves pints for about 3.
Tellingly, when Mancunians extol the virtues of their city it's in relation to past glories. Of course its association with the Industrial Revolution is something to be proud of, and club nights at the Haienda were special, but that club closed in 1997. Perhaps it's better, then, to make solid efforts to reclaim its world class status in the future rather than wasting energy by insisting it matches London and other truly global cities today. With the housing crisis at its most severe in London and the newest generation of young workers and creative being forced to look elsewhere for fresh opportunities, that status quo could well be challenged in the years to come.
 
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