Monday, 5 October 2009

Liverpool or Manchester - compare and contrast

Now that's an essay title. I'm not sure I dare. Both have vibrant nightlife (we're told!), elegant buildings, museums and galleries, great football teams and stacks of shopping opportunities. Yet to a stranger they feel quite different.
Manchester is a traditional city - the shops, museums and shopping centres are right there among busy traffic-filled streets. Liverpool, with its huge new all-pedestrian Liverpool One shopping centre, and its dockside museums and restaurants seems to have been better able to separate traffic and shoppers or tourists. It's easier to navigate and more relaxing as a result.
But the real difference seems to be in the people. Manchester is typical of most cities I've visited; people walk in their own personal worlds, staring fixedly ahead, unsmiling, bent about their tasks. Liverpool folk smile more (it's true!), nod, pass the time of day, offer advice if they see you looking puzzled at a map. And, dirty old men take note, the girls dress to impress at all times of the day or evening.
So personally, I'll go for the friendly face of Liverpool and face the consquences from Mancunians.

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