The Bridgewater Hall
Seating over 23,000 this state-of-the-art international concert venue was opened in 1996. The Bridgewater stages over 250 performances a year and is now the new home of the famed Halle Orchestra.
Location: Lower Mosley Street, opposite the G-Mex Centre.
Opening hours: 10.00am - 8.00pm
Monday to Saturday and 12noon - 6.00pm (8.00pm on concert nights) on Sundays.
Web link: http://www.bridgewater-hall.co.uk
Mancunianism in the New Age
Mancunians can be Christians, Jewish, Muslim, Hindoo or part of one of these then part-animist or pure-animists. The animists are sometimes very concerned with football, horses and alcohol.
Manc religion includes belief in a alcohol god (Alekulu), who is above interacting in day-to-day human affairs. It is possible to appeal to the 'drunk' world only by invoking the local brands through distillation processes. As such, the distiller, who is almost always broke, plays an important part in the daily lives of the Mancs.
It is believed that all bad things, including death, are the result of "The Way It Is". No misfortune is ever seen as the result of something not "Normal." (pronounced NOOOOR-mel, normally)
Another important aspect of Mancunian religion is spatial isolation and a brand of cleanliness, with a special de-emphasis on teeth. Separate utensils and plates are used for different foods, and a kind of 'soft soapy' bathing often occurs up to three times a day.
Christianity had difficulty gaining a foothold among the early Mancunians, and when it did it was in a syncretic fashion. Joe Mercer, considered a Manc messiah, presented a form of religious governance over City which incorporated traditional customs, including homosocial binge drinking.
Little local clubs and massive ones
Greater Manchester has the highest concentration per capita of football clubs of any urban area in the world: 8 amongst 2.6 million people. this compares with 12 in greater London amongst 7.2 million.
While everyone knows about United, the smaller clubs around the area are Bolton Wanderers, Stockport County, Bury, Oldham Athletic, Wigan Athletic, Rochdale and, erm, thingy...Oh yeah, City.
City play in the striking new City of Manchester stadium, which they moved to from the ramshackle Maine Road, whose mismatched stands and poor facilities mirrored the way the club was run for many years (to the amusement of reds). For once City have failed to look a gift horse in the mouth, and now enjoy a modern arena with state-of-the-art facilities, which is rented from the council on a 99 year lease. Colloquially it is known as the "blue camp" by City fans and the "council house" by United fans.
A club museum is planned for the stadium, but unlike most museums, instead of showing what happened, it shows what might, could or should have happened. City fans are easy spot due to their blue noses, centre partings and tendency to begin every sentence with the word "if" and include the word "massive" in it, i.e. City are a massive club.
NEWSFLASH...as of summer 2005, after a terrific design exhibition called '100 Years & 100 Chairs', CUBE will no longer be open as often to the public. I'm not sure what exhibitions, if any, will be hosted here but the fine RIBA bookshop remains open on the site.
The Centre for the Understanding of the Built Environment on Portland Street is an exhibition space that focuses on urban architecture. The interior has rough exposed beams and black metal columns complemented by smooth white walls and polished wooden floors.
CUBE has no permanent collection, so exhibitions change regularly and sometimes the gallery is shut for several days as the displays change. They have hosted many international touring exhibitions, from new German architecture to Japanese 'love hotels'.
CUBE also has a superb branch bookshop of the Royal Institute of British Architects with a stock of books, prints, periodicals and postcards related to buildings and urban design.
The gallery is at the edge of Chinatown at 113-115 Portland Street, not far from the Cornerhouse arts centre.
Thoroughly Modern Mall
Set on several levels, The Triangle is a swish, modern, bright and airy mini-mall of designer shops. It's cleverly enclosed within the facades of old, Victorian buildings, so you might never notice it was there ;-)