Thursday, March 29, 2012

Manchester, The Rainy City

Greetings from Manchester! Well, it's been a long time since I've last posted a blog. So sorry! I'm not sure where the month of March went, but it has been insanely busy with several last minute work trips in Northwest England, hosting out-of-town friends, and trying to get into a consistent gym/running routine (major failure there!). Hopefully, this blog will see some TLC in the coming weeks when work slows down.

I've been spending a lot of time up in Manchester lately for a big corporate transformation project I am currently working on. In fact I write this post from the Midland Hotel, my home away from home where I have spent more evenings here than at home. That may be a slight exaggeration but it sure feels like I've been away for months. The Midland is a famous landmark hotel where Rolls met Royce in the beautiful hotel lobby. It's a comfortable hotel equipped with comfortable king-sized bed and free wifi so us corporate drones can work late into the night. 

It's also easy walking distance to the Arndale Shopping Centre and Chinatown. My colleague who used to live in Manchester also recommends the ‘creative district’ and the gay village for a fun night out. Unfortunately I didn't get to see much of Manchester outside the 8 block radius from the Midland Hotel.  


While in Manchester  my days are usually spent over at Salford Quays, previously the site of the derelict Manchester Docklands, which underwent one of the largest regeneration projects in the U.K. Salford Quays is home to the Imperial War Museum; The Lowry, a theatre and gallery complex situated on Pier 8; and MediaCity. Since I've been spending so much time in Manchester lately, I thought I'd share some fun facts about England's third-most visited city.

1) As a major production centre of cotton during the Industrial Revolution, Manchester was nicked named as 'Cottonopolis' and 'Warehouse City.'
2) Fredrich Engels met Karl Marx in Manchester, and together wrote the Communist Manifesto in 1848.
3) Manchester is also the birthplace of Rolls Royce, the world’s second-largest maker of aircraft engines.
4) The city has a vibrant music scene. Noel and Liam Gallagher (formerly Oasis) hail from Manchester.
5) It is constantly cloudy and rainy in Manchester, hence the nickname as The Rainy City, but this week, I got lucky -- it was unseasonably warm and sunny.
6) Manchester is a big university town with two of the largest universities in the UK -- The University of Manchester and the Manchester Metropolitan University.
7) Football is religion. Every morning my driver would talk about the highlights of Manchester United game, or how poorly his rival team, Manchester City, did. It's all about football up in Northwest England. Consider yourself lucky if you get hands on tickets to Old Trafford
8) Manchester was the host of the 2002 Commonwealth Games.

More to come soon, including a spontaneous trip to Champagne, France last weekend...

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