The Tale of Two Cities
Late last year, Manchester outranked London as the 51st best place to live in the world. It is the new pub-dilemma of recent times, which city rules – Manchester or London? The capital of the country – London versus the capital of the North – Manchester!
As someone who has lived in both consecutively, I feel a good deal more capable than most who delve in to the debate. I’ve now been in Manchester for a good while longer than I managed to hack it down there, and I am aware that my somewhat remote upbringing may jade my vision slightly… So I’ll stick to the undeniable facts as to why Manchester is presently, the place to be.
The Guardian stated that London is, “the worst place in the UK to be a woman.” Here are a few reasons why I know that is true…
You’d think because you’re surrounded by nearly 8 million people, that you’d never get lonely, but London is said to be one of the loneliest places in the world. It’s a weird place like that and I learned the hard way. Apparently it is not OK to talk to strangers to pass the immense amount of mandatory time that everyone has to spend on the tube, it’s considered insane.
It’s impossible to meet people unless through a prior acquaintance, or work related. There are a higher proportion of single people living there anywhere in the rest of the UK, mainly I think that is because London isn’t very friendly – something even Londoners admit to.
Everyone moves to London to try and ‘make it,’ so trying to get a job means having half of the career hungry population nibbling at your toes, and they’re hungry! To rent an flat in London it’s at least twice as much, and to buy, 4 times the amount! If you’ve got a budget, anything you can afford will be at least ¼ of the size and not half as nice. I’ve seen people sleep like Harry Potter in cupboards and under stairs too many times, and it’s not because it’s free; it’s more than I pay here now for a house, with a garden, and parking. Enough said.
Just to really reiterate what you’d be faced with if you did make the move; a commute of hell on transportation that people behave like rude robots pushing and shoving as only the self-important types do, living like a sardine – shoe horned in to every available square inch known to man, woman and contortionist, being surrounded by so many people of which none seem very happy and just to add insult to injury, women earn on average 22.85 less than men!
One morning I was making my hour and a half commute to work, I remembered my first week in London. I used to play a game with my friends called “spot the smiler.” I found it hilarious how hard it was to find anyone that looked happy; then I realised that I was becoming one of them, one of the living dead! That’s when I came to the definitive decision that I was fleeing North, North to Manchester.
It wasn’t a hard choice to make; it was a no-brainer. Manchester has a very real and raw buzz going on right now, it is the place to be. As titled the, “New Creative Capital” and “The Capital of the North,” Manchester is literally causing a mass exodus from the southern front.
As the BBC begun to flee the south, it awakened the souls of us all to what we hadn’t been seeing. How much better Manchester really is!
Manchester is known for football, Oasis and, well, rain mainly. But deciphering this in the loosest manner, it is what we’re all about really; fun, arts and creativity and a grungy honest and authentic lifestyle.
Since moving to Manchester, I couldn’t be happier, I knew I was in a great place. Living in a any of the small town-like areas around here, you bump in to people that you know walking down the street. In fact, since I moved to Chorlton, it’s almost impossible not to see at least one friendly face a day, just by chance. And even when that doesn’t happen, I get to indulge in one of my favourite pastimes – chatting to randomers. Almost all of which are not insane, go figure London!
We’ve really got the best of both worlds and everything you could possibly need within walking or cycling distance without even having to go in to town, let alone spend an hour on the tube. It’s actually a bit of a running joke amongst my friends that I don’t venture in to town much; there is everything you round here. The boutiques and antiques on Beech road, the immense charity shop of Whalley Range, the restaurants of West Didsbury, the beauticians of Fallowfield and the bars of Chorlton. Then, if presented with prime opportunities, the spacious and above ground tram connects you to the centre of the hubbub for the latest diversities of fashion, food, music, bars and arts in mere moments. Oh how I love Manchester.
With some of the best countryside and three nearby cities just outside of our Northern capital, we are influenced and absorb all that surrounds us; hence why what us Mancunians do is real. Even down to the way we dress, the Hipster trend derived from the innate style of the necessities of living here.
Wellies, Barbour coats, wooly jumpers, durable denim, layer upon layers and pulled up socks are all part of requirement here for us ladies dealing with the elements whilst being ready for the city and country all at once.
To check out the images from the magazine in full click here.