Manchester was always a place of my schoolgirl dreams, even though I lived hundreds of miles away.
The dreary northern streets might as well have been paved with gold for me, a fan of The Smiths, who swore one day to make a pilgrimage here. To walk in the footsteps of Morrissey and Johnny Marr, to see the old mills and canals and know what Ancoats and Hulme and Salford were really like - all the places that were referenced in Smiths’ lyrics and artwork, and which seemed so far away and exotic.
My first trip to the city was in 2001, and it wasn’t quite what I’d had in mind - the tired buildings of Didsbury serving as a weekend bolthole as I visited a university friend and did little other than sit in an Irish pub and dodge the typical torrents. But by the time I ventured back here in 2014, it felt so different - and on that occasion, it was to make it my permanent home.
Nowadays, I walk those self-same roads that my musical heroes did, and none of it gets t...
Manchester is the city to where I was born, grew up and started my life. It is the place that taught me the importance of compassion, inclusivity, and understanding. Only upon developing into an adult and being exposed to the world outside of this enriching city, did I come to realise what a rarity this is.
Manchester is a place of opportunity, creativity, and hard work. Living in its bounds are proud individuals who practice inspiring art, envision innovative concepts, and voice the power of persistence. It is the place where my small family was formed and my closest friendships founded. Only upon contemplating this worth can I grasp how instrumental this humanizing city has been to my own life.
Manchester celebrates individuality, multiculturalism, and an underlying sense of community. Here tragedy and destruction are met with union and hope. It is a place where the image of a bee lines our streets, is worn on our clothes and imprints our skin. Only upon reflection of the 22 years of m...