Tuesday, August 06, 2002

At Chig's request, how is Manchester faring after the Commonwealth Games?

Ummm. Well, to be honest I'll have to tell you after this weekend, when I'm in town properly. Where I work is more down by the Aquatic Centre, and not in the heart of the centre. But from the sounds of it, visitors are hanging around for an extra week. One of my friends has been lodging two Aussie athletes, and they're staying until Saturday even though their events are long past.

I'll tell you what I hope though. I hope that having thousands of visitors descend on the city will have taught actual inhabitants a thing or two about enjoying your city centre *without* trashing it. Manchester was sorely lacking pretty bits of green to relax in, and now we have two main ones - the new Piccadilly Gardens and the park next to Urbis. Both are really nice, and both have been packed out during the games with people just chilling out. I hope the trend continues, because it really adds character and energy.

I also hope that the tarting the town up doesn't stop. For example, in front of the Central Library in St. Peter's Square, they put a row of massive flower planters. What stopped them from doing it before? (late night club idiots pissing in them, probably....)

The city centre has been changing lots since I moved here, but it was always missing finishing touches. Shops can open and be beautiful inside, which is great, but it takes the council to change public spaces. It's sad that Manchester needed a major sporting event as a catalyst, but I won't mind if they maintain it.


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