Week 40: in which Sleuth almost gets plastered
Sleuth is a sideways glance at the city every week. It's the truth, but Sleuth's truth. He's several people all at once. Sometimes Sleuth even gets serious @mcrsleuth
Sleuth Almost Gets Totally Plastered
Sleuth was in the Northern Quarter walking into Stevenson Square when he heard an almighty crash. Over by Slice pizzeria part of the plaster had fallen off the wall on to the terrace below. Fortunately nobody was injured, except the pride of the plasterer who had done the work eighteen months previously. Sleuth learns the pizza chef in Slice was so frightened he nearly topped himself. At the very least he was rendered speechless.
Sleuth And His Sherry Sweet Police Lady
Sleuth went for a drink in sherry and port bar Flok, the end building in the same block (or maybe blok) as Slice. He ordered a lovely Amontillado. The police came and cordoned off the dangerous area and then while twenty or so customers were still on the premises they extended the cordon around Flok. Sleuth has never had a drink behind a police cordon before, if this was a new form of ‘kettling’ then it was grand; lots of alcohol and food plus toilets. Sleuth went outside to see what was happening with the tumbling plaster. “Excuse me sir,” said the police woman on the other side of the flapping blue and white tape, “we don’t want anybody on the pavement here. So could you please return to the bar and finish your sherry.”
Sleuth explored Flok and found it had been a former bank. The vault in the basement has been transformed into a marvellous private room for hire, or simply an overspill area on busy occasions. This is the second vault in the city turned into a drinking and dining space, after the one in Jamie Oliver’s on King Street. A member of staff, passing by, asked Sleuth what he thought of the Flok vault. Sleuth winked, cocked a pretend gun and said, “safe”. Thus again did Sleuth gain the 'Wittiest Man in Manchester Award' for the 18th consecutive year.
May Gives Mackie Mayor Stony Look
Sleuth’s cheeky mural of the week goes to this one with Perseus, fashioning odd broccoli hair, holding up Medusa’s head, but one with the stony face of Prime Minister Theresa May. “It was put up on the outside of the building after the last election,” Mackie Mayor’s boss Nick Johnson told Sleuth. “It only seemed right to incorporate it into the interior design.” Sleuth thinks it’s fun but given the Mackie Mayor’s sister market is in Tory-stronghold of Altrincham, he wonders whether Johnson might have alienated some travelling support.
Blackjack Brewery And Its Witty Customers
The Mackie Mayor is a fabulous reinvention of a fine building and will boost the whole northern end of the city centre. The booze is provided by the excellent Reserve wines, the beers from local brewery Blackjack. The latter have the best deal. Their concession is in a corner with its own entrance approximately four metres from the next building on Swan Street which is The Smithfield pub run by Blackjack brewery. “Fate has dealt you a kind hand there,” said Sleuth. “Yes, we’ve come up trumps,” said the bar member. “It’s the real deal,” said Sleuth. “You’ll be flush with that,” said a member of the public. “Having the pub so close is a card up your sleeve,” said Sleuth. “The ace in the pack,” said the bar member. “It really shows your hand,” said the member of the public with the poker face.
Sleuth is a fibber
“What do think this used to be?” said one of the two older women who’d plonked down next to Sleuth on the Mackie Mayor bench seating. “It was the largest brothel in the North West for fifty years,” deadpanned Sleuth sipping on his ninth pint of Blackjack beer. “Ah yes, I suppose so, I can see that,” said one of the women. Sleuth gave the lady a stare and then said, “No, I was joking. In fact it used to be a meat market.” The other woman, nodded,and sagely said, “I know what brothel means.”
Illogical Manchester Traffic Signs, Chapter 99
The Diwali celebrations in Albert Square last week caused traffic chaos but the signage didn't help. Look at this picture. The diversion sign directs people left from Peter Street, to Mount Street which has a road closed sign and so cars found themselves back where they started.
Illogical Manchester Traffic Signs Chapter 100
Sleuth still loves this sign in Piccadilly Gardens. As one Tweeter put it, “that man shouldn’t be looking behind, he should be looking up, there’s a bloody big bus about to fall on his head.”