Week 3: in which Sleuth is struck by new art in the gents

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’s pleased to see Manchester-born superstar architect, Lord Norman Foster, has seen fit to bring his most recognisable work, The Gherkin, back to his home town with a brand new project in Piccadilly Gardens.

Sleuth caught up with Lord Foster this week. “For years now you people have been bugging me about returning to Manchester and producing something remarkable, something dramatic,” said Foster. “I mean, I gave you 3 and 4 Hardman Square… what more do you want? ‘Why can’t we have something like the Hearst Tower, you say, or the Reichstag dome or the bloody Gherkin, well…” said Foster, launching his Big Mac at the Valliant boilers-sponsored giant bean bag tent in Piccadilly Gardens, “…here’s your Gherkin, now I’m busy, fuck off!”

Londons GherkinLondon's Gherkin
.Manchester's Gherkin


Sleuth has found the oldest cycle lane in the world in Chorlton on Manchester Road. These have been here so long a whole whopping tree has grown right on top of it. The lane must therefore be over a hundred years old which would put anything even in Holland to shame. Or maybe the original cycle lane engineers were thinking bikes could dematerialise one side of the tree and rematerialise on the other? Or maybe the original cycle lane engineers were just dicks?

.That'll learn 'em


Sleuth was on Lower Mosley Street and wondering how to get to HOME arts centre and Innside Hotel. He spotted this sign and decided the best way to go was right, left and then straight up a lamppost.



Sleuth was in the Royal Exchange and was very taken by the new art work in the gents. Sleuth asked Thom Hetherington, who organises the annual Buy Art Fair in Manchester, for his thoughts. The Bard of Glossop said, “There are echoes of Mondrian with the colours. But it is a complex work which would undoubtedly take some intellectual unravelling to truly appreciate.” “But do think this piece is literally takes the piss?” asked Sleuth. By then Hetherington had wandered off in search of some excellent chutney, so Sleuth asked an occupant of the Royal Exchange toilets. “I’d say it literally, takes the piss, yes,” said the man before adding, “But don’t you think it’s a bit weird to be interviewing me while I’m doing this?”

.Are you taking the piss?


Sleuth was in Printworks this week, when he came across Man City manager Pep Guardiola, who, celebrating his 46th birthday, was treating a number of his players to a night at the cinema to watch Hollywood romantic blockbuster, La La Land.

“Raheem wanted to go see Lego Batman,” Guardiola told Sleuth, “but following our toothless 4-0 thumping by Everton I thought this film more appropriate, a story which welcomes the return of something lost, the revival of a golden age, like when I lived somewhere which didn't piss it down the whole time and could rely on Messi to win a game, or a time when Man City weren’t conceding goals to two 12-year-olds on their debuts."

"Perhaps Manchester By The Sea would have been more appropriate," said Sleuth. "More like Manchester All At Fucking Sea," said the Odeon employee, as he stuck a candle in Pep's tub of Ben & Jerry's Caramel Chew Chew.

PepPep bloody loved Caramel Chew Chew


Sleuth was in Jamboree Restaurant dining with a friend. The owners of Jamboree are Accor, the vast French company. “Do you think Accor have a relationship with Heinz?” said Sleuth’s friend, turning the box in the middle of the table. Sleuth took one look and was delighted. “Look there’s malt vinegar, marvellous.” Sleuth has noticed the almost total demise of vinegar in British catering establishments. Time was there’d automatically be salt, pepper and vinegar on every table. What are chips without vinegar after all?

Just then two tables away, there were some Scandis over for the United vs Liverpool match and one was holding up the vinegar and saying to the Italian waiter, “What do you do with this?” “I think the English put it on chips. It is not very nice,” the waiter replied. Sleuth rose at that and sang the whole of Land of Hope and Glory. Or rather he didn’t, but he did vigorously apply the vinegar to his chips in an rather too overly demonstrative fashion.

.Heinz, sir?


Sleuth was in new Northern Quarter diner West Corner this week, working his way through a fine French dip sandwich when he got a start. There, eyeing up Sleuth’s fantastically juicy brisket, Swiss cheese and French’s mustard baguette was a sinister-looking beardy fella with hollow eyes and a boulder-sized bonce. “Who’s that?” asked Sleuth of his dining companion. “I’ve no idea, but it kinda looks like a fat Rasputin.”

Having asked around, Sleuth’s still none the wiser, so is willing to hear any advance on fat Rasputin. Answers below please...

Who is that?Who is that?


And finally, almost a month after Christmas and the lonely polar bear of Salford is still looking. For what? Sleuth knows not.