Week 35: as Manchester's tourism industry booms, Sleuth offers some sage advice to tourists
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
Manchester's tourism is growing. This is a very welcome development, and one that Manchester Confidential has always endorsed. As a tourist destination our city is becoming more recognised and this is justified. We have a fine range of visitor attractions and a great story to tell. But as with all cities there are some things tourists should avoid, so here is our list of twelve elements of the Manchester scene which are better off left alone.
Never catch an airport tram:
Never take a tram to the city centre, always take a train. The trams make Odysseus's trip back from Troy look easy. The journey starts at the airport, then goes to Wythenshawe, then Canada, then Chorlton, then Azerbaijan, then it almost reaches the city centre before you have to change to another tram. It's rubbish.
Never visit the Arndale Food Court:
This place smells. It smells of the endless vegetable fats used by the endless chains within the space. It reeks of McDonald's, Subway, KFC, despair and hopelessness. Then there is the noise of thousands of adolescents and children shouting and dragging forks across polystyrene cartons. If you go you will go deaf.
Never approach the geese:
A walk along the canal towpaths in Manchester can be rewarding, but the geese can be bastards. Hissing, angry, bastards. They're like a person waking up with a terrible hangover who realises the previous night they lost their wallet or purse, and even worse, in their bed is that one person they vowed never to sleep with.
Be wary of Hacienostalgia:
Be careful of this well-known medical condition that strikes people in late middle age. Symptoms include a lack of desire to move on with life and always to look back to when they had been stricken with a condition called 'Madchesteritis'. Cure: take loads of e's and get off your head and do some freaky dancing outside 15 Whitworth Street West shouting 'Top Banana'.
Never approach Bez:
If you see a man stumbling around talking about bees, fracking and running for parliament without knowing anything about the subject then run away quickly.
Watch out for pavement pizza:
Hard to avoid these, but on a Saturday morning, or Sunday morning, always be mindful of your feet. British cities still have something of the medieval about them. On weekend nights particularly, people like to eat, drink and vomit all over the pavements. If walking through Piccadilly Gardens, it is recommended that you peg your nose, pull plastic bags over your shoes and move very quickly.
Never enter the bottom end of Oldham Street:
This part of one of Manchester's main streets resembles a horror movie. If you've ever wanted to feel what its like to be in a real life Shaun of the Dead, then take a stroll along the bottom end of Oldham Street.
Never stay at a Britannia Hotel:
For God's sake don't, just don't, it's not nice. You might even be foolish enough to examine the underside of the mattress.
Never enter Deansgate Locks/The Printworks:
If you are travelling to Manchester for a fight then try these places. Here, in their native habitat, hen parties, stag parties and shouty people gather to relax, squeeze giant inflatable nobs and strawpedo WKDs. Later they will deliver to the city those fine pavement pizzas (see above).
Never order an Uber:
As in all cities across the world where Uber have become ubiquitous please avoid. They simply have no idea where they are going and they simply do not care. They're also shameless tax dodgers.
Avoid engaging Young Fogeys:
These are people who only like old buildings and hate any new tall buildings. At the slightest suggestion of a structure over eight storeys they will create petitions and online campaigns and whinge and whine and forget that Manchester is neither Chester nor Stratford-on-Avon.
Avoid most public art:
Manchester has a poor record with most public art. Aside from the fabulous murals and other works in the Northern Quarter, we have such excrescences as the ludicrous Chopin statue on Deansgate, but even worse, the silly flowerbed that used to be a fountain dedicated to the late Princess Diana in Lincoln Square.