Manchester’s most characterful, independent district is a jumbled network of streets to one side of Piccadilly Gardens – once home to busy textiles warehouses and even the occasional umbrella factory. Now, the red brick buildings with their New York-style fire escapes are regularly used in film sets, and the streets are bursting with independent cafés, shops, bars, and cultural hotspots.
The Northern Quarter has become a destination in its own right, with the laid-back, bohemian vibe during the day transforming at night into teeming pavements of people in search of good food, craft beer, pop-up events and live music.
When walking around, keep your eyes peeled for public art, including the sculptures of birds high on a wall on John Street (reflecting the area’s reputation in Victorian times as a ‘pets paradise’), the illuminated, 12 metre-tall Big Boys Toy on the top of the NCP car park, and the artistic graffiti on the outhouse in the middle of Stevenson Square.
CFCCA presents Chinternet Ugly – a group exhibition that offers a rare glimpse behind the biggest digital boundary in the world: the Great Firewall of China.
Regular ‘afternoon of alternative poetries’ Peter Barlow’s Cigarette kicks off the new year with #30 and heads to the Northern Quarter with a special showcase of four poets: Dan Eltringham, Ágnes Lehóczky, Denise Riley and Gareth Twose.
Mali natives Songhoy Blues are bringing their blend of African rhythms and vocals with blues guitar traditions to Band on the Wall on the 23rd of January. A perfect way to dance off the post-Christmas blues.
Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (CFCCA) presents a selection of photographs from the award-winning series Hong Kong Soup: 1826 by photographer Mandy Barker (b. 1964, UK). The series demonstrates in an ironically beautiful way, the extent of plastic pollution in our oceans.
For her first UK solo exhibition, Taiwan-born artist Charwei Tsai presents ‘Bulaubulau’ – a body of work that demonstrates her devoted interest in spiritual traditions and research in indigenous tribes in Taiwan.
We are lucky to be spoilt for choice when it comes to fresh, delicious and independent food choices in the centre of Manchester. Nowhere is this presence felt more than in the Northern Quarter. Join John Ryan on this taster walk as you eat your way through the back streets learning about the local history and culture as you go.
Satisfy your hunger for knowledge as well as lunch with Scranchester’s food tours of the city centre. You may discover a new favourite hidden gem or learn a bit more about the cultural or historical significance of the food you eat all the time.
Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (CFCCA) as part of their festive weekend will be hosting their monthly free and informal tour of the building as well as their current exhibitions. Ending with some warming winter treats.
For March, Small World Cinema Club present the gripping Romanian drama ‘Graduation’ by Palme d’Or winner Cristian Mungiu.