I’ve taken a bit of time over the last couple of weeks to do a bit of exploring – tourism, even – as half term means some visitors from down south, and this
has helped me to feel a refreshed sense of Liverpool. I’ve taken some bracing walks around the docks, and F and I even went on the big wheel (the Liverpool Eye?), which has armed me with some hyperbolic facts about the city.
Some other things I’ve done:
Looked in awe around the Anglican cathedral, and walked round its peaceful gardens. Taken in some sculpture at the Tate’s excellent exhibition, which sets
familiar and more unusual pieces together in a way that really made me think about the artistic languages that have formed the work, which are often a bit baffling seen alone, the Mike Figgis films of other viewers’ responses creating a sense of conversation. Listened to jazz at Mello Mello – a brilliant fun night watching some people who clearly love music just getting stuck in. Visited the gents in the Philharmonic (come on, you have to once…) And, bravely, visited
the World Museum during half term. Human-centric as I am, I was only really interested in the cultures exhibits on the 3rdfloor – costumes, gold-weights, and a genuine interrogation of where they come from and why. I’m not really allowed to go shopping at the moment but I did help M find a hat for Halloween and in return, he introduced me to the marvels that are St. John’s market and Grand Central. I bloody love markets, high and low end, and it excites me to know where to go to buy cheap haberdashery supplies, loose fruit and nuts by weight, broken biscuits, as well as dressing-up box vintage (ok, I cracked and bought a dress. But it was only £1). In contrast, F and I cooed over posh foods in the Harvey Nicks store and contemporary crafts – both the skill and the creative imaginations behind it – at the Bluecoat Display Centre and the little craft shops (esp Landbaby) in its courtyard.
Dr E and I went to the Wirral (West Kirby) for a walk on the beach, to blow away some cobwebs and appreciate being so near such natural beauty.
I’ve even been to Manchester to watch a MaD theatre company production, a devised piece about youth theatre groups and fame, called ‘The Demise and Rise of Bunny Lamar’ and got involved in promoting Romeo Echo Delta, a
sound art project, part of the AND Festival, which hijacked the airwaves of BBC Merseyside to imagine how an alien invasion of Liverpool would sound through today’s fast-moving media. An interesting idea and well-executed dramatic piece, I couldn’t help feeling it was a little bit too…knowing. I suppose you can’t really build up a genuine popular buzz in such a short time. The MaD production, on the other hand, may not have been high art, but was an exuberant, uplifting night out.
And have I eaten while I’ve been exploring? I’ve wolfed down the Shipping Forecast’s very good hippy burger; slurped up Udon noodles in Tokyou, a bowl of cheap, simple goodness, and at Host, where there was more depth of flavour, silkier noodles and better vegetables; gloried in the Salt House Tapas lunch menu (oh, that bread); and eaten decent, tasty Chinese at Yuet Ben. (I know it’s pretty a basic food porn essential but I’m still too embarrassed to take photos in restaurants most of the time). I’ve also sampled some good and interesting beers – all part of the learning process.