Day #37, A New Dweller


August 21, 2016

I had an appointment for flat viewing at New Islington this morning.

This flat is right at the Ashton Canal and has an amazing view of the city from its own rooftop terrace. The terrace is the stunner – the size of the terrace is as large as the flat itself. But the flat is so small that I wouldn’t feel like staying in the living room to relax. Yes I could relax out on the terrace but thinking the percentage of rainy days a year in Manchester? I don’t think I would be on the terrace much. But the terrace or not, the main problem of this flat for me is the carpeted floor. The whole flat is covered with carpet. I can’t live in a place with carpet, cuz I am allergic to dust mite, seriously. So, one is out. I should check Rightmove more carefully and choose the ones without carpet.

I was not far from the city centre so I decided to check out a café that I wanted to try and pinned on Google Map. It’s called Fig + Sparrow, on a street between Picadilly Gardens and Nothern Quarter. The atmosphere of this café was very nice – modern and cosy with some nice looking design stuff on sale and wooden communal tables. I ordered Today’s Special, Avocado and Parma Ham Salad and a Long Black. The salad was super simple – a few different greens, diced avocado, torn ham, crushed walnut, chilli flakes and balsamic vinegar. But it was very delicious. The ham and avocado matched perfectly, it proved the catchphrase ‘the simpler, the better’. And the long black coffee was very nice too. It was a little bit acidic to my taste, but the aroma was fantastic. I have tried two highly rated cafés in Manchester so far, but still haven’t found non-acidic perfect coffee to my taste. Maybe I will end up ordering my beans online.

I walked around the Northern Quarter after the café. I’ve heard about this neighbourhood a lot as a hot place to check out. It has red brick buildings, industrial design cafés and bars, second-hand book stand, graffiti on walls, mix of old and new – I could see why people talk about this neighbourhood. It feels a bit like Brooklyn in NYC. I would happily live in this neighbourhood, but I guess the rent here would be the highest in Manchester.

On the way back to the tram stop through my usual route on Deansgate, I bumped into a small market next to The John Rylands Library, and it turned out to be the monthly craft market. I was lucky! There were a few food stands, handmade jewelry stands, paintings, photography prints, craft beers, wood work etc. I bought a few photo cards of Manchester from a professional Manchester photographer Craig Barker, and Stouts from two different craft beer sellers.

I love being a new city dweller, anywhere in the world. It gives me a feeling of travelling. Everything is new, things to learn, things to get used to. It makes my brain so busy that I never get bored and the life becomes interesting. Let’s see how big Manchester is and how long this lasts.


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