A Face on a Wall

In response to this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge: Face

Every time I see this face I am struck by how beautiful it is. I have no idea whose face it is or who the artist is. (and I don’t mean the face of the wee man at the bottom of the scene who looks as though he’s in the bath and waving a flag with the word “Birdseed” on it)

All I can tell you is that it is a face that stops me dead in my tracks when wandering around Manchester’s Northern Quarter.

Graffiti Manchester Northern Quarter

A Beautiful Face on a Wall ©Helen Bushe


 in Manchester Northern Quarter graffiti

Wall in Northern Quarter ©HelenBushe


The website “Guide for the Creative Tourist” has this(and a lot more) to say about the Northern Quarter:

This atmospheric neighbourhood is adjacent to the mainstream delights of Market Street and the city centre, yet its mix of vintage, vinyl and curry houses sets it apart. It remains pretty much chain-free, although that is due in part to the narrow streets and tiny shop fronts that characterise this area – the distinctive architecture that lends the Northern Quarter much of its appeal. It’s a pleasure to get lost among its winding redbrick alleys and grand warehouses, which date from the Cottonopolis era. While some have been restored others have fared less well. But if any place suits a little urban dilapidation, it’s this one.

Long before the Northern Quarter turned all hip and happening, it was a place of hard graft, either for mill workers and weavers, or for those selling their market wares. At the end of Oak Street are the remains of Smithfield Market, the relief carvings of its Neo-Romanesque arches a reminder of the wholesale fish, vegetable and fruit markets that once thrived here – though now they enclose a fairly mundane apartment complex. Though it’s currently boarded up, it’s worth a walk to Swan Street to check out the bull’s heads that mark the entrance to the spectacular Mackie Mayor building, a former meat market.

And this wonderful anecdote from the same website:

Our favourite anecdote of Manchester’s self-styled creative quarter comes courtesy of Oldham Street pub, the Castle Hotel. Sitting in its snug one Thursday afternoon, two drinkers notice a young couple in fancy dress: one as a cat, the other wearing a comedy moustache. Eventually the drinkers ask the pair why they are so attired. “We heard the Northern Quarter was really creative,” said the cat. “So we thought we should dress for the occasion.”

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