Tuesday 2nd December
I'm at the Urbis art gallery in Manchester city centre. I was invited here on business to meet in person some people I'm doing a business deal with. The business was done from 5:50 to 6:30pm. Now it's 6:30pm.
It's the opening night of an art exhibition which features photographs of underground Manchester. There are pictures of an old underground canal, a service tunnel under the Arndale shopping centre and much more. Each photo is accompanied by some writing explaining what the picture is of and some history about why the canal or tunnel etc. was built. It's a very good exhibition and is on for 5 months so if you're in Manchester I recommend visiting it.
I'm on the 3rd floor of Urbis and there's a good view of the city. I've had a free glass of champagne, free wine tasting, viewed the art, discussed the art with people here. It's a good night.
I've met a writer, a few photographers, a musician and a few people who work at the art gallery giving commentary about the art.
I was considering buying a bottle of wine from the wine tasting people for a dinner near Christmas time, but it turned out they were only selling it in crates. Who is going to buy a crate of wine on impulse? So I just continued tasting it.
The event finishes at 7:30pm. I leave Urbis and go to a bar with some people I met tonight who invited me. We go to a trendy bar in the Northern Quarter called TV21. Inside there's a model of a space shuttle nose as if it's flying out of the wall, there's some designer lighting, it's a very well thought out and nicely decorated venue. It's worth coming here just to see the design.
A couple in their 50's comes in and sits down and I nod and smile at them, they nod and smile back. It's good to see people in their 50's still going out.
One of the people I'm with buys me a free drink even though I said I didn't want one which is generous. We chat a while but don't really get on. It turns out they're wise guys and it's not possible to have a decent conversation with them so I go chat to someone else in the venue.
Me: "Hi, hows it going?"
Him: "Ok, you?"
Me: "Yes. Are you going on holiday?" I say this because he's got lots of bags on the floor next to his chair.
Him: "I'm visiting a friend. I'm from a small town in Yorkshire. He's at work so I'm meeting him later then we're going out."
Me: "Where are you going?"
Him: "I don't know. Do you know any good places to go on a Tuesday night?"
Me: "Only that there'll be student nights on. Tuesday used to be known as the quietest night of the week."
Him to Barman: "Do you know any good places to go on Tuesday?"
Barman: "Not really. Northern Quarter. Or Roadhouse. Yes, Roadhouse."
Another barman brings over some chips that the guy just ordered.
Him: "Do you want some chips?"
Me: "No, I'm ok thanks."
Him: "I won't eat them all, have some if you want."
Me: "Maybe in a bit."
We chat a while, we get on well. It's good to be able to go to a bar and be able to have a chat with the guys.
I make a phone call for a lift home.
I've got half an hour before my lift arrives so I walk around checking out some bars. As I walk along the street 3 youths in caps are trading something at the entrance to an alleyway. Then some more yobs are running out of an alleyway. I go into Odd bar and notice the same 2 people in their 50's that I saw in TV21.
Me: "Hi, I'm getting a lift in a bit, so am having a look around the area. Are you having a good night?"
Her: "Yes. We prefer this place because it's nicer decoration and more comfortable." she says smiling, he's smiling too.
Me: "Are you celebrating anything?"
Him: "It's my 60th."
Her: "It's his 60th birthday so we decided to go around some bars while we still can!"
Me: "Happy Birthday."
Him: "Thanks." he says smiling.
Me: "It's good to go out. You should go out more."
Her: "We're a bit old for that."
Me: "A while ago when I went to a nightclub called Royales, it's called M-two now. There was a couple in their 70's queueing to get in. Everyone thought it was cool."
I remember that night. Everyone in their teens and 20's thought it was great and made sure they were ok.
Her: "Oh well. We're not too old then!" she says smiling.
Me: "Have a good night."
I leave the venue. Go across Piccadilly Gardens, and over to St. Peter's Square where a car is waiting. I get a lift out of the city.
Summary and venue reviews: Tuesday 2nd December
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Busy. Clientele: artists. Décor: 7/10.
Notes: The opening of an art exhibition and discussing art with people is a lot of fun.
Quiet. Clientele: smart casual. Décor: 10/10.
Notes: A sci-fi themed bar with a space shuttle nose coming out of the wall and other memorabilia.
Quiet. Clientele: smart yobs and dealers. Décor: 3/10.
Busy. Clientele: dressed down trendies, trendies, people who work in Selfridges. Décor: 8/10.
Notes: An all round ok venue with a room downstairs with a projector that shows films.