Liverpool: 19 September 2009

Four months late, but here are some photos from my visit to Liverpool back in September. Being from Australia, I found it fascinating that only 45 minutes from Manchester, one can be in a completely different city, where people have different accents and their own identity. In Australia, you’d still be in a suburb of the same city! Sometimes, I thought that people were foreigners but after closer listening realised that they just had really strong scouse accents. I was also amused at the excessive use of “erm” in sentences and “like” at the end of each sentence. I always thought that people were exaggerating when saying that people from Liverpool spoke like this, but it’s true!

Liverpool’s maritime heritage is very evident throughout the city. There are warehouses and old dock buildings everywhere. If you’re from Western Australia, think a larger, grittier version of Fremantle. Unfortunately, Liverpool felt, to me, like a city that is very much past its prime. There were lots of abandoned buildings everywhere and a lot of the city felt like it was in a state of disrepair, even in the main parts. Saying that, the potential for recreation and rejuvenation is huge, and there are certainly a lot of old warehouses being converted into apartments and bars and the like, so hopefully the city can continue to do this and reinvent itself as a cultural/arts centre (it was voted European capital of culture in 2008).

I started at Lime Street, just up from the train station. This area is full of neo classical heritage listed buildings that were constructed when the city was at its economic peak in the mid/late 1800s. The area is known as the Willam Brown Street conservation area, after William Brown, local MP and philanthropist, who in 1860 donated land in the area for the building of a library and museum. The main focus of these photos is on St George’s Hall, the Walker Art Gallery, and St John’s Garden.

Radio City Tower in the back ground (second tallest structure in Liverpool).

Next we move on to Victoria Street, ‘The Cavern’ and the general network of small streets and alleyways in that area. This area requires no explanation. It’s all about the Beatles, and they let you know it. A lot of tacky stuff as to be expected, but still a cool little area, and good tunes blaring onto the streets.

Moving down to St John’s street and the surrounds is a completely restored area of the city, full of new buildings and lots of shops. The official Liverpool FC and Everton FC stores are in this area.

Moving closer to the waterfront, is Duke Street, and the general docks area. This is a very interesting part of Liverpool and the area where I can foresee massive change occurring in the coming years. There are lots of ruined and abandoned buildings here, but you can see that there is a real creative vibe, with street art, creative businesses and studios, and new apartments in warehouse conversions. The area is still very run down, but it’s only a matter of time before it all changes. Hopefully they can improve the overall area without gentrifying it too much.

There was an unusual ”suburban” type area between the warehouses and the waterfront. It really seemed out of place.

King’s Parade, Albert Dock, Tate Liverpool & the Merseyside Maritime Museum. The Tate was very good and had some really interesting exhibits and the Maritime Museum was very informative and interesting, with an excellent display on slavery and the darker aspect of the city’s prosperous days.

Close by and heading back into the ”city” is Nelson Street and Chinatown. It is a very small Chinatown, but I managed to find an awesome Asian food superstore that was better than anything I have found in Central London and a great little place that did a good, simple roast duck on rice and dry noodles. I go all the way to Liverpool and still can’t shake my obsession with Asia!

The Liverpool Cathedral is a beast of a structure. It opened in 1910 and is the largest Protestant church in the world. Very impressive.

Heading back towards Lime Street Station, down Roscoe Street & Renshaw Street. This area confused me. Location wise it is very central and seems like it is one of the main parts of Liverpool but it was very run down, and there were abandoned buildings everywhere and a general sense of depression about the area.



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