Because no-one criticises my blog (to my face) I imagine what people might say to me, in my head. I’ve been thinking about this Sheffield post since I found out I was going and talking myself out of doing a blog because I’ve only done about 6 posts and I was banging on about Bradford in one of them. It’s supposed to be about Leeds. Then I defended myself – just because you live in Leeds doesn’t mean you have to get all your culture in Leeds, right? In fact, that would be quite narrow minded and restrictive. Anyhow the argument escalated, it got pretty nasty, but I won in the end. So all you haterz out there: It’s my blog and I’ll write about what I want! If you don’t like it…do one.
So glad we cleared up that little imaginary problem there.
Up until Friday evening, I had a terribly bad opinion of Sheffield. I’d been a couple of times, but a long time ago and only at night, and I didn’t see much of it. The parts I did see were completely unrecognisable from the fantastic city centre I spent 6 hours in yesterday.
What I do remember of Sheffield is a lot of grey, bland concrete and littered, crowded streets. What I saw yesterday was innovative contemporary architecture sandwiched between well preserved older buildings, lining pedestrianised streets and beautifully designed public spaces.
I arrived pretty early, and there wasn’t a lot open so I bought a paper and wandered round to find somewhere for a drink. I wanted to find an independent place so when I strolled down Chapel Walk and spotted a little door with a ‘Cafe’ flag outside, I went on in. Instantly I realised it wasn’t what I was looking for, but since the place was practically deserted and a waiter in a shirt and tie had already come over to greet and seat me, I sort of felt like I had to stay! It was called Andrew’s and was a bit on the pricy side, but the carrot cake was divine.
Highly recommended to me by various Twitter folk were the Winter Garden and the Millenium Gallery. The Winter Garden is a huge arched glass structure, housing tropical foliage including trees that must be twenty feet high, along with butterflies, shops and exhibitions. I came across a display by a charity for dignity in old age which I looked at for ages – partly because I love learning about people’s lives and their histories. At first glance, it looked like a display of children’s work – it was handprints done in brightly coloured paint. Beneath each handprint was a sentence from the owner of the hand about why their hands were important. The sentences were short but so inspirational – they covered topics from the 2nd World War, to working as a midwife, to milking cows, to working the ground in the Himalayas. Thinking about what my sentence would be (“I use my hands to tweet”, maybe?) was extremely humbling.