Liverpool - My ABC
Many thanks to Gary Hall and Frauke Hoffmann for their help on this !
Art seems to be everywhere in Liverpool. Not such a big surprise since the city was designated capital of culture by the U.N. in 2008. The Tate museum there was opened before the London one and it’s the second largest museum of modern art in the whole country !
The docks are huge and totally renovated. In the past, Cargos would bring a lot of sheeps and bananas in the city. Consequently, artists have come up with the crazy idea of a strange mutant creature : the Superbananasheep. You’ll find 125 mini replicas scattered through the city, each of them crafted by a different artist. When you walk around, you realise that ‘street art’ is everywhere. It can be very unexpected and good.
B : Buildings – Birds – BBC – Beetles
In Liverpool, you'll see a huge variety of architectural styles. It’s nice to see ancient stones and ultra-modern buildings close together. On top of the Liver buildings, there are two massive birds and they are the symbols of the city. These symbols originated from the City Charter in 1207. The winged creature displayed in the document used to be an eagle. But the marine breeze (and a couple of legends) somehow changed it and the birds became cormorants. They represent the indomitable spirit of the people of the city. The legend says that “if the Liver Birds were to fly away, Liverpool would cease to exist”.
There’s a huge BBC radio tower that can be seen from far away and the studios are situated in Paradise street – what a lovely name. Of course, it’s the home town of The Beatles and Lennon’s got a statue there. At the Cavern Club where they used to perform, many bands play Beatles songs for the locals & the tourists. That says it all about the importance of music up there…
C : Chinese Community – Cults – Cult of beer
The city is home to the oldest Chinese community in Europe. The beautiful gateway erected in the neighbourhood is the largest one outside of china and is worth being seen.
Also, you’ll notice a huge diversity of beliefs in Liverpool due to a rich history of merchants and sailors passing through. There are two distinctively different cathedrals : one being very ancient and the other one strikingly modern. They summarise the ancient/modern dichotomy of the city.
I could not finish this ABC without mentioning one or two famous pubs. The Pilgrim pub, where Ian McCulloch (Echo & the Bunnymen) used to have a drink. Also, the Philarmonic pub which is quite ancient and situated next to the philharmonic hall.
And slightly outside the city in Heswall, the Ravenscroft pub which is now part of the Smith & Jones brand. It was initially named after John Peels’ real name by his widow. It was very moving for me to have a drink there.
You should now want to visit Liverpool and make your own ABC !