I don’t want to be in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. That is one of those statements that is generally true. I am trying to be diplomatic, though, so I am asking people to meet me in the Northern Quarter.
I am with my partner and a friend from work. We are meeting some other friends of mine ahead of the Arctic Monkeys gig, tea is wanted. The Northern Quarter isn’t that difficult to sell (Deansgate was on the table at early negotiations), but now we are into the specifics. The people who put Deansgate on the table have put an early shout in for WHERE in the NQ we should grab a bite. This is awkward because the other initial offer was a specific place. However the Deansgate party has ceded to go to a different region.
Everyone has, of course, said that they don’t really have any plan and aren’t really that bothered where we go. It’s that ‘not bothered where we go’ that most people use though, the kind of not bothering that results in nos and don’t fancy thats until the name of where people want to go is offered.
I much prefer these battle of passive-aggressive wills. There are some situations where there isn’t actually will involved. There is no subterfuge. Just people like me who really don’t care where they go as long as it serves alcohol – this clause becomes even more important if I have have had some alcohol already.
On a night out I once stood on a corner in the city centre for about 40 minutes while a not-particularly-large group pondered on where it should go next, no-one was fussy about where the next place should be. Of course no-one was even talking about where we should go, they were just talking about anything but where we would go. It is times like that I am not a million miles away from a killing spree. This is something I feel is tacit, but it’s not. People are happy to stand around wasting my/their life.
And it’s like I am the selfish one for worrying about a new pint. Well I am not being selfish am I? THEY can have a conversation about nothing interesting anywhere – including a pub. I cannot get served pints of lager on a street in Manchester due to licensing regulations.
The immediate problem of tonight’s dining is solved with only a modicum of text message negotiation from yours truly. To be fair good food isn’t difficult to find in the NQ. Not like plates. Food on plates is hard to find. Rather than plates food is served on bread boards. With chips in small metal buckets. Serving slightly-overpriced food on breadboards with chips in metal cups is what passes for bohemian in the NQ; oh, how quirky we all are for eating food of breadboards in dimly lit bars with spacial issues – that’s what people’s faces are saying in the Northern Quarter.
Philip ate the club sandwich at The Black Dog Ballroom and he thought it was very nice (he would add the caveat that the food did take a while to arrive and he was pretty hungry so it might have seemed nicer than he thought). He drank two pints of Tuborg and a bottle of San Miguel Fresca. His sandwich was served on a breadboard and his chips did come in tin cup. He later really enjoyed the Arctic Monkeys who he thinks are the best band around.