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What’s new in Manchester?

Would it surprise you to know that Manchester, along with exotic places like Singapore, Santiago de Chile and Hawaii, features on the New York Times list of ‘Places to go in 2011’? Indeed, it’s the only British city to do so. The list may have less to do with pretty-pretty tourist destinations (although they feature too) and more to do with innovation and what’s new in town, and in this respect, the chilly, gritty northern city that ‘famously inspired the post-industrial anguish of bands like Joy Division and the Smiths has transformed into a thriving cultural hub’, the New York Times reports.

Of the various new music venues springing from 'Madchester' nostalgia, standouts include FAC251 (www.factorymanchester.com), an indie rock and roll music club with live bands that opened in February of this year in the old Factory Records building. And the owners of the unassumingly trendy Trof cafe, which light-heartedly describes itself as a ‘dandyish den of opulence’, recently opened a new cultural venue called the Deaf Institute. Not only does this new venue have sell-out evening performances, but also hosts daytime activities such as music fairs where dealers and music lovers can sell items, memorabilia and autographs.

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