It’s hard to pick a favourite city; Paris, Barcelona, Glasgow, they have all forced themselves into my heart over the years but Liverpool is always going to be my home. I often say that if I hadn’t grown up in the area I probably would have moved here for university. However, in the interest of exploring new places I don’t settle here for too long any more, which makes returning even sweeter each time. I must’ve told at least 20 people over the past few months that they have to visit Liverpool if they are going to come to UK, London is great and all but the North is something else. Yes, I am bias but trust me on this one and save yourself some money in the meantime by checking out the North of England.
Anyway, something I have taken with me from my time in Barcelona is the desire to go out and do things that I may not always think of – it’s so easy when you live in a city to not do things that people travel to come and experience. This week, that meant planning a little trip to the Walker Art Gallery with a friend to check out an exhibit called Transparency, which focuses on how artists have used transparent materials in their work.
Now, I am definitely not an art expert in any way shape or form but I do enjoy museums a hell of a lot and before this week I had only visited the Walker Art Gallery once despite living in Merseyside for almost all of my life. The museum and the exhibit were free, which is always appealing and as it was a Tuesday afternoon so there was hardly another soul in the place. The exhibit was interesting for sure, my favourite pieces included a ping-pong ball in a half-full (or half-empty) glass of water accompanied by a series of simple line drawings demonstrating how different levels of water changed where the ping-pong ball floated. It was actually a piece by Damien Hirst, a name that I’m sure will invoke many an eye-roll but I liked the simplicity of the metaphor. It wasn’t the kind of art that needed a small essay to explain what it was supposed to mean. I also liked an X-ray style photograph of a glacier, which gave the image a unique texture and another photograph that depicted a somewhat ghoulish dinner table with a plate of human tongues peeking out from under a napkin. (Explaining art is hard, but let it be noted that I tried!)
After the exhibit, the afternoon continued to satisfy my desire to see all my favourite and familiar spots again; Bold Street, a glimpse of the docks from the top of L1 and of course, Waterstones (yes, I bought a book). We also grabbed some coffee at Cow&Co., a nice little spot I had somehow missed in the past and I was able to buy my favourite coffee there too. The sun was shining, something that is rare in the North West and I was feeling sufficiently welcomed back into the city’s arms. My day in the city concluded with a spontaneous trip to the FACT centre to watch the new Guardians of the Galaxy film, which didn’t fail to deliver plenty of laughs and good music. It really is good to be home.