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This is your Urbis
Had a nice time at Urbis yesterday (Manchester's swish new tourist attraction, looking at the cities place in the world). I should have allowed for more time there and I had already spent two and a half hours in there. I managed to get in under a student rate at 3.50 (usual price 5.00) which made it worth it. The exploration of the various cities around the world and the people who inhabit them was extremely fascinating. The ride up the impressive lift was nice but no real viewpoints across the city nor the amazing feeling I was expecting. I especially liked the second floor down where they had the viewpoints of the people who live in cities. The blind guy from Singapore had the most interesting story. The exhibition had other nice touches like a surveillance room showing the advanced face recognition software that was being piloted in borough of London, you would print out your own identity card and stick it on the wall along with the many other visitors. Of course some people took the mick and named themselves IP Freely and the like. The arcade style lower floor compacted a lot of information into small bite-sized cubicles. Lots of interactivity and brilliant use of creativity and this was where I didn't have enough time to look at everything. So my tip is to spend more time on this floor. Also lots of mini documentaries of people who live and work in Manchester including tattooist Rambo where I got my BMX Bandits tattoo years back. There were some confusing displays which required some explanation from the staff that didn't work quite well but that's the only minor grumble.

I would definitely say that it's worth visiting once spending a good 3 hours or so there depending on your fondness for cities. The repeat factor I'm not sure about. It all depends on how they will change things around. The entrance fee means that there wasn't a lot of people by museum standards. Hopefully things will change around next year and it will be worth going to again.

Ended up people watching in Tribeca and then for some hot noodles at Tampopo.


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