:cheers:Capital city in all but name
MANCHESTER is a capital city in waiting, according to a leading travel guide out today.
The latest Lonely Planet book heaps praise on the city, describing it as a `modern metropolis embracing change like few others in Europe.'
It goes on to say "If ever London was to quit being capital - or was fired for some kind of wrongdoing - Manchester would be a ready-made substitute to take on the job."
It describes Manchester as `where much of the best music of the last couple of decades came from - oh and it likes to call itself the uncrowned capital of the north.
The change and influence of the last decade and a half have been dramatic. It began with a musical revolution, was interrupted by a bomb and has climaxed in the transformation of Manchester into the envy of any urban centre in Europe, a modern metropolis that has embraced 21st-century style and technology like no other in Britain."
So the M.E.N. went on to the streets of Manchester to ask visitors from all over the world what they thought.
Carol Korn, 58, from New South Wales, Australia, who is on holiday in the city said: "Manchester is like London on a small scale. It's very cosmopolitan and easy to get around.
"We've just been to the Urbis, which is something very different and interesting.
"We've been to Salford to see the Lowry and the Imperial War Museum which was fantastic."
Her husband,Terry, 61, said: "Manchester has a good mix of ages and culture and a lot of diversity. I saw a lady in a burka for the first time ever, which is an example of the cultural richness here.
"It's the way the world is going - Manchester has accepted the challenge of progress. It's a global village."
Linda Kaatan, an Iraqi student from Baghdad, said: "Manchester's a very pretty city and the people are very friendly, more than in London and other areas. Also the weather is better than the rest of the north of England and Scotland. And it's cheaper than London.
"Manchester's very good for shopping."
Xenia Zosimidou, 23, a student from Perm, Russia, has been in Manchester since September. She said: "It's a good city, especially for youngsters, and there are a lot of places to go out. There are too many tourists in London."
Chris Parry, 23, a student from North Wales said: "Manchester's at the centre of everything happening."
Pete Gomer, 24, a student from London, said: "It's got a vibrant night life, different ethnic cultures such as in Rusholme, and there's lots of history."
Mike Northeast, 28, a student from East London said: "It's got the best music scene."
Nearer to home, Duncan Morton, 32, from Denton, who works for social services at the city council, said: "There's something for everyone."