You wanted me to talk about Middlesbrough, my home town, the place that has shaped my entire existence and has beaten me into the person that you know, and hopefully, love today.
Well Middlesbrough has its bad points. It was voted the worst place to live in the UK. This was for a number of reasons, high crime, cheap drugs, high smokers and alcoholism, and finally a red light district. Some people may see these as bad things; I personally feel it proves that we can have a pretty good party.
So I realise I haven’t actually sold it yet, but I feel it is beneficial that we ground this with the tones that this gem of a town is usually confronted with on a daily basis. The sun doesn’t shine out of its ass, but also a lot of good comes out of the squalor that is usually depicted by the national press and the opinions of people who live a long way away.
Now many people believe that Middlesbrough isn’t a beautiful place, but this all depends on how you see beauty. Cooling towers and factories may not be your thing in the day, but on a night it looks spectacular, with the a bright orange glow and various smoke and fire going off in all directions makes it quite the sight, and has been the inspiration for directors such as Ridley Scott. Also Middlesbrough is a 10 minute drive from luscious green English countryside, 15 minutes from the North Sea coast, and full of quaint towns such as Yarm, a town with 7 pubs on its only main street, and Saltburn with a stunning pier with a rocky cliff backdrop, also home to my Aunt’s chocolate shop.
Also Boro has plenty to do. It holds a multimillion pound art gallery which is always free to the public. It has a reasonably competitive football team which is nationally recognised as having one of the best youth and community development schemes in the country, as well as a pretty decent 35,000 capacity stadium. It has wonderful industrial architecture such as the Transporter Bridge, which is available for bungee jumping on weekends. To top off all that the council puts on an 8 stage music festival which the cream of up and coming music every year for the cheap price of £10, that’s around $13.
Also for nightlife the town punches way above its weight. There is literally something for everyone in Middlesbrough from the raver, to the indie kid, all the way to the metalheads, and all the cheesy pop in between. It also has some of the most promising live music scenes in the country with a load of names springing up, we are just waiting for that one to make a huge breakthrough.
Most importantly though, the people make the place tick. Not everyone is a saint, as the crime statistics will tell you, however I can guarantee that you won’t meet a more eclectic and interesting bunch of people, who will be more interested in you and your story than their own. We are humble people, it’s hard not to be when you get the shit we get, but we have a steely determination to always strive to do better for ourselves and our town, and if you gave us a chance you would be automatically be welcomed opened armed into our quirky little province.
So I hope this has convinced you to ignore the hype and bullshit that others may have spouted about Middlesbrough, and maybe you will someday give us a try and test my word. You will be more than welcome anytime!