Manchester United: Past & Present
In order: Once upon a time along Canal Street; Manchester Pride 2007; nearby Sackville Street.
Photos: Manchester Pride
Rapidly coming to rival London as an epicenter of British arts and culture -- following a massive urban reinvigoration spurred by the 1996 Irish Republican Army bombing -- Manchester is no longer just about the soccer (or football) boys of Manchester United and the city's textile industry.
Actually, it was never just about those, according to the new tour of the history of Manchester's thriving "Gay Village", which is the neighborhood's official name.
Once in heavy rotation for a booming cotton industry, use of the canals that give Canal Street its name declined in the 1960s, making room for an influx of gay and lesbian residents and quickly becoming the main drag of the city's gayborhood.
Eventually, the area became such a mecca of queer culture -- LGBT bars, clubs, and restaurants taking up nearly every available storefront -- that it became the focus of the original British version of Queer As Folk.
If you miss the sports and textiles of yore, though, there are still plenty of short shorts and other stylish duds to be found around Canal Street.
For more Manchester information, check out the Manchester gay travel site!