I really have to admire the way that Liverpool is trying to re-invent itself. The Liverpool One development looks like a fantastic commercial enterprise and the use of former dock space for retail and entertainment is quite appealing. And the museums – Maritime, Beatles and Liverpool Life – are splendid.
I tend to see Liverpool as a parallel of sorts with Pittsburgh. Old industrial towns, hard-edged populations – quick question who would in a fight, Scouse vs Yinzer! – trying to move forward in a globalized service-sector economy. And football.
I don’t know the specifics of Liverpool’s revival but it looks nicer than I remember 5 and 10 years ago.
One quibble though – at the Liverpool Life Museum, there was a quote from some MP stating that Liverpool had become the New York City of Europe. I laughed at the comparison but honestly not out of any Ameri-centric hubris. Liverpool shouldn’t try to be NYC any moreso than Pittsburgh should try to b London. It’s Liverpool. It has its own unique challenges which demand unique solutions. It has its own character, which it can’t nor should run from. People will always flock to huge metropolises like NYC, London or Tokyo. But so much of a country’s fortune will also rest on the different charms of smaller cities like Pittsburgh or Milwaukee, Liverpool or Manchester.
Different doesn’t mean better or worse. It just means different.