Snapshot of Liverpool

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Liverpool is a surprisingly cool city to visit: with two spectacular cathedrals, a football (soccer) field, a big shopping district, a rich history of both immigration and the Mersey Beat groups– The Beatles being the most famous– and scads of free museums to see, it’s little wonder I couldn’t fit it all into one afternoon.

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Along the way, I stumbled upon the first decent Italian food I’ve had in the United Kingdom (good student price, too!), passed the impressive Chinese Arch, and walked along the waterfront. For all its industrial backdrop, the Liverpool waterfront/Albert Docks area was unexpectedly lovely, thanks to the slant of light on the water.

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There were double rows of locks strung along the waterfront walk with writing on them, like something from a movie.

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I found the immigration tribute: (Metal) suitcases piled on the sidewalk. Liverpool saw 9 million emigrants between 1830 and 1930.

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Also, weirdly, there were “superlambananas” everywhere…

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Each is painted differently, with many a Beatles theme. Like ducks in Eugene, or Peanuts characters in St. Paul.

Phoenixes were everywhere as well, being the mascot of Liverpool. (COOL.)

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This building is in the background of a 1962 photo of the Beatles at Albert Dock. Sweet!

My friend Megan and I got a bit turned around on the way to part 2 of the Beatles experience, so we got to appreciate the sculptures all around the docks: anchors, telescopes, men on horses (Is that Uncle Sam? Nope, wrong country.), Billy Fury… At one point, I spotted a large metal form.

“I think that’s ugly enough to be art?” I said doubtfully.

Nope. It was a Dumpster.

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This, on the other hand, IS art.

All in all, being around the pier and the docks was full of a bustle and energy that characterized Liverpool for me nearly as much as the Beatles.

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