16 July 2009

A last look at Sheffield

Tomorrow (Friday) is my last day on the Sheffield based project. I go on holiday for three weeks on Monday and while it is not certain where I will be working when I get back it is unlikely to be in Sheffield again, so now seems like a good time to say "goodbye" with some final thoughts.

The lasting impression of the part of Sheffield that I am staying and working in is of poverty, neglect and dereliction. There are quite a few new building in the area but most of them have "for lease" or "for rent" plastered all over them.

But there are some good parts too so let's think about them instead.

The area around my hotel (the Hilton) and office is very attractive. Sheaf Quay shows off it's industrial past with pride and the old buildings are converted and in use.

One of the arches under the former rail line to the quay is now home to Stumpy's which has possibly the best range of sandwiches that I have seen anywhere. Today, for example, I had hummus with wild roquet and vine tomatoes on ciabatta bread with sun dried tomatoes and a drizzle of olive oil. This large and very tasty feast was under £3. I wish I could do that in London!

Next to where I live and work is an area called Wicker which all the locals warned us away from. Luckily we ignored them and so discovered a superb low-market curry house. I've been there the last two nights and had a vegetable vindaloo with pilau rice and two poppadoms both times, and paid less that £9 too.

I am not sure that I'll particularly miss Sheffield once I've left but it did enough to make the last few weeks here comfortable and interesting.

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