I feel as though there could never be enough times in my life when I turn the corner from Catharine Street into Huskisson Street. For decades now this corner of these two streets has been one of my favourite places. A place that lifts my mood even when I’m happy and has performed reliable miracles when I’m not. It’s some combination of the symmetry, the architecture, St Bride’s, the memory of friends who’ve lived here, mornings like this and of course that Cathedral at the end of the street. I knew Huskisson when it was down on its luck, and now that it isn’t I’m always happy for it. So it was that when I got off the bus on Catharine Street this morning and turned into Huskisson Street I thought of the opening sentence up there, the one about the times in my life, and my morning’s walk began to feel like a blog post.
I never plan these things.
I’m on my way down to the Baltic to meet a friend and go for a walk, and beyond the place and time we’ll meet that hasn’t been planned either. But if I’ve learned one thing in the year and a half I’ve been a sociology student again it’s that context is everything. And out context today is the utter perfection of a crisp, still and deeply blue springtime morning with a great big river at the end of the road.
When the Cathedral here was first being thought of there was a plan for landscaped gardens and apartments in front of it to stretch all the way down to the river. Like most plans that came to nothing and so it’s only been over very recent years that the partly abandoned Baltic area has filled up with activity and with predictably mixed opinions. But I mostly like it and am always glad to have a reason to walk down here.
Remembering the days when crumbling dock warehouses, the overgrown Buddleia Building, an empty Higson’s Brewery and Norton for Scrap were the highlights of round here, I feel like I’ve walked through a fold in time to some future version of Liverpool every time I arrive at the bottom of Parliament Street and turn into Jamaica Street.
So well done you Baltic Creative and everyone else who’s turned this round without running the artists and creatives out of the neighbourhood. And you #OneDay women meeting down here today to change all of our days. Plus that proud March hare and Jurgen Klopp over there. We are Liverpool. This means more.
And now it’s time for a sit, a drink and a read of my book, while I wait for my friend.
Then we go for our walk. Down to the river on a perfect day.
Finishing with lunch, up through St Michael’s and across Aigburth Road, to The Third Cafe on Little Parkfield, just off Lark Lane. If you haven’t been yet I’d recommend you do. It’s as beautiful and thought about, in its way, as that corner where Catharine Street turns onto Huskisson Street.