Having recently moved to Burnley – this time with a child and a fiancé – I enthusiastically explored the changes in the town centre: new cafes, restaurants and hopefully soon bars.
Of course, the novelty might wear off at some point. But the city center is in a new chapter of regeneration, with the £23million. The Pioneer Place development and its state-of-the-art cinema and other leisure units are nearing completion. So it looks like new doses of excitement will continue to arrive for at least the next few years.
Also, Burnley’s magic has always been linked to the people and its friendly atmosphere, which I think puts it among Ibiza’s superclubs and Berlin’s world famous nightlife as one of the best places to hang out The evening.
And even if the novelty fades, I’m sure what will remain is a love for simple pleasures and routines.
It’s clear that the city’s movers have worked hard to transform the neighborhood. The market hall, now a globally inspired gastronomic hub, is what the city has always lacked and is fashionable; the craft markets are also a culinary treasure.
The vintage car show was a hit with my vehicle-mad toddler; the encounter with the dinos was an original experience; and my son was in awe of the free Halloween pumpkins given out to families.
I have to admit that I do most of my shopping online: I love the convenience and thrill of buying anything you want or need with just a few clicks.
But I appreciate that not everyone feels comfortable with this and would rather be served by a human than a computer. And I feel for store owners who have had to adapt to a changing market, or close.
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But whichever side of the fence you stand on, the main street changes, and now it’s all about what you can live on, not what you can buy.
That’s why I love the new experiences brought to the city. After all, I will cherish the memories made there with my son far longer than the dress or the jeans I bought at my favorite boutique.
And these experiences don’t have to be extravagant.
My son and I spent several Saturdays downtown, dining out, antiquing, strolling, and listening to street musicians play. I love Thai food at Market Hall, feeding us both a hearty meal for just £3.50. He loves following the purple footprints in the market square, stopping to smell the flower displays, exploring the books and playing with Legos in the library.
As simple as it is, I love it. It takes me back to my own childhood when every Saturday my dad, little sister and I would walk around town, buying a Greggs sausage roll and a chocolate muffin before heading to Blockbuster to rent a movie or two.
These are the routines that silently imprint themselves on our brains and find their way into our hearts, making us, over the years, feel safe, welcome and like we belong somewhere.
And with the future arrival of Pioneer Place, I look forward to creating more happy memories with my loved ones.