Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Affleck's Palace, the soul of the Northern Quarter

Fancy dress costumes, masks and wigs, handmade artwork and accessories, handprinted tees, retro sweets and games, second-hand clothing, musical instruments, paintings or gadgets of any kind, studs and biker gear, cartoon bags, vintage, rock-a-billy, heavy metal, glitz, punk, glam, rock and gothic fashion, graffiti T-shirts, American confectionary products, a tattoo and body piercing studio, Japanese Kokeshi dolls, customised clothing and homeware, tarot reading and clairvoyant services, crystals, jewellery and minerals, cabaret costumes and stage-wear, embroidery and couture fashion, eco-friendly, fair-trade and ethical clothing, drag queen-like high heel shoes, skate-wear, Hawaiian shirts, Lolita and Anime clothing and footwear, genuine army items, Chinese massages, fetish-wear and sex toys, henna tinting, semi-precious stones and Swarovski crystal, music and movies posters, badges and stickers, oil burners and incense, future-inspired clothing, UV make-up, corsets and burlesque wear, hair extensions, Japanese kitsch bags, retro arcade games machines, smoking paraphernalia, …

You can find all this and more in Affleck's Palace! A hidden gem in the heart of Manchester's bohemian Northern Quarter, Affleck’s Palace is undoubtedly one of the most charismatic Mancunian landmarks. The three-floor iconic building features a labyrinth of quirky shops and stalls of all kinds imaginable. It does not matter how many times you have visited Afflecks before, you can never get rid of the feeling of disorientation that surrounds you once you are in. And, as typical as it may sound, there is literally always something new to rediscover among all the piled-up extravaganza.

So many doors around you and so much creativity beyond each of them, like dozens of caged exotic birds, each singing a unique and distinct tune. What is best about the eclectic building is that it gives the chance to Manchester’s most original and innovative craftspeople, designers and artistic minds to display and sell their artwork, often making use of old-school techniques to give birth to handmade, customised and bizarrely unique pieces of fashion.

Visiting Afflecks really is like coming into Ali Baba’s cave, with little treasures waiting to be found in every nook and cranny of the building. The loud music in the hall already announces the funniest of journeys, similar to a time machine experience or a trip to a faraway island. Comparisons aside, my first visit to the place was a terrific surprise, and I am sure any future visits will be too.

We love you, Afflecks! 


1 comment:

  1. I miss the old mosaics! :( But so glad that this institution was able to continue living as not so long ago the owner was going to sell it to make housing! The stallholders held a petition and if I remember rightly, raised enough money to keep the building.