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By: Staff (justin) 2012.01.06

Manchester has been called the London of the north, without all the chaos. Not only is there more room to breath and move in Manchester, but it is also the undisputed home of England's music culture, setting it apart from every other city in the country for the past fifty years (giving rise to the Madchester genre). It is also the home of Manchester United, one of the most popular soccer teams in the world, making the city feel a bit like crowded London during home games.

Afflecks Palace

Afflecks Palace is a three-story, spiraling collage of used clothing/record/retro anything-goes stores. Painted in glaring, garish colors, stuffed with peculiarly decorated mannequins and even a Yeti, it looks as if the design of the whole place was a joint effort of fans of the Grateful Dead, Depeche Mode and Johnny Rotten. This place deserves an entire day of your time even if you don't plan on buying anything. You can choose from about 500 pairs of Doc Martins, a couple hundred wigs (complete with multiply ear-pierced mannequin head), appropriately (wonderfully) offensive punk rock T-shirts, and practically every fashion British faux pas of the last fifty years. When you've recovered from all the 70's flashback stores, you can head up, down or spiral sideways to the music stores filled with every poster you ever or never wanted. Then dive into about fifty thousand CDs with underground grooves you can rarely find anywhere else. The selection ranges from the constantly growing Manchester dance, punk and grunge beats to the eclectic mix of thrash metal, pop, world and even jazz bands you always wanted to know about but never knew where to find. JG

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