Eken Magazine
Articles

MY MANCHESTER
KATIE POPPERWELL


Name: Katie Popperwell

Age: 32

Work: Freelance writer


Katie Popperwell


Katie lives in South Manchester with her partner Jeremy Pritchard, a musician, and her nine-year-old son Eddie. He is a genius, thought I would say that wouldn’t I? when we asked Katie about the person she holds as the most important person in her life.

The girl who has a bit of Polish, Ukrainian, Norwegian and Celtic blood pumping through her veins and left England to live in the south of France and Amsterdam tends to always come back to her hometown Manchester. The city that’s big enough that can come up with whatever you’re looking for scene-wise, but small enough that you’ll be able to find it. These days Katie Popperwell lives on Burton Road in West Didsbury – a hip little corner of a south Manchester suburb full of cute cafés and independent shops.

The feeling you’re left with after visiting Manchester is that’s it’s a rich and fast moving cultural landscape, but with a lot of personality both in the people you meet and places you vist. According to Katie it’s possible to get things done in Manchester, quickly and cheaply, which gives rise to a really dynamic creative community. A lot of her friends are writers, musicians, designers and artists who can make a creative work life here that they’d struggle to support in somewhere like London. The industrial heritage of the city has left the people with these rambling old mills like you find in Ancoats or Salford that are perfect for cheap studio spaces.

Katie Popperwell is a freelance writer for a couple of Manchester´s most popular magazines like the women’s digital daily Emerald Street but much of her work is copywriting for clients like Manchester University. She seems like the girl that knows her way around, always knowing where to be and when. Even though her work is depending on that she knows what’s on in the city and requires that she knows it first, Katie herself doesn´t not go out that much and when she does she’s quite discerning, glitz and glamour have never been attractive. Yet, the favourite bar at the time is From Dusk til Pawn on Stevenson Square in the Northern Quarter and her favourite pub is The Briton’s Protection. When it comes to nightlife Katie prefers the underground, particularly the city’s alternative queer scene. The club called Drunk at Vogue is where all the most flamboyant girls and boys get together to dress up, get drunk and dance to disco. If you ́re lucky you can also catch Katie in the bar, though it’s her friends that runs the place.

  • DRUNK IN VOGUE

After a heavy night out there’s nothing better than to cure the hangover with a full English breakfast according to Katie; two fried eggs, bacon, sausages, granary toast and baked beans at Teacup on Thomas Street in the NQ does a definitive version. But it’s not just because of Katie’s most attractive life we think she’s interesting, it’s because she’s like a lot of the Mancunians are, creative, honest and enthusiastic.

Given the Swedish debate about feminism and now lately the big fuss about using the word “hen” or not, we decided to let someone on the other side of the Swedish border give us an opinion on feminism. Popperwell describes her self as a book lover feminist, so what could be better than asking her?

I think it’s a mistake to think of Feminism as a singular entity with a capital F. I think a lot of the in-fighting and arguments over what constitutes legitimate Feminist Discourse would be solved if we simply began speaking about ‘feminisms’ as a plurality. My feminism and your feminism may be very different depending on our circumstances. How women choose to express themselves and their freedoms is their business. The real work of any feminist discourse should aim towards securing basic equality for those women all over the world whose freedom is yet to be won, and I think that current debates can often lose sight of that.

WORD!
If you think like us and would like to invite Katie Popperwell to Stockholm, please give her a tour through the tasty and creative restaurants all over the city. You have to consider that the last time Katie was here the only thing she could afford to eat was the, however very tasty, herring wrap from the street vendor at Södermalmstorg. And don’t think of bringing her to a football game, that´s not Katie´s Cup of Tea.

KATIE’S BEST OF MANCHESTER

1

Manchester International Festival
The Festival which comes to the city every two years, brings it newly- commissioned work from renowned artists, whether that’s an exhibition from Marina Abramovitch, an opera by Damon Albarn or an intimate series of gigs by The XX. It floods the city for two weeks in the summer and the whole place takes off. Don´t miss it!

2

The French
Simon Rogan has recently taken over The French, the restaurant at iconic Midland Hotel. It just missed out on a Michelin Star, but i’s not to be missed. He does extraordinary, elemental things with ingredients that other chefs could only dream of. The fact that you can get food like that in the city now is part of a wider change.

3

John Rylands Library
If your visiting Manchester, independent of season, every tourist should make sure they visit the John Rylands Library (and Manchester Art Gallery. At the Art Gallery you’ll find everything from fine art to a Levi jeans chair. Was that four?


By Peter A Eldon