09.23.11

Droppings from the Road #5: Leeds

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:57 pm by Benjamin Ross

Leeds is pretty small.  You can walk across the city center in well under half an hour.  It’s all very compact and walkable.

I found that Leeds has considerably more remnants of England’s industrial past than Birmingham.  Lots of old mills and industrial buildings now converted into housing and commercial use.

Leeds Armoury is a fantastic collection of historical weapons, armor, and other objects of war.  I’m not a big weapons buff, but it was quite engaging regardless.  If you are a weapons buff, I’d make a special trip to Leeds to see this collection.

Not to be over-judgmental, but Northern England can be a depressing place.  Lots of clouds covering post-industrial landscapes.  Locals seemed to feel the same way.

I got a chance to see Leeds play Manchester United at Elland Road Stadium in Leeds.  It was my first proper English football match.  Lots of droppings…

While there is much animosity among American sports fans (don’t get me started on those Raiders), the English have an authentic hatred towards the fans of opposing teams which extends well beyond the superficialities of the game.  (The Leeds fan next to me was screaming “Fuck you, you fucking cunts!” the entire first half without any hint of irony).

The stadiums are also flanked with riot police with full helmet and gear.  Opposing team fans have to sit in a cordoned off area, and can’t leave the match until the home fans have all cleared out.  This is done to prevent riots.

Presumably also to prevent riots, alcohol is not allowed into the stands.  You can buy beer in the concession area, but you need to drink it before returning to your seats.

Concessions (food, drink, beer) are modestly priced.  No price gouging as they do in the US.  A solid pint of decent beer went for 3.5 pounds.  I’ve been to sporting events in the US where 10 oz cups of Bud Light go for $9.50

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