A while ago, former Top Gear motormouth Jeremy Clarkson said that ‘Leeds resembles Las Vegas’ (or something along those lines) because of all the building work going on.
It was one of the least controversial things Clarkson has ever said and do you know what, he was bang on. Part of me wishes Leeds resembled Vegas a bit more, especially on the weather front but also because I think in some respects, our fine city is becoming too much like London.
This was illustrated during a recent ‘walk’ into town to grab a bite to eat. Of course, being lunchtime, there were mainly people in suits populating the pavements but the thing that struck me most about them (apart from the fact nearly everyone was either staring down at a mobile phone or glaring ahead in self-imposed solitude), was how fast everyone was walking. It was like I’d entered some kind of speed walking race. So, being over 40 (see previous column), I decided belligerence was preferable to conformity and so I deliberately ambled along, sometimes slowing other speed walkers down. I’m totally not sorry about it either. In fact, I’m going to do it again soon.
Anyway, what I was going to talk about in this column (sidetracked again) was how every ‘artist’s impression’ I see of all this new building work has got it wrong, because none of the people they draw in their pictures are stood transfixed by their mobiles, which nowadays is reality.