the city talking: leeds — issue 32Back
The City Talking
Issue 32 of The City Talking is out in Leeds now, and available free inside Friday’s edition of the Yorkshire Evening Post.
This issue of The City Talking is inspired by the bare January floorboards that don’t feel quite as cosy on our toes as they did around Christmas time, before slipper socks and a crackling Netflix fireplace were replaced by trainers and mocktails. Nature gave us the gift of a snowy Friday night, and we all woke up on Saturday and looked out the window and took square-shaped photos and we were happy.
But the snow didn’t last, and Monday arrived, and when we looked out the foggy morning window of the number one bus we were greeted by a sad, half-frozen graveyard of snowmen in Hyde Park.
Oh hello! One particularly dire-looking snowman waved to us, its stick arm protruding from a mud puddle. We pressed our mittens against the wet glass and sighed. Yep. It’s still January.
The last time we remember loving January was back when Christmas was all about the toys. Yeah, that morning on December 25th was great, but it felt like the very moment you ripped off the wrapping paper and saw that magical toy you’d wanted since October, your auntie was knocking on the door to say you can play with that later honey; there’s company over. You couldn’t wait for January; you couldn’t wait for school! That first day back on on the playground when you could show all the other kids that you got Optimus Prime.
A lot of us didn’t get Optimus Prime for Christmas in 1985, and quite a few of us still want it. We talked to Stephen Smith — founder of the Super Retro Games Fair, and Collectorabilia, and games nights at The Belgrave — about how we can still feel the joy of Optimus Prime, a Neo Geo, Street Fighter II or Chuckie Egg, happiness from years ago in 2016.
And then, in the spirit of January, we decided to fill our pages with pets. Not just any pets mind you, but some of our favourite pets in Leeds. The ones we see crunching on bar snacks, taking lunch breaks by the canal or chasing the ends of our pens at work; the pets that are seeking international stardom from their flats at Leeds Dock, or chewing on a toy in a design agency on The Calls. There are so many talented, interesting animals in the city to interview; we were lucky enough to meet eight of them.
Tom Duxbury is an artist who could take some Yorkshire grey, carefully juxtapose it with a bit of January blue and turn it into a book cover for the poet laureate’s next anthology. “You can’t take the boy out of Yorkshire,” he tells us. “There’s something about this landscape that’s instilled in you for life.” We talk to Tom about art school, linocutting and the feeling of landscapes.
We conclude our January issue with the return of The Square Ball’s Moscowhite, with an illustration by Joe Gamble. The Steve Evans and Massimo Cellino combo might not be the warm cup of cheer you need, but if Leeds United have taught us anything, it’s to keep hoping for better days.
The City Talking: Leeds issue 32 is free inside the Yorkshire Evening Post this Friday January 22nd, and in selected stockists across the city.