polis: a collective blog about cities worldwide

Broken Umbrellas in Manchester

by Diego Borbalan

Many things catch my attention when I visit a city: people, buildings, monuments, gardens and parks, grand boulevards and small, labyrinthine streets. In Manchester, one of the things that caught my attention was an unusual number of broken umbrellas tossed in the street.

It's curious that an object so important in this city meets such a sad end. With Manchester's average of 32 inches and 140 days of rain per year, the umbrella should finish its days as a hero, not abandoned and forgotten on sidewalks. I don't know if these objects, designed to protect us from harsh weather, find the same fate in other rainy cities. It would be good to find them an ending more in keeping with their function, appreciated for having saved us from many a downpour.

There is a new generation of umbrellas that may resist not only bad weather but also being abandoned on wet city streets — above all because they cost a fortune.

Diego Borbalan is a graphic designer and art director at Borbalan. Born in Barcelona, he is currently enjoying the rain and beautiful gray days in Manchester.

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