Not quite what it first seems

Posted on 26 July 2012 | Narrative

It’s often said first impressions last – this story about York by Millie Raine suggests that’s not always the case.

“I came to York for the first time in summer 2011, and hated it.

York University was my last choice, and I had been rejected from all my other University options.

My parents and I visited in the height of the tourist season, and looked round the city centre on a Saturday, during a food festival, so the tiny streets were bursting with people. If I had glanced up at the old shop fronts on the Shambles, or looked properly at the gothic Minster, rather than scowl at my feet, I would have loved what I saw.

But it wasn’t until I came to the University in October that I properly explored the town. From that day on, I spent almost every day in the city centre for about a month, finding my way around through the little alleys and side streets.

I walked the city walls, visited the Minster during a choir rehearsal and went to see a walking performance of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. My flatmates and I trawled the famous pubs and bars and got to know the bus drivers.

By the time it was Christmas, just two months after arriving, York had become our favourite city. But it was the homemade goulash in the House of Trembling Madness pub in the centre of town that really won our hearts, seven months into our first year.”