NY Sushi

City Views: “It’s about the people”

“Sheffield is about its people: communities, groups, activities and the hangouts in which you’ll find them.

Yeah, it’s more like a large village than a city in character and I guess that attracts or cultivates a certain type of person. More specifically, my experience living in Sheffield since coming here as a student in the early 90s has been about cultivating, growing or joining communities of like-minded folk. This wasn’t a grand plan; it just came together in a haphazard getting on and living life kind of way.

I used to strive to be in with the cool kids. Or was it to hang out with geeks like me?

Actually, it was more about championing music that I and others loved, building an audience of like-minded people to come together and dance. Kind of cool. Oh, and I made a living out of it for many years after starting as a hobby.

Interestingly, I straddled mainstream student club nights, creating and DJing at Disco 2000 and Skool Disco, but also running the far more underground NY Sushi. Not many DJs/promoters did that, most stuck to one thing or another. I like to think it’s given me an unusual perspective. Looking back 20-plus years, these have been some of my most cherished memories of the city: finding my crowd and enjoying our chosen passion, past-times and interests; hanging out together in clubs, dancing to great music imported from around the globe, taking the Sheffield flavour on our own tours up and down the country.

I’m soon to be in my 50th year, with almost 30 of those spent living in our city. I have a wonderful wife and two kids. You might guess that the interests and hobbies we now take part in have changed somewhat. Thinking about this, it’s interesting how over these years we’ve found new communities to hang out in, spending more time in coffee shops and our legendary countryside. My wife, yoga, nutrition and fitness; our daughter, dance; and our son, karate and basketball. Me, well, I still love music but confess I’m no clubber these days.

Zooming into now and the various lockdowns we’ve all endured has led me back to a hobby I loved when I was a kid, one that I sold up from to buy my first set of turntables to begin a journey as a DJ. You’ll now find me bargaining with the wife to let me and my son go racing at the weekend. Racing radio-controlled cars at Sheffield Off-Road & Rally Club. With this, I’ve found another group of great folks to have fun with and share a hobby.

Looking back 20-plus years, these have been some of my most cherished memories of the city: finding my crowd and enjoying our chosen passion, past-times and interests; hanging out together in clubs, dancing to great music imported from around the globe

And that’s what’s great about this city of ours: there is so much to do and share with like-minded people. Of course, not everyone is from Sheffield originally, but I do think living here nudges you to the friendlier end of the scale. Finding these groups fills me with strong positive energy, reassuring me that this city will look after me in another 30 years to come. All we have to do in return is put our little bit back. Contribute in some way to keeping people coming together – joining, creating and participating in whatever floats your boat.

Words: Christopher Howett




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