This once hardscrabble town is softening. The massive brick buildings in the industrial Millyard District, once home to the world’s largest cotton textile-mill company, now house contemporary condos, start-up companies, and trendy restaurants and bars. The world-class Currier Museum of Art is reason enough to visit. But you’ll also find a restored, historic theater, where the New Hampshire Symphony Orchestra and Opera New Hampshire perform, the always-hopping Verizon Wireless Arena, drawing as many as 11,000 people to its sporting events and concerts, and two minor league sports teams, offering live action at affordable prices. Manchester may not be New England postcard pretty, but that is exactly why we like it. The down-to-earth Queen City, the largest and most ethnically diverse in the state, still retains its authentic, blue-collar soul.