This paper explores the implications of representations of places as ‘diverse’, particularly for those who live in them. Arising from an interdisciplinary research project, the paper takes one neighbourhood in Manchester (Cheetham Hill) and explores some of the narratives about it produced by residents and those who have a ‘professional’ stake in the area. These are put in the context of public narratives of the area, as well as Census data. The paper examines how different types of data generate different stories and how different methodological approaches can produce varied understandings of place, which have implications for how a place comes to be known and for the potential impact on the distribution of resources. Cheetham Hill is known as ‘diverse’, or even ‘super-diverse’, but the paper examines how this label serves to obscure lived experience and inequalities and can reveal ambivalences over the ethnic difference and urban living.