From drug deaths to park life, these are the hard facts behind the contrasting cultures of Glasgow and Edinburgh.
and west. A ’key indicator’of the wealth of an area is the number of children receivrng free school meals, and Glasgow IS in, er, a different class. Two in ten of all Glaswegian kids rely on this small concession, about double the number in Edinburgh,
It's been a year of change in politics, but without a quantum shift in either City. Both remained Labour-dominated although there's a contrary streak in Edinburgh West which elected Liberal Donald Gorrie. One additional detail, just for the sake of it. number of Conservative MPs in each city? Zero.
In terms of achievement, Glasgow wins out both on Booker Prize Winners (Jim Kelman havmg achieved what no Edinburgh author can claim) and on mentions in the Guinness Book Of Records. PeOpIe like Samuel L. Davidson, who has had 78,900 insulin injections since 1923, are unbeatable. Edinburgh has to make do wrth tedious fare such as oldest fishing club, and biggest festival.
So, what can we conclude? Glasgow is the place to be, if you love life in all its gUises. Yes, you have to put up with inclement weather, political corruption and, er, Glaswegians. But on the plus side yOu get cheaper CounCiI Tax, extra women, and of cOurse, Glaswegians.
In short, you get a culture that is than vibrant and happening rather than Guilty on display
'0 I, I], I
For those who remain unconvrnced, another quote: This from Fiorello H La Guardia (a man made immortal by an airport)
'He uses statistics as a man uses lampposts,’ the former mayor of New York once said' 'for support, rather illumination' charged,
The vital statistics on the capital
Council tax (band 0): £812
Labour MP5: 6
Murders: 22 (Lothian & Borders) Children receiving free school meals: 23.9% Booker Prize winners: 0
Listed buildings: 4001
Guinness records: 8
Rainfall (mm/yr): 688
Sun (hours): 4.6
Parks: I 12
Overseas visitors: I I m
Overseas tourist income: 256m Women outnumber men by: I7,550
In a specially commisioned poem, RODDY LUMSDEN gets lippy
about Glasgow and Edinburgh.
The gods of ruth and succour whisk their pucks
across a plum and royal sky of glass.
Lush crops stand acock in City parks, the arts in every nook and hearts
use fast and free. That castle's just a dodge. Hold out your arm for Walter Scott's Syringe.
The citizens are auric, argentine and bronzed The old folks sprint while everybody sings.
The empty steeples capture all philosOphy and even minkers' bairns have angelwmgs
Edinbur h roe continued from page Hg
Pink Triangle Greenside Place/Picardy Place/Broughton Street. Gay communities have a way of forming themselves into geographical locations. and this is Edinburgh‘s. From CC. Bloom's (23 Greenside Place. 556 9331) via the Blue Moon Cafe (36 Broughton Street. 557 0911) tothe Lesbian & Gay Centre (58a Broughton Street. 556 40-19 i. there‘s something gay going on at every level.
The Royal Botanic Garden Arboretum Place/lnverleith Row. 552 7171. Seventy rambling acres of ﬂoral brilliance. plus a greenhouse so much like a real jungle that if no one‘s looking you can wander around pretending to be Lara Croft. Elsewhere in the Garden you'll find lnverleitb House — one of the city‘s leading contemporary art galleries. often presenting work by cutting-edge artists — and various sculptures. including several organic pieces by Andy Goldsworthy.
Royal Observatory Blackford Hill. 668 8100. Stargazers' paradise. with scaled-down solar- systems and video displays to enhance the central attraction of the two main telescopes. A crisp. clear January night’s the ideal time to take a gander at the galaxy. too.
Royal Museum Of Scotland 2 Chambers Street. 225 753-1. A fantastically broad collection of artefacts and natural phenomena from world history. whose extension at the westem end of Chambers Street is due to open in just under a year. Sadly. the Museum has been forced to introduce admission charges of £3 (concessions £l.50; children free). However. on Tuesday evenings. 5—8pm. admission is free to everyone.
Scottish International Children's Festival lnverleith Park. I8—2-l May. 554 6297. Again. the biggest festival of its type in the country. this feast of shows and other entertainments for younger punters draws performers from all over the world.
Scottish National Galleries With four major public galleries. Edinburgh‘s got Glasgow licked. The National Gallery (The Mound. 556 8921). the Royal Scottish Academy (Princes Street. 225 667 l ). the National Portrait Gallery (Queen Street. 556 892 I) and the National Gallery of Modern Art between them represent a huge and fully accessible fund of great artworks from around the world.
Shaver's Weekly Edinburgh's answer to The New )irrkt'r. this austere publication — distributed free via pubs anti clubs by a mysterious figure who travels the world wearing nothing but a swimming cap — keeps its readers posted on the soap-dodging Weegies' latest atrocities. lissential reading. The Stand Thursdays. Canon's Gait; Fridays. Tron Ceilidh House. The most enduring effort yet to get a regular. weekly comedy club going at grass-roots level. Co-organisers Tomtny Shepard and Jane Mackay (who also comperes) have triumphed over adversity to keep the club going for a couple of years now. frequently sell out and show no signs to giving tip.
Style bars You thought these were unique to Glasgow"? Away! For chic design with attitude. try lilll (I97 High Street. 220 5277). Iguana (4| l.othian Street. 220 4288). Indigo Yard (7 Charlotte Lane. 220 5603) or Sirius Bar (7—10 Dock Place. 555 3344). It‘s just the punters' dodgy dress-sense that lets them down. Traverse Theatre It) Cambridge Street. 228 l-l()-l. Not just Scotland's leading theatre for new and international writing and a hub of Festival schmoozing; also one of the city's most funky places to eat and drink: the bar and restaurant have just been refurbished and the catering is now run iii-house (see Food & Drink. page 102.).
The Venue l5 Callon Road. 557 3073. Edinburgh's premier down 'n' dirty rock venue was spruced up about eighteen months back and now operates three floors for some of the city's top club nights. including Tribal Funktion and Pure. The basement is currently under refurbishment. so expect new good stuff down there.
23 Jan—S Feb 1998 THE U3T19