Three and a half years ago, I moved to Glasgow. I refer to my adopted home as the Greatest City in the World. I know many people disagree with me, indeed I know some of this blog’s regular readers disagree with me on that but this is my blog and I’ll write what I bloody well like. Here are six reasons why I think Glasgow is pure dead brilliant, a phrase no one except the city’s marketing people actually use:
- Museums – Glasgow is blessed with loads of very fine museums, Kelvingrove, the People’s Palace and Riverside, to name but three. Kelvingrove combines a French art gallery with Scottish Colourists, Glasgow Boys, Roger the elephant, a bit about St. Kilda, Benin and crannogs, plus a silver nef, a McTaggart painting of the Paps of Jura and fine golden features. Riverside has an old street and the People’s Palace has Billy Connolly’s banana boots. And that’s just the collections owned by the citizens of this great city. We also have the Scottish Football Museum, bearing the Holy Grail in its collection, and quite a few other independent museums besides.
- Libraries – There are 33 of them in the city (plus the Women’s Library) but the Mitchell is the largest public reference library in Europe with 1.6 million items. That’s good enough for me.
- Architecture – We have some stunning buildings, including some designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson, Robert Rowand Anderson and James Miller. We have a City Chambers with a mini Statue of Liberty, a statue of the Duke of Wellington bearing a permanent traffic cone and some incredible bridges.
- A nippy accent – Bear with me here but when you are on a bus at 8am heading to work and you can’t keep awake, the Glasgow accent at the right pitch can be just as effective as caffeine. Same when you’re heading home and anxious you don’t miss your stop.
- The views – The flagpole in the Queen’s Park, for a start. We are surrounded by hills. From many parts of our city, the biggest in Scotland, a massive sprawl, we can see Ben Lomond, the southernmost Munro, plus the Campsies. Or you can go to the Necropolis, the City of the Dead, and be surrounded by incredible monuments and tombs of the city’s great and good as you survey the city they built.
- Many of the greatest experiences of my life have happened here – They include making good friends, growing personally and professionally and the Hibs going up to lift the Scottish Cup. Hibernian may hail from Leith but the Cup was won down Mount Florida way.