Edinburgh and Glasgow, the two cities we visited recently in Scotland remind me a lot of two other cities I am very familiar with: San Francisco where I grew up and Oakland where I was born and later returned to work for many years. Edinburgh is a lot like San Francisco. The charms of the city are all around you. All you have to do is follow your senses. Glasgow, on the other hand, is a lot like Oakland. Gertrude Stein said that there was no “there” there but she was wrong. You just have to work harder to find the “there.” We discovered Glasgow by walking around the inner city a lot and stumbling upon street art that’s there all over the city. It’s there but just not that obvious. You can walk by a spot and not really notice it until you go by two or three times.
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A lot of the wall murals were created about two years ago when the city’s leaders decided that their city needed to be spruced up a wee bit in preparation for the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Most of the art is by two local artists. One goes by the name of Smug; the other uses Rogue-One when he signs his work. I saw the name Art Pistol on some of the murals and thought that this was another artist but that’s the name of the organization that sponsors the art of up and coming muralists.
A police helicopter crashed through the roof of the Clutha pub and bar on Stockwell Street in 2013 and killed ten people. The bar reopened last year with a mural of many of the celebrities who had frequented the bar in the past. Rogue One and EJEK did most of the mural work.
Edinburgh, unlike Glasgow, has hardly any street art. I guess they feel that they don’t need it!