Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Borough by Michael Cannon (Serpent's Tail 1995)

I came here by accident. It took me a while to realise that the Borough was unique, even for Glasgow. It is poor, and yet it lives cheek-by-jowl with the wealthiest districts which ring the University precincts. This is a strange symbiosis. The University surmounts the hill, its Gothic pile silhouetted by day and floodlight by night. The spire is a landmark for miles. Many of the academics live within walking distance. Small mews flats off cobbled lanes now fetch exorbitant prices. People with more money than sense pay for the prestige of living where a horse was once stalled. This is the city's Bohemia. Across the Kelvin immense town houses, built for the tobacco barons when Glasgow was still the second city of the empire, have been converted into student residences.

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