Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Let's talk about British things I don't understand


This is the line of people waiting for a taxi cab last Saturday night. This is Leith Walk, but you'll see lines like this, and some that are much longer, scattered throughout the city. The cab system here is really bizarre and organized, no need for hails and whistles, just stand in the politely formed line full of rather impolitely intoxicated people.

You can still hail a cab if you want to, but if you are standing in the wrong place, or on the improper side of the road, don't be surprised if the driver keeps going.

I don't really get the logic behind all of this, but hey- whatever gets people home safe and sound I suppose. As for me, on most nights I'll stick to walking, knowing that it'll get me home faster and cheaper.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Around the neighborhood

Here is Calton Hill, a nice green area near my flat. It used to be an ancient execution ground for warlocks! Scotland is crazy historical like that. I often go up here and sketch, take in the views, and occasionally play music with friends. This photo was taken on a day when I did all three.

And here is the Scottish Monument which sits atop the hill, and was meant to honor Scottish Soldiers from the Napoleonic Wars. For some reason (£££?) the Parthenon-like structure was never completed and the project was abandoned in 1829. Scots felt great embarrassment about this fact for a while, calling it "Scotland's Disgrace", but no one seems to care now. If anything, it just seems a little random. But it's fun to climb around on, and acts as a nice centerpiece to the hilltop setting.

the earth is the one thing under my feet

(the be good tanyas, "ship out on the sea")

The best way to get around Edinburgh is afoot.

(If it's raining, you'll want the front seat of the bus, on top)

The to-and-from walk to my campus studio is 3.6 miles. Some days I end up walking upwards to 5 miles a day without blinking an eye.

This year, I have the unusual luxury of not needing full time employment. It is a year to cherish, once again a student, more than ever an artist.

So I revel in seeing new streets, catching conversation fragments, taking short cuts and long ways. I feel closest to understanding the city that can never really be my own during the transitions between Points A & B...

... The space between where I was, and where I need to go.
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