Finnieston, birthplace of the Glasgow hipster, according to scientists.
Food wanker, coffee cock, beard fanny.
I lived there before it was cool, before the BBC moved in across the river, before seafood gin and gourmet lampposts and Michelin stars, aye, aye, aye.
Back when it was a strangely empty stretch of dusty tenements from Yorkhill up to what’s left of Anderston (not much), with good curry houses the Ashoka, the Spice of Life, and Gaelic pubs the Ben Nevis, the Park Bar.
And a demolished concert hall where Gil Scott-Heron once played, the same Gil Scott-Heron whose dad played for Celtic in the fifties.
But don’t worry, Gil. Govanhill will not be Finnieston-ised.
We’re far too weird for that.
We have our pleasant bandstand, uplifting festival, various foods and ubiquitous yoga (nae offence, yogis). But also rockets and muppets and midgie-rakers keeping it real.
Because we live in a weird city.
Weird and a half, odds-on.
A guy having a wash in the street with a bottle of water. Tap aff, splish splash, job done. Wtf, mate.
Transylvania deli with a hearse parked outside, a cup of coffin from Dracucab.
A man on a bike, like lots of men on bikes, but this rude boy has a wagon at the back with a mobile sound system playing reggae tunes, Prince Buster, Desmond Dekker, Burning Spear. Hear me now, Vicky Road.
Shop keepers on chairs outside glass-fronted emporiums selling shiny baubles and fancy goods like a middle Eastern bazaar or an Indian market stall. The long flowing clothes, henna beards, a guy in a Bayern Munich top.
Misspelled shop sines and men-yous.
A hum sandwitch please.
Any screambled eggs?
That lentil soap looks nice.
Because you and I are weird and so is everyone and we all lived here before it was cool.
Spoon benders, spout merchants, ear poppers. My mate Tommy Two Noses (don’t ask).
So nae luck, Finnieston, with your cornucopia of curated utopia.
Govanhill is the human condition.
Always there, just out of reach.