Today an interview with Paulo Cruz, Spotter for our (new!) Glasgow cityblog.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I walk everywhere! I walk because it gives time to soak-up what’s happening around me; read newspaper headlines; look into quirky shops; make random coffee stops; and find out what bands are in town (from posters throughout the city).
Walking is a fantastic way of getting to know new places. Sometime ago, I came across a book about experimental travelling (Amazon link: Lonely Planet Guide to Experimental Travel) and was taken by their suggestions (which they call games) for discovering new, out of the way places.
My favourite “travelling game” involves:
(a) looking at a city atlas;
(b) finding the first street starting with A and the last ending with Z;
(c) drawing a line between them; and
(d) exploring as much as possible around that line. With of this game I explore the new cities I visit.
How do you like being a Spotter?
I really enjoy being a Spotter because as I’ve thought about the places I hang-out in and what I like about them, I have become an even greater fan of Glasgow.
I’m not sure why Glasgow. It kind of just happened. However, as you get to know the city, the more it reveals.
In Glasgow you should always look up, as my friend keeps saying, because the City has lots of buildings with some really awesome features (e.g. look out for the mini Statue of Liberty on the City Hall façade that faces George Square).
Can’t think of anything “not” to do.
Which prejudices about Glasgow are true?
It’s true that: Good coffee is hard to find in Glasgow (unless you have some tips from your friendly spotter, e.g. one of mine is Trans-Europe Café ). If in doubt, have tea.
Which ones are not?
It’s not true that: It always rains in Glasgow. But having a waterproof jacket with you at all times could be handy, as our weather is a bit temperamental and you are likely to experience both rain and sunshine within minutes of each other.
What do you know about Glasgow what no tourist will know?
Outside Gallery of Modern Art is a statue of the Duke of Wellington, on a horse and a traffic cone for a hat. The cone is placed on Wellington’s head by students and promptly removed by the Council the next day. The cone wearing Wellington has become iconic of Glasgow and is the visible side of a long-standing, half-hearted war of attrition between City and students.
Can you describe a perfect day in your city?
A perfect mid-week day would be sunny and there would be a free table in West’s beer garden for some beers, in the sunshine, after work. At the weekend, it would probably start with a late breakfast at Tapa, followed by a bike ride to Pollok Country Park and then dinner at Pakistani Café and a movie at the GFT.
Check out all Paulo Cruz’s articles and the other interviews with our Spotters.