Woodland Hipsters…

Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — comelybankingcrisis @ 10:23 am

Woodland Creatures

A new bar has opened on Leith Walk called Woodland Creatures. I’ve been three times now (you know, I wanted to be one of the first to try it, to make myself look cool and everything, with the added bonus of a drink or two.)

I threw a quick review into Yelp and thought I’d share the same thoughts here…

This (and any other reviews to date) must be considered only first impressions because the place has just opened its doors and is not even serving food yet, which it will be very soon – they’re still putting finishing touches on the kitchen.

For a bit of context, I’ve put my head in here twice to wander around and just have a look and I’ve spent one proper evening drinking.

I’m a fan

First impressions, I’m definitely a fan. Great drink selection, plenty of standing room and not an unreasonable proportion of floor space dedicated to seating, which is thoughtfully arranged within the space. I don’t see a problem with the decor at all, I like it a lot actually. The main room is arguably lacking character a LITTLE when the place is quiet, in that it has just opened and, come on, give them a chance, but the same space works really well when busy – room to swing your elbows a bit. The blacks, browns and wood give the place an austere but warm atmosphere.

The smaller, brighter space to the right behind the bar area is the more challenging aesthetically, a kind of gallery space with funky seating from old cinemas and theatres. Ask yourself: do you really want this, weird but comfortable seats, art on the walls? YES!!

Hegemonic, shabby-chic competitors

In terms of the Leith Walk competitors: Victoria, as much as I do genuinely like it, now has a welcome antidote across the road. I absolutely don’t buy the idea that V’s should be a blueprint and standard for new bars in this area. Diversity is key. Woodland Creatures is a GREAT contribution to this diversity. I understand the ‘hipstery’ comments but honestly I don’t care in the slightest; it comes with the territory, always, for a place like this (as it does across the road).

Besides hipster is word, not an actual thing. I don’t believe in the existence of hipsters.

Antony Gormley’s friends haunt Edinburgh and are foiled by the Bikini Vandal

Many in Edinburgh will already have noticed Antony Gormley’s 6 Times, a series of six cast iron, life-sized figures positioned along the Water of Leith (a river, in case you hadn’t heard) between the Scottish Gallery of Modern Art and the sea at Leith Docks.  The exhibition, commissioned by the National Galleries of Scotland, optimises the beauty, fecundity and occasional seclusion of the Water of Leith along its most well-trodden section, taking the participant through the natural beauty of the glen and it’s busy, green banks, into the picturesque Dean Village, under the magnificant Dean Bridge and eventually through neighbourhoods and some fantastic disused industrial architecture before arriving at the Port.

There’s no doubting that the walk itself is well worth doing, Gormley or not, but the presence of these firgures adds a certain mystique, a feeling of connectivity with the city and other walkers (and of course the many gawkers and photographers the figures are attracting daily) as well as an odd feeling of loneliness and longing which is inevitable given the characters’ isolated nakedness and distant gazes.  The tall, slender bodies are characteristic of Gormley’s sculpture, but each of the six has its own personality and orientation.

Gormley's figure looks up towards the bridge in Stockbridge, Edinburgh

Gormley is well-known for his figures, particularly the Angel of the North, but Edinburgh’s 6 Times is more reminiscent of Another Place, which places 100 similarly pensive characters along 3 kilometres of foreshore at Crosby Beach outside Liverpool, integrating them into the natural flow of water and distantly interacting with recreational visitors.  6 Times has been well received in Edinburgh overall, receiving a welcome review in the Scotsman.

I strongly encourage anyone who hasn’t seen it yet to do so, if for no other reason than to drag you down the Water of Leith, one of my very favourite things to do in Edinburgh (okay, maybe without the dragging).  And while you’re at it, spare a thought for the now infamous intervention of the mysterious Bikini Vandal, whose addition (pictured below) has now unfortunately been removed.  I’m not advising you to steal a traffic cone and place it on one of the heads, but let’s just say that if you did, I would find it hilarious.  Suggestions for more interventions welcome.

Smoke and Duelling in Fife: it’s Edinburgh in time-lapse

It was a pleasure today to watch this stunning, award-winning time-lapse film of Edinburgh by Ewen Meldrum from a couple of years back. 

I take it the distubing smoke rising out of the landscape across the Firth of Forth is the power station in Cardenden, Fife, close to where the last duel on Scottish soil (!) apparently took place.  Exciting stuff.  You can see the waterfront and harbour in a few of the shots, which is of course VERY exciting because that makes this my first post which relates directly to Leith!! 

Created using thousands of photos taken over the course of two years, this film beatuifully captures the intensity of the atmosphere and environment of Edinburgh, without even touching on the haar.  I love the way he moves into occasional close-ups of houses and tenements during the night-time part, continuing to emphasise the link with human patterns of behaviour.  That’s you in there, sleeping, blogging, watching Shameless!

Ladies and Gentlemen, Koya Moments.

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