cafe upwards can be found. sometimes in the least likely of situations. A casein point is Chinese Home (.‘ooking. in Argyle Place. Behind the modest frontage on this quiet street lies one of the most popular (‘hinese restaurants in the city. ()ther outlets for Oriental cuisine include the highly regarded Loon Fang in (‘anonmills. and the New Dragon Pearl in Union Placc. opposite the Playhouse Theatre. The European end of things can be catered for at Pizza Romana (Forrest Road). the Beehive Inn (Grassmarket). or Dario 's and Bar lialia (both Lothian Road). Edinburgh also has a number of good vegetarian restaurants. the best known probably being Henderson '5‘ in Hanover Street. It is joined by Helios Fountain ((irassmarket). and in St. Patrick Square by Kalpna's Indian cuisine. For cafe society. try Lillig's in Victoria Street. Seeds wholefood cafe in West Nicholson Street. and the Blue Farm! in St. Stephen Street.
First. there‘s Princes Street. but avoid Saturday afternoons; locals tend to work in pairs — an umbrella in the eye to distract you. followed by a swift baby buggy to the ankle. Centres of attraction here are the Virgin and IIMV record shops. plus all the usual ‘I Iigh Street‘ stores.
If you have decided that your first term's grant is going to be spent on a new set ofduds. there are several sets ofclothes shops. for example in Rose Street. (‘ockburn Street. and around the university precinct in George Square which offer a discount (usually 10"} )on production of your matric card.
There are several charity shops. including ()xfam on South Bridge and PDSA on George IV Bridge where good quality second hand clothes can be bought for sensible prices.
Should you want to buy some books. James Thin at South Bridge. carry all recommended texts. but remember to watch department notice boards for second hand bargains. Also try Bauermeister on George IV Bridge. Watersione's on George Street has a huge range of general books and some academic. and is open late every night; 10pm weekdays. 7pm Sat and Suns.
As for food and other necessities. most areas are pretty well served by local grocers and small supermarkets. many of which open late and on Sundays. but ofcourse. one has to pay. for this privilege. higher than average prices.
OEdlnburgh Castle — Popularly held on the other side of the Atlantic to be dismantled each year at the end of the Festival. the castle has in fact been there for some time. OScott Monument — Great views of Princes Street. provided you can Lendure the simultaneous
claustrophobia and vertigo involved in getting to the top. This building is not a prototype ofThunderbird 3. oCalton Hill — Atop the hill stands Nelson‘s Monument (which drops a large stone ball to let sailors know when it‘s one o'clock). and a folly. originally intended to be a reproduction of the Parthenon. Some years after the original scheduled completion date. there was a plan to project the image of the building‘s roofon to the site. using a laser situated in Musselburgh. This also failed. but proved to be the inspiration behind President Reagan's Strategic Defence Initiative.
oHeart of Mldlothlan — A mosaic heart embedded in the cobbles close to St. Giles‘ Cathedral. Those new to the city are often shocked to see passersby spitting on this ancient landmark. In fact. one of Edinburgh's greatest traditions stems from the sign ofcontempt shown by the townspeople for the conditions within the old Tolbooth gaol. which formerly stood on the site. and was the scene of the last public execution in Scotland. The practice continues to the present day. although it is not known how many of today‘s participants know why they do it.
oThe Hole in the Ground — In Castle Terrace is a site which owes its fame to the fact that there is nothing there at all. What seems like a run ofthe mill building site hoarding. does in fact conceal the supposed site of Edinburgh's oft-mooted opera house. In the absence ofsuitable plans/political will/large sums of money. this area has lain derelict for many years. and was last used two years ago as an under cover Fringe venue
oGas Board building — In Queen Street gardens. a verdant escape from the city bustle for local residents. there is a small secluded Georgian style building nestling among the trees. A neglected mausoleum? A throwback to times ofmore primitive plumbing? No. This building houses equipment to allow the Gas Board to regulate the city’s gas supplies.
oStJames Centre - Dominating the east end of Princes Street and the top of Leith Walk. this concrete and steel development can only be described as obscenely ugly. Designed with the help ofonly a T-square. rule. and two wax crayons. it even incorporates an aerial walkway over Leith Street. to an old stone cottage on Calton Hill. providing a tangible link between the sublime and the ridiculous. oGrassmantet— This is home base for many of the city‘s down and outs. who use the three hostels in the area. It is indeed ironic that those who patronise the area‘s expensive clothes shops must ﬁrst pretend not to see the upright Special Brew tins and supine alcoholics in their path. oAmerlcan tourists — An all year round visitor to these shores. yankus prodigalus panamii tends to stop
over brieﬂy as part of the ‘doing Europe' migration. Y.prodigalus does not blend in with its surroundings. being the only living creature for miles wearing tartan trousers (usually Clan Goldblume). Other distinguishing features include white raincoats and shoes. and. for males. 35mm cameras with telephoto lenses. perched precariously upon the ample girth. oScotland vs. Wales — Another inﬂux of foreign bodies occurs every two years with the Scotland-Wales rugby match. Six foot tall leeks and daffodils are frequently seen in Princes Street and in bars. even when sober. On the night after the match. city centre pubs and hotels are frequently annexed for the Principality. and huge quantities of ale are consumed. And the funny thing is. rival fans get on like a house on fire. and there's never any aggro. OAlso ofnote are: the Royal High School building. converted to serve as a parliament for the Scottish Assembly. and now used about twice a year by the Scottish Grand Committee of MPs; the architecture ofAnn Street (no. not a beauty queen. a quiet residential street in the New Town): and the fundamentalists and born-again types berating the sinning masses at Speakers Corner (outside the Royal Scottish Academy on Princes Street).
There are over 500 pubs in Edinburgh. so there is bound to be at least one to suit your particular tastes. Some ofthe more popular are:
oDeacon Brodle's (Lawnmarket) — One ofthe most famous. Named after the real-life inspiration behind Stevenson‘s “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde". Traditional bar downstairs and popular lounge upstairs.
oBannerman's (Cowgate) - One of a kind. Hugely popular with students. literati. and punters alike. Less your red ﬂock wallpaper. more your licensed catacombs. Breathe in the Gaulois and check out Sunday breakfast.
OCale Royal (West Register Street) — The marble floor and ‘scientific discovery" tiled murals make it a must for at least one visit. Very popular at weekends. with an air of its former glories.
oPear Tree (West Nicholson Street) — Adjacent to the University precinct in George Square. and an obvious student rendezvous. Period decor and walled beer garden are usually just visible through the sea of bodies.
oTap O’Lauriston (Lady Lawson Street) — Much loved by its regulars. who tend to be locals and students from the art college just along the road. An odd mixture at first sight. but everybody seems perfectly happy. oVolunteer Arms (Morningside Road) — Known to all and sundry as ‘The Canny Man‘s‘. the inside of this pub is. . . well. . . Imagine you had a Victorian great aunt. who never threw anything out. and when she died. someone built a bar in her attic. A curious. dim. surreal world ofits own.
oAthletic Arms (Angle Park Terrace) — Another one which operates under an alias. ‘Diggers‘ (as in gravediggers. as in the cemetery across the road) reputedly sells the best beer in the world. The clientele bear witness to this in their numbers (the bar has 13 taps all pouring 80/-). The ultimate ‘real’ pub.
oJoe’s Garage (Lothian Road) — Garage by name and garage by nature. Decor includes an Austin A35 and the front halfofa Morris 1000. Plenty of room. but bound to be very popular by its location.
Illustrations by Brian Cairns
46 The List 4— 1 7 October