I remember a cab ride a few years ago in New York, going uptown with a friend on the FDR, the scenic highway that runs up the east side of the city and lends a dreamy quality to whatever is being discussed, looking out the window and I said, "I'd really like to go to Glasgow one day," thinking of the music scene and the gritty brand of chic it exports in related fashion, and she looked at me like I had actually said, "I want to have a baby so I can get it addicted to drugs." A long moment passed and then she replied: Lau-ren. Glas-gow. Is. Rough. As. Fu-u-ck. A year or two after that I met a guy from near there and I asked him if that was true, what I had heard and he said yeah, tote-ally, but in that dramatic way that boys do when they're trying to impress you and they cannot believe you've done something so fantastic as throw them a softball question like that: is it dangerous where you're from? Sort of like when I was having lunch with a friend a couple of weeks ago and I noticed he had a cut on his hand and asked about it and he lit up: you mean I didn't tell you I got in a fight in Brooklyn the other night? It was the craziest thing... The inverse of this scenario is something like when a man tells you he likes your shoes and you yammer on about finding them in some out-of-the-way vintage shop for practically no money at all and he nods and smiles and thinks about probably everything except what's on your feet. Anyway, I woke up early this morning and thought I'd go to Glasgow for the day and see what it was about. As I was walking through the Glasgow School of Art, which is sublime and justifiably world-renowned, I saw a flyer pinned up on a bulletin board headlined "RECENT ATTACKS," and it reminded me of when I lived in New Orleans as a college freshman and I would check the public safety notices outside the cafeteria every day to try and hedge my bets, e.g. avoid people on blue bikes, don't take the shortcut behind the school, etc. and well, I'm older now and I avoid that calculus. Unbelievably sunny day that it was, lingering in Glasgow was a no-go; I left as quickly as I came. Last night here in Edinburgh I managed to score a front-row center ticket to the opening night premiere of "The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe" at the Royal Lyceum Theatre and I had a glass of wine and then candy and ice cream during the performance and was completely surrounded by parents and small children and I knew that they knew that I knew that they knew that I was living the dream you imagine as a kid, of being a grown-up and eating candy for dinner and doing absolutely whatever you want all the time! It was (is) divine.