Picture This: The Quadrangle and the Bell Tower

by Keith Savage · 9 comments


Across the street from my guest house a fence separates me from this Victorian vision of pastels and the past. Every walk home to Glasgow’s west end detours into a sunset marriage of architecture and light: Glasgow University’s quadrangle and bell tower lording over Kelvingrove Park. Vapors of aged learning paint the cloudbellies the same yellow of the tomes mouldering in campus libraries. The noise of Scotland’s biggest city falters at the park’s bowling green; the clack of bocci balls, the bell’s somber gong, and the clatter of skateboards off  in the trees float like dandelion seeds through the peace. Absent here is the noisome, uniform stench of city sewage. Instead, what I call green fills my nostrils as I press my head against the chain-link fence.

When did life lose this artistry? To be stopped dead by visions of beauty must have been our default experience. The sixth sense is the appreciation of beauty. Has it become withered, vestigial? A world of the commonplace, the unremarkable, the unnoticed is a world many try to escape through the act of travel, for these pockets still exist. Though we struggle with the power, the world is a mirror of ourselves. And are we not all artists? Can we not all live more artfully?


HejoramaNo Gravatar October 24, 2011 at 8:18 AM

Beautiful photo! I loved Glasgow and I think it’s a way underrated city as everyone considers it ugly and industrial. Obviously everyone compares it to Edinburgh which is indeed very old and beautiful. Still I think Glasgow has very nice parts (Kelvingrove and the University that you mentioned for instance). This photo testifies for that 🙂

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Keith SavageNo Gravatar October 24, 2011 at 9:57 AM

Glasgow gets a bad rap and you’re right that it’s always compared to Edinburgh, which is just a freakishly stunning world city. Glasgow is just different – I love its West End and it’s more of a true big city than Edinburgh, which has some museum-like qualities. Each is unique and worth visiting.

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JulesNo Gravatar October 4, 2011 at 1:40 PM

I’m guessing you stayed at the Alamo Hotel. I love your description of the grand old university.

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Keith SavageNo Gravatar October 4, 2011 at 3:50 PM

Yes indeed! Love the Alamo Guest House’s location, and my wife and I stayed there twice five years ago, too.

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Keith SavageNo Gravatar September 30, 2011 at 8:21 AM

Cheers guys!

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Traveling TedNo Gravatar September 25, 2011 at 10:09 AM

Awesome photo. The clouds and lighting are spectacular. The building is not too shabby either.

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wandering educatorsNo Gravatar September 24, 2011 at 9:04 AM

gorgeous. i esp love the tree in the foreground.

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KenNo Gravatar September 23, 2011 at 2:45 PM

Amazing photo, Keith. Beautiful imagery, visually and verbally. Next time I need to see Glasgow. Funny how beauty that surrounds us day to day becomes seemingly invisible while beauty less familiar stirs our aesthetic senses.

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Jeremy BranhamNo Gravatar September 23, 2011 at 11:21 AM

Beautiful photo! If only the weather was like this every day! 🙂

Love the Victorian architecture!

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