Extra Comment: a song and dance about Glasgow 2014

Glasgow’s unfaltering pride and — dare I say — defensiveness has its pros and cons.
Festival 2014 event Perch; showing off Glasgow?Festival 2014 event Perch; showing off Glasgow?
Festival 2014 event Perch; showing off Glasgow?

It’s not that we’re strutting around proud of ourselves — if anything, we’re a self-effacing bunch, and never quite willing to shout out about our own achievements.

But there’s more than a touch of sentimentality about the place which ensures that

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Unfortunately, as our east coast counterparts are quick to point out, it also means that we’ll defend everything Glasgow stands for — perhaps even the less flattering parts.

Reputation for violence? Shameful poverty? Politicians quick to pave over history in favour of bland office blocks or noisy motorways? There are a few black marks on our city’s good name, and not all of them unfounded.

We’re told that the Commonwealth Games is another example of Glasgow’s regeneration into a city of culture and sport — a sign of great things to come, if we can just prove ourselves on the world stage.

To an extent, I’d say that Glasgow 2014 is succeeding. At a time when Scotland is on the map for more than one reason, the dear, green place is shining bright in the spotlight.

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Still, it’s hard not to think that the legacy of the Commonwealth Games is focused on what Glasgow means to the outside world — and not what it means to its residents, or indeed what they mean to it.

As a southside reporter, I’ve written countless stories on the plight of those living near Games venues, and the lack of information rolled out by organisers.

As a resident living near one of those venues, I’ve received even less info — and spent countless minutes on the phone to a no-doubt weary volunteer (probably cursing me for adding to the list of complaints).

There’s a buzz about the city, and many were delighted to welcome the Baton Relay and the opening of the Games (John Barrowman’s singing aside) — not to mention those gorgeous Scottie dogs leading in each nation — but with road closures, restrictions to leisure facilities and a lack of information for those of us affected by it, I can’t help but wonder what the Games are doing for Glasgow.

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Being more of an arts enthusiast than a sports fanatic, I caught my first glimpse of excitement on Sunday at aFestival 2014 production.

We know that if someone is asking, Glasgow is dancing — and with all eyes on the city, an event like

Let’s hope that, everyday hindrances aside, Glasgow 2014 does the same.