• Mon. Apr 22nd, 2024

Standing up for Bruntsfield

ByAbigail King

Feb 3, 2024
Bruntsfield High street at sunset with cars on road.

In Edinburgh, it is a widely acknowledged fact that where you live after halls is less down to chance and more down to the whims of the letting agency gods, whom I imagine play with our fates like the Olympians in Ancient Greece. Newington, Marchmont, Tollcross. There’s a variety of options where you may wash up. But no matter where people find themselves living, sooner or later they tend towards a stern loyalty for their area. Why Marchmont when Newington has more life? Why Newington, when Tollcross is cheaper and equally close to the uni? You could stand on this soap box and argue for any area. And so, I shall.

I’m standing up for Bruntsfield, so listen up.

Having been bequeathed my flat from some graduating 4th years when I was in first, my eventual arrival in Bruntsfield was less down to chance. Something I mention, to rebuke those who assume I’ve ended up here because I entered the flat-hunting game too late to find somewhere in Marchmont, and too lazy to find somewhere in Newington.

Often when I tell someone my address, they look at me with apologetic eyes. “Oh wow, that’s far” some say (it’s not), “What do you do about Lidl?” others worry (there are alternatives to the Newington one), “Why?” is another frequent, more direct, response.

Why, indeed. Why would I choose a little slice of paradise across the Links, when I could be breathing in the smog and fumes of Newington? Why would I want to be surrounded by small businesses and quaint shops when I could be in the black hole of Marchmont, where dreams go to die. Bruntsfield has a community feel, with the charm of Stars Hollow and the excitement of a bigger city. It’s a slice of hipster infused paradise, with good coffee and handmade candles.

Sitting at my lounge table (because in Bruntsfield, a separate living room is more or less a given), I’m far enough away from George Square, that from the window I can only see the top of Appleton tower peeking over the trees. Yet, when I need to, I can make it to the library in under fifteen minutes. But I say “need” because in Bruntsfield, everything’s a little less rushed. A little more… free.

Coming from a small village who’s only claim to fame is being the name sake of a dinosaur (the Rudgwickosaurus for those who are curious), where there’s one café and approximately two buses a day, the small town feeling of Bruntsfield is a balm for the hectic life of the city. The baristas downstairs recognise me, I know the lady at the card shop nearby. Boasting better buses then Marchmont or Newington, nicer surroundings than Tollcross, in Bruntsfield I have the world at my feet. Why would I want it any other way?

Image via Abigail King

By Abigail King

Opinion Editor