I’ve been waiting with baited breath for T2 Trainspotting, the sequel to perhaps my favourite film of all time. Partially because it’s set in Leith, Edinburgh’s eclectic port and home for most of my adult life.
So I’m pleased to report that the film is funny, gaudy, excessive, frantically paced and oh, so poignant. So much so that I’ve seen it twice. And re-read the original book. (Hair-raising! The films are downright cosy by comparison.) In fact, I’ve spent the last fortnight deep in a Ewan McGregor themed 90’s reverie.
LEITH FOODY MAP
I recently drew an illustrated map of Leith featuring the area’s brilliant pubs, bars, café’s and restaurants. (You can buy a print from my shop!) And in honour of Renton, Spud et al I’ve updated it to show you some all important landmarks from the books and films.
Click on the image for a closer look.
Picking out locations wasn’t as simple as I’d anticipated. Much of the original film was shot in Glasgow, but Edinburgh, to my delight, features heavily in the sequel. And there are several recognisably Leithy hotspots, notably the strip of bars and restaurants at Commercial Quay. Sick Boy’s flat on Sailmaker Road is just north-east of the map. The original book is peppered with Leith references though, so I’ve highlighted just a few of the key landmarks.
And, because it’s wonderful, I’ve included The Port O’ Leith bar, a favourite hang out for Irvine Welsh when he wrote the first novel. I cherish the memory of walking past on the day of the royal wedding in 2011 to see three proper, old-school punks enjoying a smoke and a pint outside. They were resplendent in mohicans, Doc Martens and delicately frilled white wedding gowns.
To paraphrase Sick Boy, there are parts of Leith where the great wave of gentrification is yet to engulf us. And it’s all the better for it.
UPDATE: THEY’VE ONLY GONE AND GENTRIFIED THE PORT O’ LEITH! IS NOTHING SACRED?!
(It’s quite nice though…)