We’ve called Edinburgh home since August 2017 when we opened our flagship store in the West End of the City. This week sees us open our very first pop up store here in New York, and from Wednesday you’ll be able to visit us in the Helen Hayes Board Room in the Algonquin hotel at 59 W 44th St.
As we head out to New York to experience New York City Tartan Week for the first time, we thought we’d compare both the differences and similarities between the two cities.
New York is renowned for it’s iconic skyscrapers towering high above the city, but this wouldn’t be associated as easily with Edinburgh. Instead of a city full of new and shiny buildings, Edinburgh has just one very important building high in the sky. Edinburgh Castle is actually built on top of a dormant volcano meaning this is one of the highest points in the city centre.
Even with a map it can be quite difficult to navigate your way around the wynds of Edinburgh, not only do you have to navigate in terms of direction but also in height. Edinburgh is built on numerous levels, so where you may be expecting a cross roads, you in fact may end up on a bridge above the street you wanted to turn on to. New York on the other hand has a very well thought out grid layout, making it really easy to find your way around.
The yellow Taxis of New York have become one of the many icons associated with the city. In Edinburgh taxis follow the design of the London Black Cabs but now thanks to some creative advertising many of the taxi’s display the branding of a few of our iconic brands such as Irn-Bru and Tunnock's. I always referred to this as the Tunnock’s Taxi but I was recently corrected that they actually refer to this as the Tea Cake Taxi or Caramel Cab.
New York has the largest subway systems in the World with 472 stations, so there aren't many places in the city you can't reach via public transport. Edinburgh may not have an underground service but in 2014 a new Tram line was opened, taking passengers directly from the Airport to the heart of the city centre.
Possibly the biggest icon of not only New York but the United States is the Statue of Liberty, lady liberty is located on Liberty Island, very close to Ellis Island where all immigrants to the USA used to come through when entering the country by ship. In the heart of Edinburgh between Princes Street and the gardens behind, the Scott Monument can be found. This impressive Gothic monument honours the famous Scottish author, Sir Walter Scott who resided in the Scottish Borders. His home, Abbotsford is now a popular tourist destination as well as his favourite viewpoint, now known as Scott’s View.
We believe it’s mandatory to grab a slice of pizza when in the Big Apple, after all it is said to be some of the best in the pizza world, despite a long running rivalry with the Deep Dish of Chicago! We are yet to decide on our favourite, but we are heading to Chicago this June so we’ll be able to cast our verdict later in the year. Scotland has some amazing local produce but unfortunately we fear we may have become better known for our array of deep fried dishes, including both Mars Bars and Pizza. As much as we’d rather support a much healthier home grown meal we do have to admit that both are actually quite tasty, especially when enjoyed after a whisky or two.
Both the New York and Edinburgh tartans have lovely blue backgrounds. The Edinburgh tartan was designed in 1970 by the late Hugh McPherson to commemorate the Commonwealth Games being held in the City that year. The New York City tartan was designed much more recently in 2002 to celebrate NYC Tartan Week, originally called the Tunes of Glory tartan, the design was later re-named at the New York City Tartan as the request of the city Mayor.
This is just the first of many tartan pop ups to come so keep an eye on our Social Media or subscribe to our Newsletter to find out if we are heading to your hometown. Next up is the Windy City of Chicago this June.