MY gran’s elder brother, Phil Heveran, grew up in The Gorbals. When he was in his early 20s, he married Kate McKechnie and they decided to set off for a new life in America.

They arrived in New York in 1929. Just in time for the Wall Street Crash.

When I realised I was going to be launching a new book about Glasgow while every bookshop in the city was closed, I thought about their story. Not about their sense of timing, but about what happened next.

Phil started off in the Astoria neighbourhood of Queens. He had learned to be a barber in Glasgow and began cutting hair, eventually opening a shop to support his young family.

Glasgow Times: New York New York

They became part of the community, and that’s what got them through. It’s the type of story that plays out here every day. This week’s announcement was a setback, but we’re all going to do the next part together.

The Best of Glasgow is a book to celebrate the city. There’s 386 different recommendations for things to do, places to go and people to meet along the way. 

When the book was finished, I realised it’s really about the neighbourhoods we live in, personal connections, local aspirations and a sense of belonging somewhere. The collective effort of trying to make things happen shines through from the conversations on every page.

As I interviewed people from all different backgrounds, a theme emerged – the idea that Glasgow is a good size of city to be able to meet people, to gather enough folk together to make an idea happen. It’s a hopeful tale.

This year will be remembered for challenges and missed opportunities. 

It should also be remembered for a determined and resilient response, for the music and art that have been made, the food and drink places that are still at the heart of our communities, local businesses and new creatives looking to the future. That’s why I am publishing The Best of Glasgow.

Order a copy and you will be able to read personal reflections on the city from Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand, Clare Grogan, The Blue Nile’s PJ Moore, Pat Kane, Jean Johansson, Andy Cameron and Lynn Ferguson. There’s also a chapter of new images by photographer Brian Sweeney that capture the spirit of the city.

Glasgow Times: Glasgow is the city of Franz FerdinandGlasgow is the city of Franz Ferdinand

The Glasgow Cookbook section has recipes from favourite local food places including Brian Maule at Chardon d’Or, Accento Cafe, The Butchershop Bar & Grill, Red Onion, Julie’s Kopitiam, Glaschu, Ubiquitous Chip, La Lanterna, Gamba, Sugo, Cafe Gandolfi, The Gannet, Swadish, Cake Bar and Scotland’s National Chef Gary McLean.

You’ll find the top attractions, bars, restaurants, hotels cafes, vintage 
shops and street food. 

There’s ramen, techno, paintings, doughnuts, gardens and cocktails. 

Meet DJs, guitarists, designers and comedians.

The book is an invitation to get to know Glasgow better. 

If you live here, you will find a new way to look at everything around you. 

If you are far away, the stories will connect you to the life of the city.