pfeatures, Portrait of Roman satirist Juvenal
© Wikimedia Commons

“Bread and circuses,” sniffed the Roman satirist Juvenal about what he saw as the debased enthusiasms of the city’s population around 100AD. Edwin Heathcote’s brilliant Hogmanay Notebook about the commercialisation of public spaces in Edinburgh, London and other modern cities suggests we have gone one better — or worse (“A carnival of commerce despoils the tourist trail”, January 4).

Today’s circuses are for paying tourists, not citizens. Kudos to New York for resisting the temptation.

William Pitt
Weston, CT, US

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