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News from Edinburgh

A new cyberspace friend from Edinburgh, Stuart Swanston, shares things he feels about his city; we can learn from them. He starts off...
The great thing about the web is the way it facilitates 'invisible academies' such this one.
Stuart continues, later in his note...
I was discussing the recent changes to the City of Edinburgh and the Port of Leith with some friends as we enjoyed the public holiday and afternoon sun outside a cafe on the High Street on Monday. ( The company included a Scots actor on holiday from London, an advocate, a Glaswegian writer, and an underemployed administrator - myself) We all said how much we appreciate the livelier more continental feeling the city has acquired in recent years. Planning permission for eating and drinking at pavement cafes was initially granted to make the city more tourist friendly but residents now say that one of the main reasons they formerly travelled abroad was to enjoy just such cafe society and now we can take full advantage of the more relaxed atmosphere.

We regretted the fact that Hogmany in Edinburgh has now become a product to attract tourists to the city in the middle of winter. The street parties on Auld Year's Night - for which passes are required and which are in very limited supply have made it impossible for to 'first-foot' friends who live in the cordoned-off city centre and the crowds of >270,000 on the High Street and Princes Street have driven indoors residents who used to visit their neighbours. There is something really sad about packaging the most popular tradition in Scotland as a product to attract visitors whose sheer numbers turns what was once a living tradition into a TV spectacle. So take care C'town.

Thank you, Stuart, for your insights.

Written Friday, June 02, 2000 at 04:13 PM

(c) 2000 by Catherine Hennessey. Questions or comments? Email me@catherinehennessey.com

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