Essays & Images on Cities, Travel and Contemporary Culture. A web journal of James A. Clapp, Ph.D., an UrbisMedia Ltd. Production

CQQ-No.030: The Urban Attic

London's Imperial War Museum, with 16-inch guns ©1977 UrbisMedia

London’s Imperial War Museum, with 16-inch guns ©1977 UrbisMedia

Most of the cities we regard as “great” cities, or at least interesting cities, are usually regarded as such because they exhibit some of the same characteristics that we find great or interesting

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CQQ-No.029: Monte Video

Hong Kong's skyscrapers are looked down upon by Victoria Peak. ©2000 UrbisMedia

Hong Kong’s skyscrapers are looked down upon by Victoria Peak. ©2000 UrbisMedia

Since the beginnings of urban history mountains have played a role in the fates—good and bad—of many cities. Many early cities chose mountains (or large hills) as a prime defense location, if not

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CQQ-No.028: Landing in Town

Roof-scraper landings at Hong Kong's old Kai Tak. ©2000 UrbisMedia

Roof-scraper landings at Hong Kong’s old Kai Tak. ©2000 UrbisMedia

In times past our first encounter with a new city might have been through one of the gates in its walls, by its seaport or river port. Later our entrance might have been through its rail station. These

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CQQ-No.027: A Home Away From Home

The renowned Taj Mahal Hotel. ©1991 UrbisMedia

The renowned Taj Mahal Hotel. ©1991 UrbisMedia

Among the city’s diverse land uses perhaps none provide the diversity of functions as do its hotels. At various times and places hotels have served as palace, brothel, hospital, statehouse, the

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CQQ-No.026: A Bridge Not Far

©2000 UrbisMedia

©2000 UrbisMedia

When popes supplanted Rome’s emperors as sovereigns of the Roman world they borrowed much from their predecessors. Along with a lust for power and a propensity to wield it willfully the papacy

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CQQ-No.025: High Above the City

©2004 UrbisMedia

©2004 UrbisMedia

The biblical Tower of Babel was reputedly built with the idea of reaching heaven by the application of technology. It was a flop in that purpose; but there is good likelihood that in the process of

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CQQ-No.024: Famous Urban Districts

Home delivery in Bangkok's district of canals. ©2004 UrbisMedia

Home delivery in Bangkok’s district of canals. ©2004 UrbisMedia

While what city we were born in or hail from can affect how we are perceived (the ‘pushy” New Yorker, ‘laid-back’ Angeleno, or ‘irascible’ Parisian), what specific neighborhoods

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CQQ-No.023: Sonnets for Cities

Roman poet Ovid, statue at Constantsa, Romania, where he was exiled. ©James A. Clapp

Roman poet Ovid, statue at Constantsa, Romania, where he was exiled. ©James A. Clapp

Probably before Homer sung of the rivalries of Mycenae and Troy the poet was the historian of cities. Without the poet many cities long blown to dust or now just scattered bits of stone would lie nameless

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CQQ-No.022: The Lungs of the City

Even the chairs in London's main park seem to be a leisure. ©1979, James A. Clapp

Even the chairs in London’s main park seem to be a leisure. ©1979, James A. Clapp

Among the many organic metaphors that have been employed to describe cities and their various parts, urban parks are often referred to as “the lungs of the city.” Certainly the “breathing space”

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CQQ-No.021: New Capitals

CQQ021_rangoon

Capital cities may, or may not, live up to the literalness of their designation. London, Paris and Cairo, for example, meet the test in virtually every way. But in other cases, one must strain

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