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

Vol.106.5: LAST BREXIT TO ALBION

Remember that old saying about “the sun never sets on the British Empire”?  It was true once.  But it hasn’t been for a long time and the apt saying today is that the sun has set on the Read More

Vol.105.4: THE LONELY ROADS; Reflections on Anthony Bourdain

The obit/tributes to Anthony Bourdain continue to pour in.  As a former tour guide, independent traveler and resident abroad it is almost reflexive to draw some contrasts with our different “styles” Read More

Vol.101.6: THE UGLY AMERICAN REDUX

BIRCH RUN, MI - AUGUST 11: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a press conference before delivering the keynote address at the Genesee and Saginaw Republican Party Lincoln Day Event August 11, 2015 in Birch Run, Michigan. This is Trump's first campaign event since his Republican debate last week. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

I have travelled to over seventy countries, explored hundreds of cities and spent years living abroad in England, France and Hong Kong, enough to confer some understanding of what foreigners think Read More

Vol.99.6: ENCOUNTERING THE MIDDLE KINGDOM

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No one can fully comprehend China; wherever and whenever you start from will not likely be the same by the time one gets to the “end” of that project. “May you live in Read More

Vol.98.7: ANATOMY OF A MOVIE

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I loaded my CD of Soldier of Fortune again the other night. It certainly is not a movie of much renown, certainly on nobody’s “great films” list, not even mine for that matter. But Read More

Vol.94.7: TEACHING ENGRISH IN ASIA, Part 3

© 1991, UrbisMedia-Ltd.

© 1991, UrbisMedia-Ltd.

A Lesson in Guilin

I never taught English in China. In fact, other than a little shipboard course in travel writing I have never taught English anywhere.  I doubt that a very brief experience in Guilin Read More

Vol.92.1: Pas Aloof: A Travel Memory

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In an earlier essay I (half) joked that American tourists to Paris often return home—usually to some very un–Paris-like town in the American “heartland” of Iowa or Missouri—grousing and Read More

Vol.88.5: Into the Void; MH370

The void between sea and sky, Southern Indian Ocean. © UrbisMedia, 2011

The void between sea and sky, Southern Indian Ocean. © UrbisMedia, 2011

In an age in which it is possible for a drone to take out a terror suspect sitting in a public toilet in Yemen it is reasonable to wonder how a Boeing Read More

Vol.86.9: THE TRAVELER AND THE TOURIST

American traveler on the Giza plateau © UrbisMedia 1989

American traveler on the Giza plateau © UrbisMedia 1989

Square Jean XXIII is a little park space at the west end of the Ile de la Cité in Paris. It consists of some trees and benches behind the apse of Notre Dame between the Read More

Vol.86.7: Capo di Gruppo: A Memoire of a “Pack” Leader

My group, mingled with that of another tour professor in Florence © 1987, UrbisMedia

My group, mingled with that of another tour professor in Florence © 1987, UrbisMedia

Phissssssssssscht! The tour coach’s front door popped open like an airlock in a Star Wars spaceship. An assault Read More

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