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

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Vol.83.6: I AM MY PASSPORT

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In 2004 I was giving lectures on the subject of American public administration for the California State University system to four universities in Beijing. Supposedly

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Vol.83.1: Train Stories No. 7, Waterloo Station

Vivian Leigh as Karenina (London Films, 1948)

Vivian Leigh as Karenina (London Films, 1948)

Me, Count Vronsky? Ridiculous. And she, a middle-class government worker, was no Anna. But sometimes there is no stopping literary allusions from asserting themselves

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