Tourist Trapped

A Mainland Chinese tourist shops in Tsim Sha Tsui. Photo from AFP Sindart was as much a fixture of Nathan Road as the double-decker buses that trundle up the street day and night. For more than 50 years, the tiny shop, tucked beneath an apartment building stairwell, sold handmade slippers embroidered with colourful motifs: peacock […]

Posted in: Asia Pacific, Heritage and Preservation, Politics, Public Space, Society and Culture by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Tourist Trapped , , , ,

The Unsquared Circle of Old Shanghai

Take a look at a map of Shanghai and it still jumps out at you — a tightly-wound ball of narrow streets threading through warrens of centuries-old houses. Call it what you will — the neighborhood seems to have no standard English name, and “Old City,” “Round City,” or simply “Old Shanghai” have been used […]

Posted in: Asia Pacific, Heritage and Preservation, History, Maps by Christopher Szabla Comments Off on The Unsquared Circle of Old Shanghai , , , , ,

The Gutting of Gulou

Cranes, viewed from the 13th century Gulou, or Drum Tower, build the new Beijing The view from Beijing’s Gulou, or Drum Tower, is dominated by the labyrinth of threadlike lanes — the city’s famous hutongs — spreading in all directions, filling in the superblocks formed by the city’s broad, rectilinear avenues. Gulou, built in the […]

Locals vs. Tourists

Montreal We’ve always known there is a gulf between the city as experienced by tourists and the city lived in by locals. Now we have a fun visual representation of that divide. Using various types of data from Flickr, one user of the photo-sharing website, Eric Fisher, has created maps that indicate the spots photographed […]

À l’heure des marchés

Kate McDonnell points the way to a promotional magazine published in 1964 to attract tourists to Montreal. It’s partly a snapshot of Montreal in the mid-60s, but also in large part an example of how the city was being branded and its image constructed in the years leading up to Expo 67. The text is […]

Posted in: Canada, History, Society and Culture by Christopher DeWolf 1 Comment , , ,

Class Trip to the Spanish Steps

As a hazy dusk descended over Rome, we caught the tram into the old city and wandered past all of the historic sights whose names had filtered into our imaginations through generations of pop culture: the Tiber River, the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain. All of them, predictably, were packed by tourists, each one trying desparate […]

Posted in: Europe by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Class Trip to the Spanish Steps , , , ,

Bruges: Back to the Future?

There probably aren’t too many places left in the world like Bruges. Located in Western Flanders, in the northwest of Belgium, Bruges is probably the best-preserved medieval city left in Europe. It’s a classic storybook town, drawn straight out of romance movies and children’s books, the kind of place you’d never imagine a city bus […]

Metatourism in Alexandria

I stumbled upon these unloved old tourism paintings on a neglected building in the back streets of Alexandria, Egypt. Somehow they fed my enthusiasm about Egypt, yet newer promotional material would have had the opposite effect. How long does it take for marketing to become heritage?

Posted in: Africa and Middle East, Art and Design, Heritage and Preservation by Patrick Donovan Comments Off on Metatourism in Alexandria , , , ,