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Tag Archives: Tourism

Home Visits

Many of my friends live all across the continent from me, in San Francisco, in Cambridge, in New York and Philadelphia. They live in places that are built for visitors, with landmarks and historical sites and an actual nightlife. So when they choose to visit me, I get anxious. Ann Arbor is a lovely place to live, but to visit? To do what? I can hardly take my guests to Costco, where I spend my weekends, treating myself to a hotdog and a drink for a dollar fifty. I can’t take them to Kroger and scour the manager special aisle for deals on stale cupcakes and irregular bacon. I get scared that my friends, coming from their cosmopolitan cities, will get bored. They will start to wonder, like I already was, why they spent the time and money to visit. And why all of my favorite activities involve discounted food.

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Fantasy in La Petite France

* Jeremy Allan Hawkins *

In recent times, La Petite France has become one of the most heavily frequented tourist areas in Strasbourg, known for its unrivaled quaintness. The history of the neighborhood is, however, more colorful than any Christmas display, and many thousand times more sordid. One of the first facts a newcomer learns here is about the origins of its name. Apparently it was inspired by a hospice built in the fifteenth century to house soldiers with syphilis, known at the time as the “French disease,”

Everybody Hates Tourists

by A.L. Major

I never want to seem like a tourist. I would rather ride the 3 train from 145th street in Manhattan down to Rockaway Avenue in Brooklyn before glancing at a subway map or asking for directions from a grim-faced New Yorker who wants nothing to do with me. The first time I went to New York city in twelfth grade, I blushed (as much as my dark skin would permit) when I noticed that my starch-pressed khaki skort and aqua-blue flip flops signaled to New Yorkers my obvious tourist status. I avoided Times Square because tourists congested the sidewalks and snapped photos of the brightly lit billboards. In Ireland, I was the worst tourist I could be: me and forty raucous Vassar College Rugby players. At all hours of the night, we squawked drunkenly, bellowed, jogged through Dublin side streets as if the city was our playground. When I say I dislike being a tourist, I don’t mean to suggest people shouldn’t travel. We should just travel better than we do.