Cityscape

Palm Springs Weekend

Mark Bizzell

Driving along Bob Hope Drive, Gene Autry Trail or Frank Sinatra Drive in the California desert city of Palm Springs and the surrounding area, you understand why Hollywood legends once called this place home.  Situated along the base of the Santa Rosa Mountains, this oasis seems out of a Hollywood studio backlot.  Lush, green golf courses and homes landscaped with pink and red bougainvillea contrast the looming mountains of rocks and boulders, sans any vegetation.  

Banning Salman Rushdie Proves Calcutta Is No Longer a Cultural Capital

Sandip Roy

Calcutta finally completed its downfall from the cultural capital of all Asia to a narrow-minded, spirit-crippled, morally corrupt, goonda-governed provincial town. From being the great city where Rabindranath Tagore wrote ‘where the mind is without fear’ our urban concentration has now become the champion backwater place where the heart is squeezed by fear, paranoia and the over-riding greed for power.

Why New York Remains America’s Most Fascinating City

Eugene Durante

Considering Gotham’s controversial history, no wonder the citizens possess a distinctive edge. The vibrant culture of the city induces feedback from every visitor -- even if the opinions are based on half-baked stereotypes. But having a New York story is what every visitor seeks; because in New York, like nowhere else, the exposure is the attraction. The soul of the city is felt on the sidewalks and subways, on the front stoop and back alleys. You just can’t paint it on the walls. 

To Italy, With Love

Misa Shikuma

Italy may have been unified since the mid-19th century, but visiting just several of its major cities is enough to make it obvious that cultural homogeneity is virtually nonexistent. My mini-tour of the country began in Naples, capital of the southern Campania region and my home base for exploring the nearby archaeological sites and coastal towns, and concluded in Venice, the revered cradle of modern democracy.

American Pilgrimage: A Road Trip to Mount Rushmore and Back

David DiLillo

Born a third-generation American, I was raised with a vivid sense of pride for my country. Born in New York City, however, my perception of what this country exactly is remained far more tenuous for a long time. What did the soil feel like one thousand miles away from either coast? What scent did the trees give off resting between the Appalachians and the Rockies? Most importantly, what were other Americans like? What does that word mean, apart from the ideals and laws we all uphold and debate over? I set off from my home city with two close friends, determined to make it to the west end of South Dakota, committed to answering these questions. 

Seoul, Korea: Another City That Never Sleeps

Alexis K. Barnes

Nestled between eight mountain ranges lies an Asian metropolis rivaling the population of New York, the culture of Tokyo and the backdrop of Denver. With a population greater than NYC, at over 10 million inhabitants, and divided by the Han River, Seoul sits as a beacon of economic growth and Korean pride. Just 35 miles from the North Korean border, Seoul technically straddles a still active war zone. Despite its name, the demilitarized zone (DMZ) is the world’s most heavily militarized border. Manned around the clock by American, North and South Korean soldiers, the area is a constant reminder of North and South Korea’s shaky relationship. 

San Francisco’s Asian Population Will Soon Become the Majority

Andrew Lam

San Francisco is now part of a statewide trend that has resulted in majority becoming minority, with minority continuing to surge and multiply. The latest census showed that whites have slowly shrunk to 48 percent of the population in San Francisco, becoming another minority in a city that has no majority. The city's Asian population, on the other hand, has risen above the 33 percent mark. That is, one in three San Francisco residents has an Asian face. For the population under 18, the number for Asian closer to 40 percent.

 

Lima, Peru: The Gastronomy Capital of South America

Stephen Delissio

Herman Melville’s famous character Ishmael, from Moby Dick, called Lima “The strangest, saddest city thou can’st see.” Probably referring to the hazy veil that hovers over the city. Forget Melville. Lima is a city of rich history, culinary extravagance, and beautiful parks and gardens. The architecture is a mix of Baroque and Renaissance style. With more than 9 million people, Lima is the largest city of Peru. It is located on the coast of the Pacific Ocean, offering beautiful beaches and a stunning landscape. 

Is Jackson Heights New York's Most Eclectic Neighborhood?

Yolian Cerquera

Welcome to Jackson Heights. Population: more than180,000 and counting. Sitting in the northern part of Queens, this mini-city claims a total of over 60 percent foreign-born residents [U.S. Census Bureau 2010] that nourish its economy; it is a cluster of Asian- and Latino-owned restaurants, bakeries, specialty shops and beauty salons. Now despite sharing congressional jurisdiction with contiguous neighborhoods, Jackson Heights maintains a distinct identity with clear boundaries. 

Have Passport, Will Travel: Notes From a Globetrotter

Andrew Lam

To travel, to really lose oneself in a new setting, is, after all, to subvert. In that C-130 full of refugees, I was moving not only across the ocean but also from one set of psyche to another. Yesterday my inheritance was simple -- the sacred rice fields and rivers, what once owned me, defining who I was. Today, Paris and Hanoi and New York are no longer fantasies but a matter of scheduling. My imagination, once bound by a singular sense of geography, expanded its reference points across the border toward a cosmopolitan possibility.

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