{Insert City Name}: City of Contrasts

Riga, Latvia: City of Contrasts

My third feature story for BootsnAll has been published as part of their travel writing week.  Link to the article: Exploring the “City of Contrasts” and other Tired Travel Clichés by Matthew Stone.

For fun, go to google and type in “city of contrasts” along with any big city in the world, and you will see what I mean.  I think City of Contrasts is the funniest overused travel writing phrase of all because it has been applied to nearly every destination on earth.

Many of the best travel writers are those who read the most.  There is no question that Paul Theroux, Jan Morris, Andre Aciman, and Pico Iyer are well-read.  As an avid travel reader (and I would like to pretend to be a good writer), I keep coming across the same clichés in travel stories, but city of contrasts will always be my favorite.

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2 Responses to {Insert City Name}: City of Contrasts

  1. This was brought up in one of the panels at TBEX 11 in Vancouver this past weekend. Established travel writers (on the web) were asked which phrases were some of the most cringe-worthy. City of Contrasts was high on the list! Perfect timing.

    • matthew says:

      Glad to hear that it was on the mind of some others, too. For better or worse, I don’t think “city of contrasts” will ever go out of style. I hope to get to TBEX 12!

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