Paula I Arraiza

“The Beauty is in the Details”

Type of Progym: Encomium

“photography will tour the world for us and bring back the universe in a portfolio, without our needing even to stir from our armchair” (9)

If I could travel with just one thing, it would undoubtedly be a camera. I’ve always loved taking pictures, especially of nature or any sort of landscape. Even though I don’t pick up my camera as much as I used to, every time I go on a trip I come back thinking I should do it more often. Something about it has always been so relaxing to me, yet I’ve never been able to pinpoint why this is. Every time I go to a new place, I come back with thousands of new pictures, probably way more than I should’ve taken in the first place. Most of these end up being of the architecture around me, many times of the same place from different angles. While some may say spending the entire trip photographing sights won’t allow us to see a place for what it is, I don’t necessarily agree. Sometimes, photographing the sights different places have to offer us can help us focus on small details, especially when it comes to architecture. I’ve always been mesmerized by the different styles of architecture places around the world have to offer, which is probably why I these are one of my favorite things to photograph. Just like the article mentions, humans aren’t the main focus in these pictures, it is instead different details these places have to offer. From the “Bean” in Chicago to the Moroccan-inspired architecture of the Alhambra, capturing the magnificent details of these places can help us appreciate them even more. Sometimes when visiting these places, our eyes can only focus on so much. With so much to admire, a picture is a great way to look back and analyze the small details we may have not seen when we were there in person. Personally, I could look through pictures of old trips and overanalyze the details in each photograph for hours, feeling mesmerized by the sights I’ve previously experienced. I probably do this way more than I would like to admit, possibly because I love the feeling of nostalgia and amazement it gives me. While the pictures are definitely not out of the ordinary, they make me feel as if I was back in the moment where I took the picture, experiencing for the first time all over again.

Nathan Ryan Reeves Uncategorized

Anthony Bourdain, and Cairo

The legendary food-travel writer Anthony Bourdain never fails to entertain me with his ways of writing. The video was constantly descriptive while being a little tongue and cheek at the same time when inconveniences would happen, like when the sailboat ran into the bridge and making them stuck in the river for a couple of hours.

The thing I liked the most out of the video was the rawness of its content. Bourdain makes jokes about not going to the pyramids and that he feels bad later for not going, but then immediately doesn’t feel bad about it at all. It reminds me of the theme of being a tourist, and finding a way to find something authentic, rather than something that is made up, hence him not wanting to go to the pyramids in the beginning, and overall avoiding them and leaving Cairo for dinner.

While the show is mainly about food, Bourdain still finds a way to finds the authentic pieces of society in Egypt. Centered around the different foods he visits cafes, farms where they raise and kill their food, and a funny joke is said at the café when the older gentleman Bourdain is talking to says that young people wouldn’t like the traditional café and that they want things a little more modern, and internet connectivity. I think it’s funny because it reminds me of the “generation complex” where older generations don’t think fondly of what younger people like, and if it isn’t traditional, then they don’t want it, but I digress.

Bourdain shows more than I expected from a 37-minute show. The episode was unexpectedly fast-paced, while not affecting the experience since I was able to retain the information with his impeccable narration. Bourdain’s background of being a chef in the past gives a good perspective on being open to foods, and had never said a bad thing about what he tried, all he would say is that “it will be good”. Openly saying that different cultures food he had never tried before is delicious if you have the desire to try it. Even when spending a night in the desert with a group of people, he says that he knew they were going to kill the goat for their dinner, and came back after just seeing the alive goat, smelling it covered with seasonings. I was not caught off guard, I guess his reaction just comes with years of culinary experience.

Maybe the reaction in the back of my head is caused by the American society that I have been used to, which is way more capitalist and materialistic centric compared to other cultures.

Finally, the last piece that had my attention the entire time was the authenticity at the end. Spending a night in the desert, he explains that this is someone’s open area to reset and that some people that are attracted to water, or the forest, and analyzed and said: “no wonder why the Europeans found this place so fascinating”. Implying that when you travel to exotic places they tend to have a unique identity, that can reset or change a person in their experience. Overall I absolutely loved this episode.

Samuel James Conroy


Encomium Progymnasmata

            Anthony Bourdain is one of my favorite TV presenters. Bourdain was a chef and travel documentarian who would travel the globe to introduce people to cultures that are not as commonly known as others. My personal liking of him came from Bourdain’s will to try anything and everything. He did not care about the country, the food, the activity, he would try it. No Reservations and Parts Unknown are in my opinion two of the most important shows in the last 20 years. Americans are known for not getting out of the country and most of the time we do not even have passports. This is quite odd to the rest of the world and especially Europe where they travel with ease from country to country and voyaging is a part of their culture. Bourdain attempted to show Americans how unique and interesting other countries are through his TV adventures.

Bourdain would go to popular tourist destinations and not so popular destinations. You can look up where he has traveled, and it is just about everywhere. You can see him going throughout the United States to New York City and Los Angeles, then you can see him eat in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. In the Egypt episode that we watched for class, you can hear him say throughout the episode that he wasn’t going to see the pyramids. This would strike most people as quite odd, yet Bourdain simply did not care. The goal of the program is to show the common viewer parts of the country that are not as frequently visited or known about. Going to the pyramids would ruin the point of the show as you could find 1000s of videos of others doing the same thing, but you won’t find another like Bourdain. Bourdain is in the same category as an Andrew Zimmern, another fantastic food documentarian who would show viewers the most interesting dishes that different cultures have to offer. Overall, Anthony Bourdain is a hero for tourists and was one of the first and maybe the first to truly cover the entire globe in trying to bring other cultures to the common American.


Catherine Dodd Corona

Anthony Bourdain

Anthony Bourdain

Progymnasmata: Encomium


If you do not know who Anthony Bourdain is. I suggest you get to know him. Personally, that is no longer possible since he tragically committed suicide in 2018. But it is still possible to become closer to him and his message through his books, essays, and travel shows such as No Reservations, Parts Unknown, and The layover. Bourdain will whisk you away to diverse cultures and educate you on the cultural facet of each destination. He is very good at his job and makes anyone interested in adventure itch for travel. I also recommended making something to eat before you watch him stuff his face with mouth watering hot, and spiced meals. 

Even though the aim of the shows he hosts are to vicariously travel, Bourdain makes these episodes unique. His experience in the kitchen, and his practice in analyzing cultures for his writing gives him the merit to observe and judge different cultures. Unlike many travelers, he approaches each place, as exotic or not, as a unique place worthy of thoughtful interpretation. This appreciation of the known and unknown, the simple to exotic is in my mind the most wonderful aspect of Bourdain. I am not saying Bourdain walks the streets loving everything and everyone he meets. Often he does the opposite. He is very critical and judgmental but in a way that still respects the culture, and most of the time is quite comical. For instance in the No Reservations episode on Egypt, there is a lot of seeing the alive animal in Bourdain’s dishes. This closeness to death is not common in western cultures (which frankly desensitizes westerners to death, which damages the soul), but Bourdain invites this aspect of Egyptian culture with open arms. Of course with humor, by naming all the animals he is about to eat “Ducky” or “Lamb Chop”. This ability to be respectful and inviting with a dash of arrogance and humor is such a wonderful combination that is less common in travel writers alike. 

In this same episode Bourdain never goes to the Pyramids which touches on another aim of the show. There is an emphasis to stray away, eat and find what is currently Egyptian culture. Not the culture that was popular thousands of years ago. This concept is similar to Gill’s remark in his essay A Profile of London, and Welcome to it, I doubt there’s anything I can say that will convince you that the best way to see Tower Bridge is on a postcard”. Both Bourdain and Gill are not arguing these monuments are anything less than they are. Their point is simply to find the culture of the now and not the culture of the past, because it is still diverse and enriching. This feeds into Bourdain’s appreciation of the minute and unsurprising. 

I sincerely miss Anthony Bourdain. I never met him, but it pains me that someone with his style of analysis, humor, skill, and appreciation for culture could be so troubled that he took his own life. It is a common theme with great creatives. Maybe his internal toil helped with his undying appreciation and creative juices. That may be the reason for this theme of mental illness and addiction in artists and writers. Regardless, when I hear people denote or even just solely focus on Bourdain’s issues with addiction and mental illness it angers me, because he is so much more. He is a complicated and deep character from what I have heard and seen, and most importantly is an idol for American tourists.

Phillip Wade Wilson

Shipping Out – Encomium

In my 20 years alive I have been on, at least, 4 different cruise lines and 12 different cruise ships. I have never found something that explains the way a cruise ship feels better than the way David Wallace recounts his time aboard the Nadir. I found the way he compares a cruise, a vacation mode that much fewer people experience than the beach traveling to a different country, to feelings that nearly every person can associate with was a genius way to enable his readers to connect with his own feelings even though they might not have experienced themselves.

“A vacation is a respite from unpleasantness, and since consciousness of death and decay are unpleasant, it may seem weird that the ultimate American fantasy vacation involves being plunked down in an enormous primordial stew of death and decay.” (36)

In this quote, Wallace is comparing how he felt aboard to the feeling of vacations in general and the feeling of the ocean in general. Almost everyone knows how much they want their vacation to go perfectly and to have the most relaxing time because it is one’s time to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life, but as he states thinking about death and decay would not be the most relaxing time. While not everyone would associate the ocean with death and decay as he does, it is quite common for people to be afraid of ships in open waters (due to the sheer number of boating incidents and the dramatization of the Titanic in 1997 and now when people reference their disdain for boats in open waters they typically reference the Titanic film and not the actual sinking). This skillful comparison makes it much easier for the readers who have been on vacation and who have an opinion on the ocean to make the association he does; it is as if he is giving the foundational framework for his own perceptions so that the readers can rationalize the same way he rationalizes.

Another aspect I find that Wallace effortlessly employs is his, at times crass, humor that provides a very open feeling for readers. This open feeling, to me, drew me in closer and made me more excited to continue reading because his writing style, from metaphors to tone, created a diluted fear of missing out within me that made me want to read and not feel like it was a chore. I say this because many academic writings are filled with jargon and complexities that make reading them difficult and unenjoyable. I believe Wallace understood this as he was an English professor, and even noted something similar early on in this article, so he crafted this in a way that would instill the want to learn (or in this case the want to read). There are numerous jokes and anecdotal stories present throughout this piece, but these are even extended to the footnotes which only emphasize his topics within the main article.

“My sense was that Cheeriness was up there with Celerity and Servility on the clipboard evaluation sheets the Greek bosses were constantly filling out on the crew.”

This comical quote can be found within the 8th footnote on page 37 and exemplifies part of his writing style. While this refers to the satirical tone he has about the ways in which Celebrity Cruises posits the feelings the crew has, it pushes it further to make it clear to see the irony between what is in reality and what is constructed by the cruise line for their “fantasy-enablement”. I think Wallace uses this satirical connotation because of how insane it seems to him that passengers aboard truly do believe the advertisements and the feelings the cruise sells. His shock and awe are seemingly translated to his readers through this method and, in my opinion, brilliantly executed.

There are too many quotes for me to talk about that I enjoyed. There are too many areas for me to praise him within his writing, though personally I feel like labeling this as a “writing” does not do it justice. The way he unpacked his time onboard the Nadir changes this article into a story because the way he constructed it was through storytelling. His use of rhetoric is a way that I hope to achieve one day and I will be reading more of his work on my own; in all honesty, from this one article I think he may have surpassed Albert Camus as my favorite writer… but only time shall tell.

Lucas Enrique Fernandez

Tourism and the Semiotics of Nostalgia


Authenticity. For something or someone to be undisputedly genuine is a trait sought after by the masses. To have the opportunity to eat authentic cuisine means you are getting something as close to the source as possible. To collect authentic gems are to have those that are real and untainted by the hands of others. We seek to surround ourselves with people who are authentic, people that are exactly as they show us. When any of these things mentioned above are revealed as inauthentic there is an automatic backlash and vituperation of the character of that thing. This carries over to travel as well.

Here the tourist, understood as a faux voyageur, is contrasted with the heroic figure of the traveler and accused of a lack of interest in the culturally authentic.

The quote shows that those seeking the authentic while traveling are heralded as travelers while tourists are associated with the inauthentic and criticized.

Fuller expands on this surface level criticism,  claiming tourism as a quest for, rather than a turn from, that authentic experience of the world available to the pre-industrial traveler

However, there is a paradox that stems from this in the post-industrial world where the more the tourist seeks the authentic, the further they stray from it.

I believe that tourists cannot be dismissed and set aside so easily for this as it is a complex matter. In the end, we are all striving towards the authentic and often fall short of it. On social media, the goal is to portray an authentic portrait of yourself to your friends and family but people often show inauthentic snippets of their lives. Even in our real lives people struggle to be true to themselves in all situations when faced with societal and peer pressures. Authenticity is something to praise to be certain, but is not the end all be all determinant in the character of something/someone.

Paula I Arraiza

An Encomium to People

Type of progym: Encomium

Personally, I think we can all resonate with Frow’s explanation of nostalgia as a “social disease”, especially during these difficult times.  compares nostalgia with the sense of certain losses including

“the sense of loss of personal wholeness and moral certainty”,

“the sense of loss of individual freedom and autonomy”, and

“the sense of loss of simplicity, personal authenticity, and emotional spontaneity”

While he was talking more about travel, I couldn’t help but relate it back to everyone’s abrupt change due to lifestyle due to Coronavirus. Since March, the world as we know it has completely changed, many might argue for the worse. I know we are all tired of talking about Coronavirus and quarantine and everything of the sort, it’s definitely taken a toll on a lot of people’s mental health. However, we can’t help but long for the life we had before everything dramatically changed. Especially during those first weeks of isolation, it felt like we were living based on past memories. Even though I’m more of an introvert, I found myself missing being around people in every way possible.

I felt like I took every small moment for granted, from bumping into random strangers when walking in the street to eating inside a restaurant with my best friends. Like Frow mentioned, it felt like I had lost my sense of individual freedom and authority, since I was now required, along with basically the entire world, to stay inside my house and stay at least six feet apart from one another. I long for the days where we could all go out and the streets were full of people, all from different walks of life. Even the dreadful task of barely making it inside a packed metro cart during rush hour seems like such a good, joyful memory when I think back on it. Certainly, nothing sounds more fulfilling than being able to have a short conversation with a stranger who you will never cross paths with again. Yet, we’re advised to not get too close to each other and hide our expressions behind a face mask, or we might catch a deadly virus and end up being another fatality.

I surely took all of these simple times for granted, which is something I heavily regret. Going out to somewhere packed where not a single person is wearing a mask seems like a thing of the past, but I still find myself hoping to go back to those times. For now, I can just reminisce about all those nostalgia-filled moments.

Nathan Ryan Reeves

The Birthplace of the American Vacation


Vacation is a fun time to spend away from the stresses of everyday life and is a period of time where all your stresses can drift away into the wind, revitalizing your soul in the peacefulness of the contrasting environment. Tony Perrottet wrote an article on the life of William H. H. Murray, who was an influential writer by expanding the idea of travel to the rest of America. Murray, a Connecticut native, published a guidebook that made an impact on city folk, romanticizing the landscapes in Upstate NY.

Steven Engelhart, who was inspired by Murray, explains the Adirondacks is an estate of revitalization saying,

“… that’s equally, if not more, beautiful as an idea than if it had always been wild. It shows how we’ve changed as people. We agree that wilderness is not something to be exploited, but something to be valued.”

Simply put that the attraction for the beautiful streams and magnificent peaks came from the idea of romanticizing the effect of nature on one’s soul. Murray was revered as being an influencer on the future attraction his books gave to the area.

The contrasting nature of the Adirondacks to the bustling cities was what made the place so loved and intriguing. Before Murray died, he wrote,

“God made them and made them stand for what money cannot buy”.

Due to his advocacy for the parks in the area, he was emphasizing the importance of what the mountains hold, but what they are meant for in the future, to bring a soulful experience to the traveler.

This experience of revitalization can be replicated in other places of attraction. In the second reading, there’s this other side to appreciation in the beauty of the environment, but in a different and contrasting way to what Murray advocated for.

“…our desire for the tranquility and beauty of the ocean shore is now so commonplace that it feels eternal.  Justification for the common middle-class family beach trip, when it is given at all, centers on the calming effect, and the “obvious” beauty, of the environment.”

This is what the author explains as an eternal feeling, like the one that Murray had described in his infatuation with the wilderness. The similarities point to saying that all you need is a place to have time alone away from the everyday hustle and bustle stresses that come with modern life. A time to disconnect can be a time of salvation and the conservation of the soul.

Samuel James Conroy

Encomium about William Murray

Encomium about William H.H. Murray

            William H.H. Murray was a, “handsome young preacher from Boston,” (Perrottet) who was successful in increasing the interest in American travel. Murray was born as a poor farm boy in Guilford, Connecticut who ended up attending Yale with nothing more than his handmade clothes and $4.68 in his pocket. Murray was quite different from the common man for the late 1800s. People would often consider the great nature spots of America hurdles to their lifestyles and areas that needed to be conquered. He would start to enjoy nature and specifically the Adirondacks at a young age. A good friend of Murray’s growing up got him into traveling to the Adirondacks, where he would write stories about it for a local newspaper. The congregations that Murray would minister were often confused by his love for nature, one time, “he arrived to give a sermon while still wearing his shooting jacket and hunting breeches, and leaned his rifle against the pulpit” (Perrottet).

Murray would write a book titled, Adventures in the Wilderness; or, Camp-Life in the Adirondacks, that would become hugely successful in convincing people to get out into nature. Europeans had already been interested in travel and nature, yet Americans had not yet been turned to these ideas. His book would become a best seller post-civil war. Unfortunately for Murray, the summer after his book would happen to be one of the worst in Adirondack history. This wet season would ruin many travelers’ experiences making people question Murray and nature.

Murray was forced to defend himself in the New York Tribune to which he stated it was not his fault for the poor weather. Murray would go on to state the travel to the region would only grow, and he would happen to be correct as the next summer the Adirondack region flooded with travelers. Murray would be described as, “the right person, in the right place, with the right words, at the right time” (Engelhart). This meant that despite previous famous writers like Emerson or Thoreau also encouraging going into nature, they were too niche and did not reach a broad audience like Murray did. Murray did a great job in encouraging the common American to get out into nature allowing us to see just how great a vacation can be for the body and mind. Many travel industries and people have Murray to thank for their current successes.

Catherine Dodd Corona

Where was the Birthplace of the American Vacation?

A Encomium to William H.H. Murray

Progymnasmata: Encomium

Coming from modest beginnings, William H.H. Murray caused the view of the wilderness of the Adirondacks to completely shift. Murray left his hometown Guildford, Connecticut to attend Yale college with only $4.68 in his hand sewn pocket. During the summers he became familiar with the Adirondacks and wrote for a small local newspaper. He shook up New England with his ruggedness, at one point he gave a sermon in his hunting breeches and shooting jacket, while his rifle leaned against the pulpit. He was tough, which allowed him to become closer to nature. That toughness was not reflected in the people we attracted to the Adirondacks, as mosquitoes and dirt attacked them. His book Adventures in the Wilderness; or, Camp-Life in the Adirondacks caused a massive influx of people looking to get out of the overcrowded cities and into the spacious wilderness. 

A pull to nature that people have felt since they discovered America its freeing expansiveness. Similar to the shift to beach travel fifty years ago, people started to feel too close, and in a Darwinian sense needed to spread into the dangerous and unknown. This unknown being the beach or nature.

In Murray’s case people did not accept nature with open arms, but the increase in people visiting the Adirondacks did not stop. Murray was able to instruct people on how to feel comfortable in nature and people became more comfortable with mosquitoes and deer. What he did with his writing was quite impressive but claustrophobic cities definitely aided in sending people outdoors. He was definitely as the executive director of Adirondack Architectural Heritage in Keeseville, New York says, “Murray was the right person, in the right place, with the right words, at the right time,”. Even though Murray’s fame was luck does not take away his accomplishments. Murray aided in teaching people the benefits of the outdoors, which for many including myself, an unsurpassable benefit. He definitely is an inspiration for wilderness seekers and nature lovers alike.