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The Power of Collectivism

In The Art of Travel, 6. Book #1, Shanghai by Irina1 Comment

I sense that the common theme in Jack Livings’ short story collection, The Dog, is the power of collectivism in Chinese society. The various protagonists in his stories deal with the pressures and expectations of belonging in a community or family. The concept of “saving face” plays a large part in these stories as characters’ thoughts seem to contradict their …

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The Cat of Century Ave

In The Art of Travel, 4. The Spirit of Place, Shanghai by Irina1 Comment

In the hedge that separates NYU Shanghai from its office building neighbor lives a little cat. I’ve seen this cat a couple of times while passing through to enter the building’s hidden 7/11 convenience store but only recently started sitting down and petting it. I’ve often seen her basking in the sun, enjoying the attention of NYU students and office …

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Swept Up in a Sea of People

In The Art of Travel, 3. Getting oriented, Shanghai by Irina

I do my best to construct a mental image of each city I live in. Some take longer than others but all eventually form through time, exploring, and Google Maps. In New York, the subway teaches you to recognize Uptown from Downtown and Astoria-Ditmars Blvd from Coney Island Stillwell Av. It probably was not until mid-way through freshman year at …

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Revisiting the Familiar

In The Art of Travel, 1. Introductions, Shanghai by Irina

Returning to study at NYU Shanghai for a second time is like going back in time and refreshing the mind, allowing certain memories that might otherwise be left forgotten and buried under the heaps of junk stored in our brains resurface once more. When one returns home from a trip, it is easy to recall the highlights and adventures, often …