View Post

Baudrillard’s Simulacra

In A Sense of Place, 12. SOP 2.0 by ToriLeave a Comment

After the tremendous gaffe that was the grand finale of the 2017 Academy Awards ceremony, an article began to float around Facebook titled “Did the Oscars Just Prove That We Are Living In a Computer Simulation“. While I scoffed at this idea at first, believing it to be pretty far out there for a New Yorker article, I began to recall …

View Post

The Void

In A Sense of Place, 11. A Cosmopolitan Sense of Place by Tori3 Comments

While my southern roots have always inspired me to believe in a strong sense of “hearthiness”, during my later years I’ve admittedly struggled with how to keep a foot in both the “cosmos” and the “hearth”. I love my home, no doubt about it, but my relationship with North Carolina has been tainted by various traumas and the downright sourly …

View Post


In A Sense of Place, 10. Placemaking by Tori1 Comment

The first six months that I lived in New York was a time for me that can only be described by the terms “severe depression” and “acute, unchecked anxiety”. While I was already used to bouncing around from place to place and living in an urban environment, something about New York presented itself as hostile: I was having trouble finding a …

View Post

The Void of Healing

In A Sense of Place, 9. Placelessness by Tori2 Comments

As a child, I spent a lot of time in hospitals– not as a patient, but as a visitor. My father, who had the bright idea to have a second child at the age of 40, was almost consistently ill, mostly due to rapidly progressive coronary artery disease that has put him in the ER more times than I can …

View Post

The Vernacular South

In A Sense of Place, 8. The Vernacular Landscape by Tori1 Comment

The south: the American sweet-spot of oddities, strange gas stations, and ramshackle buildings galore. As a child, the closest city to my home was Winston-Salem, North Carolina– also known as the only city in the country to have its name abbreviated by the United States Postal Service– which is the smallest city founded equally by Moravians and RJ Reynolds, the kingpin …

View Post

Little Boxes

In A Sense of Place, 7. Sprawl and New Urbanism by Tori1 Comment

As a teenager and young adult, Jenji Kohan’s Weeds was one of my favorite television shows. I found that I have always resonated with the theme song, Little Boxes by Malvina Reynolds, as it sets an outstanding tone for a critique of suburban life and those who partake in it and perfectly introduces a show that is set up to help people …

View Post

The MTA: Old and New

In A Sense of Place, 6. Shock of the New by Tori1 Comment

When you point at New York City, there are endless examples of pre-modern, modern, and post-modern architecture. This city, above all else, has proven time and time again that it was built to outlast change– be it change of certain ways of life or certain design preferences. Even during my time at NYU, I’ve witnessed areas go from predominantly dominated …

View Post

The In-Betweens

In A Sense of Place, 5. Visions of Utopia by Tori1 Comment

Upon reading Downtown is for People by Jane Jacobs, I found myself immediately recalling a personal piece I wrote during the latter half of my freshman year at NYU– or, according to Instagram’s time algorithms, approximately 196 weeks ago. “My favorite parts of a city are what I call “the in-betweens.” When you move to a place as boundlessly gargantuan as …

View Post

The Elevated Acre

In A Sense of Place, 4. The Social Life of Places by Tori1 Comment

If you approach anyone on the street in New York and ask them what their favorite park is, they’ll always have an opinion. Many people (tourists included) will say Central Park– it is very well known, the landscape is beautiful, and there are seemingly endless areas to discover and lounge. If you ask someone that lives in the East or …

View Post

Dizzy’s Room

In A Sense of Place, 3. City Form and Orientation by Tori1 Comment

While this assignment initially had me pondering the idea of mapping Brooklyn or somewhere I spent time as a child, after spending time with my cat, I became more attracted to the idea of how animals perceive spaces– specifically about how my cat sees our room. Above is my cat, Dizzy. She’s had a rough life, but now lives with …

View Post

The Leaning Brownstone

In A Sense of Place, 2. The Spirit of Place by Tori2 Comments

To say describe a “spirit of place” or say that a place, in fact, has a spirit of its own is an extremely romantic idea. Whenever someone hears that a place “really has a spirit”, that statement is almost always followed by an anecdote that makes wherever it is seem magical or otherworldly– for instance, I grew up in the …

View Post


In A Sense of Place, 1. The Experience of Place by Tori1 Comment

Lewisville, North Carolina is a largely untouched town of few; there were only around 8,000 registered residents during the census count of 2000 and current zoning laws still prohibit construction of any major retail stores, restaurants, or businesses that would otherwise draw unnecessary attention and traffic. All businesses in the locality are family owned (with the exception of the Food …