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Windows As Eyes To The Soul

In The Art of Travel, 4. The Spirit of Place, Florence by sabeenaLeave a Comment

“The landscape always fools us, and I imagine always will.” – Lawrence Durell Trying to picture what Italy is like is a constant battle to push stereotypes out. Pasta, pizza, gelato, wine … Of course, there’s the infamous Cinque Terre houses, bright and perched upon the Ligurian Sea. What is it about these little houses, villages full of only four …

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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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Bittersweet

In The Art of Travel, 4. The Spirit of Place, Buenos Aires by Kiana1 Comment

I want to talk about the spirit encapsulated in a small gourd. There are many arguably more important symbols of a city with tumultuous history in government and human rights, but worry about that later. I’m going to focus on the gourd. Every morning, Buenos Aires wakes up and kicks off the day with not coffee, but mate (pronounced maté). …

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Leaping Forwards with the “Digital” Spirit of Shanghai

In The Art of Travel, 4. The Spirit of Place, Shanghai by Yuka Niwa2 Comments

Shanghai is a city that seamlessly combines the east and the west, the modern with the traditional. There are buildings that look as though they were taken from the future and editions of sports cars parked alongside the road that haven’t been released yet in many countries, yet there are also groups of old ladies dancing “guang-chang wu” (courtyard dance) …

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Beyond The Surface

In The Art of Travel, 4. The Spirit of Place, Prague by Vivian1 Comment

Prague has an incredibly elusive spirit. Not only is it hard to understand for newcomers and foreigners, but I would dare say that even its citizens don’t fully understand its identity yet. For a nation that has suffered through, been divided by, and most importantly, survived countless historical traumas, I wouldn’t expect anything else. The city’s spirit permeates everywhere, from …

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Co Je Doma, To Se Počítá. — What’s at home, counts.

In The Art of Travel, 4. The Spirit of Place, Prague by AliceLeave a Comment

How does one get at the essence of a place without burdening the reader with too much boring detail? That is probably one of the biggest questions that plagues all writers. At least, it has plagued me for as long as I’ve been writing seriously enough to worry. This, especially, is difficult. How do I convey the feeling of living …

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Spring To Come

In The Art of Travel, 4. The Spirit of Place, Berlin by Ashley Jankowski2 Comments

I grew up in a Catholic household, with prayers before dinner and Church on Sundays. I had been conditioned to identify sacred symbols and objects, and to distinguish ‘Holy’ spaces and people. Spirit was, in my young mind, inherently religious, something felt only in divine spaces, or bestowed upon you through the clergy. As I matured through study and self …

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The Soul in Shanghai’s Labyrinth

In The Art of Travel, 4. The Spirit of Place, Shanghai by Brooke1 Comment

“The great thing is to try and travel with the eyes of the spirit wide open, and not too much factual information. To tune in, without reverence, idly—but with real inward attention. It is to be had for the feeling, that mysterious sense of rapport, of identity with the ground”—Lawrence Durrell, “Landscape and Character”. I can not tell you the …

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History in the Sand

In The Art of Travel, 4. The Spirit of Place, Sydney by Nicolas1 Comment

Attempting to uncover the identity of certain cities can be an incredibly demanding task.  On the surface, particular locations become blurred when compared amongst the vast network of multicultural global cities that have taken full form in the 21st century. On the other hand, preformed expectations and stereotypes can also work to alter and hide the defining features of locations. …