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An Inauthentic Experience

In Berlin, Authenticity, The Art of Travel Fall 2014 by Lila Faria

In Dean MacCannell’s Staged Authenticity, MacCannell writes: “The touristic experience that comes out of the tourist setting is based on inauthenticity, and as such it is superficial when compared with careful study; it is morally inferior to mere experience” (MacCannell, 599) When I visited Vienna a few weeks ago, I experienced MacCannell’s “touristic experience” first-hand. I’d gone with a friend, Emily, …

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Art in Berlin

In Berlin, The Art of Travel Fall 2014, Art by Jesse Wheaton

The New National Museum from street level is a huge glass box filled with trees planted in a symmetrical grid. A descending staircase leads you downward into the rest of the art. I’d stayed up all night working, then gone through my classes and taken a long ride across Berlin to this art class for the refugees, and when I …

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Authenticity

In Berlin, Authenticity, The Art of Travel Fall 2014 by Jesse Wheaton

In Dean MacCannell’s “Staged Authenticity: Arrangements of Social Space in Tourist Settings” she talks of ‘back regions,’ secular versions of the sacred: the authenticity behind a stage. It’s something that interests me very much in traveling as I tend to come across both the curtain and the wings while belonging to neither. Any city will have a presentation that can be understood by …

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Architectural Change: The German Way

In Berlin, Books-1, The Art of Travel Fall 2014 by Lila Faria

The first time I opened my copy of The German Way by Hyde Flippo, I found myself instantly criticizing the text. According to my limited knowledge of the German culture, Flippo’s interpretation held multiple inaccuracies. First off, I’ve never seen the “gray writing paper” mentioned on page 40. The paper here comes in multiple unusual sizes – “A4” is the …

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Mark Twain’s View of German University Life 150 Years Ago

In Berlin, Books-1, The Art of Travel Fall 2014 by Jesse Wheaton

I read Mark Twain’s “A Tramp Abroad,” a comical account of his travels across Europe. Germany in 1878 was far different than today, if the book is any indication. He opens up with an interesting fact that lined up perfectly with my German classes. As I was learning the word buchstaben, (alphabet, to spell) as in “Buchstaben Sie bitte,” he mentions that the word …

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Potty-Mouthed

In Berlin, Communicating, The Art of Travel Fall 2014 by Lila Faria

“Scheiße.” The woman to my left mutters this under her breath as she searches her wallet for a final Euro. It is a word that is used frequently around here: I hear it almost every day on my bike ride to school, or when children are playing in the streets. Mostly, I hear it from fellow NYU Students, who enjoy …

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Quotidian life in Berlin

In Berlin, Quotidian life, The Art of Travel Fall 2014 by Jesse Wheaton

My lock is incredibly infuriating. For some reason it requires 4 full turns counter-clockwise to open. Dear god. Food shopping is fairly easy since you don’t necessarily need to know the language to pick things out until you have to ask for something. I’ve learned the names for a few basic foods and how to say “Entschuldigung, wo ist die Schokolade?” I have an …

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Learning the Language, Losing the Culture

In Berlin, Communicating, The Art of Travel Fall 2014 by Jesse Wheaton

German’s internationality makes it far easier to communicate than most countries I’ve visited. Try speaking Thai in a remote village and you suddenly become very good at charades. As my introductory German salutations and accent improve its nice to see people addressing me in German rather than immediately dropping into Englisch. The similarities between the two languages helps a lot …

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The German Jaywalker

In Berlin, Wayfinding, The Art of Travel Fall 2014 by Lila Faria

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of participating in a free, NYU-sponsored trip to Weimar. The trip was outstanding—We toured education-based museums, drank wine sponsored by our school, and ate far too much ice cream. I learned about the Bauhaus Movement, and the way architecture has been used to teach German children in the past. It was an outrageously …

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Bike Life in Berlin

In Berlin, Going Places, The Art of Travel Fall 2014 by Lila Faria

Alain de Botton’s The Art of Travel outlines the story of Baudelaire, who travelled mostly to get away from unhappiness at  home. My mother, who used to travel for a living, told me that getting away was one of her motivations as well. She’d had difficulties with her family, just like Baudelaire, and so she travelled to get away from her …

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First Week in Berlin

In Introductions, Berlin, The Art of Travel Fall 2014 by Jesse Wheaton

Hallo, Ich bin Jesse. I’m from Oakland, California and, like the rest of you, studying at NYU Gallatin. I’m currently a second semester Junior. Like a lot of Gallatin kids my concentration is a mouthful and has a lot of colons: Patterns: At the Crossroads of Fine Art, Theoretical Mathematics, and Sociology An International Study of the Beauty, Language, and Interpretation …

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Climb Ev’ry Mountain: Plunging Head-First into German Culture

In Introductions, Berlin, The Art of Travel Fall 2014 by Lila Faria

I’m a little freaked out. A few mornings ago, I arrived at NYU Berlin. My RAs have German accents, and my bed has no pillows. I feel like I am surrounded by the hills from The Sound of Music. And I still don’t know why I’m here. Image source New Bed: Lila FariaBoarding the Plane – Lila: Lila Faria10648973_10203905452012049_2464565969423006676_o: Lila …