Vidya B. Viswanathan

Summer Postcard

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Inside an old Shanghai one-story apartment with peeling paint and rusted pipes, a man does work while watching a popular replay of the NBA final. The area around his home, Tianzi Fang, has preserved its antique charm despite its residents leasing spaces for restaurants, boutiques, and cafes that bring both local and tourist foot traffic.

Summer Postcard

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A canvas bag bearing a typical image of Mao propaganda, merged with Obama's face and name. References to Obama and America crop up in many random places. There is even a club named "Obama Club."

Summer Postcard

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An elegant pile of garbage in one alleyway.

Summer Postcard

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Nanjing Road East, a glitzy pedestrian walkway crowded with shops, restaurants, and tourists.

Summer Postcard

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The dizzying view of Shanghai at night, featuring the Oriental Pearl Tower.

Summer Postcard

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An "Obama Mart," actually a supermarket, right near Yuyuan, a traditional Chinese garden.

Summer Postcard

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The Republic of Korea pavilion at the Shanghai 2010 World Expo. The tiles contain Korean script. According to a Korean friend, some say silly things like "if you wash your hair with laundry detergent, tomorrow, your hair will be itchy."

Summer Postcard

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A sign in the China Provinces pavilion introduces its Western province of Xinjiang as "a harmonious land." Xinjiang has been a site of tension between Uyghur and Han Chinese, reaching a height in the July 2009 ethnic conflict. Since then there has been tighter government control of the region, including stricter controls on its Internet.

Summer Postcard

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The Shanghai World Expo Cultural Center sits like a UFO in the middle of the Expo Park. It is one of the few Expo buildings that will be preserved at the site for future use.

Summer Postcard

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Once the dream "castle" of the young daughter of a European expat in Shanghai, the Moller Villa is now a hotel, public garden, and popular place for couples to take photos.

Summer Postcard

Snapshots of Shanghai: Moments to Pause

Summer Postcard

POSTCARD: Sorry, I Speak Your Language

It's not a lesson of language; it's one of patience.

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The Revealing

TSIM SHA TSUI, Hong Kong — They bought flights for it, booked tours, braved injury, and shirked work. Some bathed

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Sometimes I Stare, Sometimes I’m Stared At

NORTH POINT, Hong Kong — Vignettes from the Island Line. A fish jumps out of a woman’s plastic bag in

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Allston Community Deals with Development

Just two years after his inauguration, former University President Lawrence H. Summers penned a 5800 word letter to the Harvard

Echelman string sculpture
Visual Arts

Painting the Town: Boston's Big Art

Boxes
Columns

ISIL is Not the End of the World

Difficulty Defining
Columns

The Difficulty of Defining Difficulty

Reshuffling the Caseload
College

Unloading the Ad Board