Walking the Line

Two milky white rectangular signs with bold, black, capital letters-"caution: high speed area" and "authorized personnel only"-greeted me from the industrial landscape as I began my pilgrimage. I was at New Haven’s Union Station; Yale was behind me, and ahead of me-beyond the caution signs-were 72.5 miles of track stretching to New York’s Grand Central … Continue reading Walking the Line

Kung Fu Fighting

The mighty New Haven Ninjas, beloved gladiators of arenafootball2, open every event to a fanfare of violins and heavy bass. Tonight’s opponent, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Pioneers, are shaking in their tights as the Ninjas jog out of the concession stands, through two spires of fireworks, and onto the field. One spire prophetically fizzles and dies; a … Continue reading Kung Fu Fighting

The Art of War

In a scene from Alive from Palestine: Stories Under Occupation, a couple exchanges a bullet and a gas canister as tokens of love. Mounds of crumpled newspapers are the only scenery. The play debuted in the United States at New Haven’s Long Wharf Theater in late June as part of the annual International Festival of … Continue reading The Art of War

How to succeed without really trying

It is rush hour in Grand Central Station, and I wade through the early evening crowds of people in various states of dress and undress, careful not to brush my khakis and blue collared shirt up against anything dirty. Outside, taxis and speed-walking commuters clog 42nd Street, then I turn right onto Park Avenue. Quieter … Continue reading How to succeed without really trying

The Things They Left Behind

The things they left behind were largely disgusting, a year’s worth of accumulated refuse: dust bunnies the size of dinosaur eggs, emptied tins of potted meat, q-tips clean and soiled, and, in one room, enough body hair to have been shed by a Yeti. Some of the trash made for a laugh-a Bud Light sombrero, … Continue reading The Things They Left Behind

Critics in the Cradle

A smiling baby, tongue sticking out and eyes blinded by an oversized mortar-board, graces the cover of Ralph Schoenstein’s Toilet Trained For Yale: Adventures in 21st Century Parenting. Though the resemblance is unintentional, the baby represents both Schoenstein and Harold Bloom, editor of Stories and Poems for Extremely Intelligent Children of All Ages. Giddily facing … Continue reading Critics in the Cradle

Assembly Line Justice

On a crisp afternoon in December, Dora Shaw sent her 15-year-old son Derek to the store for groceries. Somewhere between his house and the corner, two police officers stopped Derek, pinned his arms behind his back, cuffed his hands, and read him his rights. Derek, surprised and afraid, did not resist. The officers were holding … Continue reading Assembly Line Justice

What Lies Beneath

This is the story of something invisible. A new power line linking the Connecticut and Long Island electrical grids now lies six feet under the floor of New Haven Harbor. Depending on whom you ask, its placement there last May was either a godsend to a nation in the throes of an energy crisis or … Continue reading What Lies Beneath

Cultural Engineering

In the early hours of September 19, 1999, five white men chased down and assaulted a Yale student of Asian descent outside a Howe Street laundromat. The Yale Police Department classified the attack as a "violent crime with apparent racial undertones" but released few details of the case to the public. According to rumors, the … Continue reading Cultural Engineering