Blunder Bus

"I’ve never been on a bus before!" said the red-haired toddler seated across from me. He got up and sat down again on the wooden bench in excitement. "It’s your first trolley ride," corrected his companion, a stout black woman. She dabbed her forehead with a handkerchief. But the toddler was right. Though the machine … Continue reading Blunder Bus

It Takes Two

On a bright Saturday afternoon, I find my way to the Educational Center for the Arts and stand in the doorway ready to watch the free tango session offered as a part of its quiet reopening celebration. Several people mill around, but no one makes eye contact. The only person in the room, a man … Continue reading It Takes Two

Old Man River

Sporting a faded blue sweater, worn jeans, and scuffed white tennis shoes, Peter Davis could almost pass for the average New Havener. That is, until I spot the half-filled eight-gallon oil can in his hand, its contents clearly visible through the plastic. His brow furrowing, he tells me, "I just picked this up ten minutes … Continue reading Old Man River

The Feminine Critique

When she takes the floor in the elegant atrium of Beinecke Library, Yale Provost Alison Richard reminds us of a recent past that nonetheless feels as ancient as the library’s volumes. "When I came to Yale in 1972," she begins, "there were six tenured women faculty. Now every year there are more and more women. … Continue reading The Feminine Critique

Anal Attentive

It’s a good thing Connecticut has at least one candidate in November’s congressional election with the answers to one of the 21st century’s most pressing crises. A global disaster like the aids epidemic calls for an informed and clear-sighted leader like Joseph A. Zdonczyk, who hopes to represent the Concerned Citizens Party in the coming … Continue reading Anal Attentive

Peculiar Institutions

The man sitting next to me pushes his rimless glasses farther up his sunburnt nose, his graying blond hair flipped across his head. Under a navy cardigan, his starched t-shirt is emblazoned with the words "reparations now!" He is one of about a hundred attendees of the "Yale, New Haven, and American Slavery Conference." Co-sponsored … Continue reading Peculiar Institutions

Appraise and Fall

It has stood through years of kiss concerts, third-rate minor league hockey matches, and the debacles of Yale basketball-but for the first time ever, one day this fall, the main attraction at the New Haven Coliseum was the ill-fated Coliseum itself. The concrete and steel monstrosity was transformed into a hammed-up flea market, and everything, … Continue reading Appraise and Fall

A Formal Feeling Comes

The logo was everywhere-popping out from behind doors, cast down from walls, scattered on tables. This cartoony triptych was the spokespicture for Yale’s "September 11th, One Year Later" programming. It was printed on every poster, flyer, and handout advertising the memorial events scheduled a year after the attacks. The logo consists of three pictographs-the first … Continue reading A Formal Feeling Comes

True Blue

Yale began creating its own history from the moment its history began. "The Victorious Crew of 1859," a painting held in Sterling Memorial Library’s Manuscripts and Archives, is prime evidence. The rowers in the picture are enjoying their moment, but not in the way the adult coaches in the painting would like. They are not … Continue reading True Blue

Organized Crime

In the days before 675 people were arrested on College Street, New Haven’s labor unions prepared for action. At the First Methodist Church, 100 students, workers, and interested community members listened to the instructions of Steve Thornton. Thornton is a veteran national labor activist who calls himself a "non-violent direct action civil disobedience organizer." This … Continue reading Organized Crime