For Country?

The “Renaissance” of Yale’s relationship with the U.S. military.

The seventy-five men and women in blue and black uniforms trace the perimeter of the basketball court in Payne Whitney Gymnasium with crisp, synchronized movements. As the students march, the patriotic chords of “Anchors Aweigh,” “Off We Go into the Wild Blue Yonder,” and the “Marine’s Hymn”—the traditional songs of the United States Navy, Air Force, and Marines—resonate across the gym. Row by row, the cadets and midshipmen of Yale’s Air Force and Naval Reserve Officer’s Training Corps battalions salute Yale President Peter Salovey, the. . . Read more
Jane Darby Menton
The Uncertain Hour

Standing at the threshold of society, newly released inmates plan their next steps

Hudson Street, just off of Whalley Avenue, looks like any other street after a hard winter. The asphalt is pocked with fresh potholes, the sidewalks cracked from months of ice. Debris litters the edges of the road—stray tires, plastic bottles, scraps of clothing, a discarded pair of shoes. The shoes look like black-and-white low-top Converse, but their rubber soles are thinner and flimsier, and the ripped canvas bears no insignia. They are state-issued prison sneakers, given to inmates by the Department of Correction On one. . . Read more
Edward Columbia
Expect the Worst

In an age of false security, preppers plan for disaster

The walls of Nick Provost’s suburban Connecticut living room are decorated with a taxidermied deer head and a few grandmotherish tchotchkes in the colors of the American flag. A flat-screen television occupies one corner. Provost’s three blonde daughters, ages 9, 8, and 7, chase each other through the room. About a dozen people sit around on couches, chairs, and stools. Nick Provost, a boyish 28-year-old with a warm, crooked smile, lies on the floor. A black strap called a Hasty Harness is wrapped between his. . . Read more
Isabelle Taft
Everyday Evil

Can a new network of radical vegans change the mainstream liberal agenda?

The funeral was supposed to begin at 7:30 p.m., but the mourners didn’t show up until closer to 8. They came dressed all in black except for their sneakers. None of them had been to this kind of funeral before, and they were nervous. “I haven’t memorized my speech,” a young woman named Bianca told me. The procession was going to begin at the New Haven Green. Bianca shuffled around the flagpole, trying to get warm. With nightfall, the mist had turned to cold pinpricks. . . Read more
Eric Boodman
American Spirit on the Housatonic

What does it take for a Native American tribe to be acknowledged by the U.S. government?

The Schaghticoke tribe is praying for the long-lost bones of its ancestors. Standing on the Connecticut reservation their families once called home, members clasp one another’s cold hands. They turn their backs on the neighboring town of Kent and on the massive vans parked like sleeping giants on the other end of the plateau. They wait outside the wooden fence of the reservation’s small cemetery, bordered by spindly birch trees and the Housatonic River. It is early November, and they have gathered from across the. . . Read more
Maya Averbuch
Rocking the House

New Haven’s punk scene lives on in the basements of some its most die-hard fans

I walked up the uneven stairs to the Panty House’s front porch on a Sunday night in November. A group of twenty-somethings with bull-ring nose piercings, shaggy beards and long, purple-streaked hair sat on the patio smoking. They nodded silently as I entered. Less than three miles from Yale’s campus, this “female house of punk,” as described by resident Kayla Bastos, was hosting a concert by New Haven band Mute Witness. Their front man, Ed Goodfriend, had warned me not to spread word about the. . . Read more
Anna Meixler
The Real-Life Miracles of Father McGivney

A New Haven congregation must prove miracles to canonize its beloved leader

Edward Wang At an evening Mass at Saint Mary’s Church on Hillhouse Avenue, Father Joseph Allen stands at the pulpit and reads to his congregation from the Gospel of Matthew. He reads the story of a miracle: as Jesus departed from the city of Jericho, two blind men stopped him on the road. These men knew him and begged that he cure their blindness. Jesus asked them, “Do you believe that I can do this?” “Yes, Lord,” they responded. Jesus touched their eyelids. “Let it. . . Read more
Edward Columbia
The Bonds That Tie

The gay leather community crowns its newest ambassador.

“It’s not just about sex,” J.R. Ramos tells me. J.R. is a bald man with a full, dark beard. His bare, tanned potbelly protrudes from under his black leather vest, which matches his chaps and boots. Most of the other patrons here at 168 York Street Café on the night of September 5 share Ramos’s affinity toward leather outfits that expose a lot of skin. In fact, their common dress code has brought them all together for a weekend-long convention for gay men who have. . . Read more
Aaron Mak
Up for Debate

Yale coaches bring New Haven teenagers into the privileged world of high school debate.

  Zariah Altman prepares for debate. Photos by Jennifer Lu. “Opposition? Partner? Speaker?” Matt asks as he stands before the judge, taking stock of the room before he starts his speech. His partner is seated to his right, and his opponents, Zariah Altman and Xavier Sottile, are waiting on the left. He places his cell phone timer on the conference table. “All right, I’ll begin.” The room is quiet. “From Russia, to China, to Iran, to Syria, to ISIS, far too long the U.S. has. . . Read more
Caroline Durlacher
New Cops on the Block

As states cut treatment programs, police learn to work with the mentally ill.

Officer Mike Pepe is one of the New Haven police officers trained to respond to individuals with mental illness. Photo by Jennifer Lu. Officer Mike Pepe is cruising around the Dwight-Kensington neighborhood when he gets the call. Two women, the dispatcher tells him, are sitting on a park bench at a nearby elementary school playground. They’re staring into space while a toddler lies screaming on the ground. Pepe, a four-year veteran of the New Haven Police Department, quickly heads to the scene. He finds the. . . Read more
Michelle Hackman