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
Playing the Cards Right

Can an ID card help members of a vulnerable population feel at home in the Elm City?

Illustration by Edward Wang. Photographs by Jennifer Lu. In the early morning of June 6, 2007, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials swooped into New Haven, handcuffs at the ready, searching the city for undocumented residents. By the end of the raid, they had taken thirty-two people off the streets of Fair Haven or from inside their own homes. Families gathered in a local church to record the names of those missing. The arrests shook the community and even prompted a response from the mayor. . . Read more
Maya Averbuch
The X-Ray and the Eye

Scientists and art historians disagree about the right way to look at art

In a corner of an industrial building just outside of New Haven, a woman points a gun at a treasured painting. The weapon is loaded, and she is ready to fire. She aims carefully, focuses, and pulls the trigger. But this gun shoots X-rays, not bullets. As an X-ray strikes the canvas, it jumbles the electrons orbiting an atom of paint. The atom quickly reshuffles its particles in order to regain its former state of equilibrium. In doing so, the atom sends back another ray,. . . Read more
Julia Rothchild
Loaded Questions

Connecticut gun owners are suing their state over new gun laws. A reporter meets them at the shooting range.

We pull into the parking lot with a trunk full of guns. I have arrived at the Branford Gun Club along with Lenny Benedetto and his wife Virginia. Both are gun enthusiasts and active in the anti-gun control lobby. Lenny is the vice president of the Connecticut Citizens’ Defense League (CCDL), and his wife is the organization’s technology coordinator. They are out to show me that neither guns nor their owners are intrinsically scary, and today, they are going to teach me how to shoot.. . . Read more
Isabelle Taft
Against the Tide

As the water’s edge draws closer, a cozy beach community stands against nature.

In the wake of 2011's Hurricane Irene, Andy Weinstein crouches by the ruins of his Cosey Beach home, which had stood strong for nearly a century. Photo Courtesy of Andy Weinstein. “I should have seen the peak of my house,” recalled Andy Weinstein. “It wasn’t there.” On August 28, 2011, Weinstein stood next to his car on Philip Street in East Haven. The roads sloped down toward the coast. The formerly well-defined border of sand and sea walls had been erased. Hurricane Irene had made. . . Read more
Ike Swetlitz
A Tale of Two Supermarkets

A writer evaluates the promises two markets made a hungry city.

Elm City Market, sauteed brussels sprouts with sundried tomatoes, white rice with a medley of colorful beans, and Italian-style stuffed chicken: $9.00 (meals bought by the pound). Photo by Meredith Redick. On your way up Whalley Avenue to the Stop & Shop in New Haven, you pass a Papa John’s, a Burger King, and a rundown Jamaican food cart. Further down, you can stop at  Subway, or McDonald’s. Every block or two, a convenience store appears. Mostly, though, this avenue—and the surrounding residential neighborhood—is all. . . Read more
Meredith Redick