New Bear On the Block

Connecticut’s growing bear population takes on the big city.

The black bear’s mother kicked him out of her den in northwestern Connecticut when he was seventeen months old, the equivalent of a human preteen. It was May 2016, she was ready to mate again, and black bears don’t usually hang around while their mothers prepare for new cubs. He had no resources, no skills, nowhere to go—just a nose for food and a desire to find females. Bears are a solitary and territorial species, and no one was trying to help him, either. If. . . Read more
Ruby Bilger
Play Bills

A theatrical social experiment asks participants to spend a pot of money

In an antechamber on the second floor of the Quinnipiack Club, a block from the New Haven Green, a group of mostly white adults mingles. One grey-haired, bespectacled gentleman chuckles in khakis and a sport coat. A middle-aged woman in capris and Asics sizes up the thirty-person crowd. Another woman, grinning and alone in an all-turquoise sweat suit, could easily be somebody’s grandmother. When Emily, an actor in a pinstripe skirt suit, enters through a pair of heavy wooden doors with a clipboard, Turquoise Grandma. . . Read more
Will Nixon
A Prize Of One’s Own

Windham-Campbell Literary Prize winners reflect on unexpected fame and money

As Aminatta Forna, a novelist raised in Sierra Leone and Great Britain, sat down to work in her office one morning in 2014, she noticed an email from an unknown address bolded in her inbox. The message informed her she had just been awarded a major literary prize, and with it, an enormous amount of money. Instinctively, she thought it was a scam—maybe one of those “Nigerian-based hoaxes that try to persuade you they have a huge amount of cash they just need to put. . . Read more
Frances Lindemann
You Are What You Wear

In an exhibit on Jewish identity, T-shirts become the canvas.

Illustration by Ivy Sanders Schneider “Yiddish Players Club,” reads a white bro tank on a pink plastic hanger. Its label card defines a Yiddish Player as a “Dreamer. Hustler. Artist. Thinker. Leader. The ambassador of Yiddish Swag.” “Shalom, Y’all,” another shirt greets. “I <3 Jews,” reads another. It keeps going—college Hillel T-shirts, shirts with delicate Hebrew script, a racy tee with “Jews Do It for Eight Nights” printed over a menorah. These shirts make up the well-traveled art exhibition featured at the American Jewish Historical. . . Read more
Lora Kelley
Authenticity on Tap

Can Three Sheets create a “gastrodive” for everyone?

Illustration by Ivy Sanders Schneider “Brunch hasn’t worked out for us, so we do lunch,” says Rick Seiden, founder of the New Haven bar and restaurant Three Sheets. Ed Turschmann, who co-owns the establishment with Seiden, pipes in to clarify. “The menu is the same.” The two men exchange a brief look, as though they have given away the game: what separates their bar from its peers is not offering but attitude. Box 63 does brunch a few blocks down. So does Barracuda. But although. . . Read more
Chris Cappello
It Takes a Temple

One of the region’s only Hindu temples finds its footing in New Haven.

Parents and children gather to watch a puja, a Hindu prayer ritual. Photo by Elinor Hills. New Haven’s only Hindu temple, Shree Nathji Haveli, was once a banquet hall. Since opening in October 2010, the space has been converted into something of a haven for regional Hindus, who previously had to travel to New Jersey or New York to attend services. This is not uncommon for Hindu Americans; although I’m not particularly religious, my family often drove an hour to our temple during my childhood. . . Read more
Rohan Naik
Dialing for the Detained

Volunteers try to fix a broken communication system between the government and asylum-seekers.

When two groups of Yale Law students arrived in Dilley and Karnes, Texas, in the spring of 2015, the detention centers they saw housed over two thousand asylum seekers. The people inside were overwhelmingly women and children fleeing rising violence in Central America’s Northern Triangle, and the volunteers intended to help them stay in the United States. They were there to conduct interviews, to ask the families what they had experienced that would help them win their cases in front of a government judge. Swapna. . . Read more
Victorio Cabrera
Quality Time

Getting home, the long way.

Emma picks me up from my dorm at Yale on the first day of spring break so she can drive me to her dorm at Wesleyan, where I plan to spend the next two nights to figure things out. She looks strange in the driver’s seat, taller and calmer than I’m used to, or maybe I’m just not used to the idea of her sitting there. I still don’t know how to drive. Last summer I was supposed to learn, and the summer before that,. . . Read more
Jennifer Gersten
Management in a Mason Jar

The Yale School of Management is investing in applesauce.

The first time I met Catherine Wu, she sat with two small, misshapen apples at the Happiness Lab, a coffee shop on Chapel Street. Beside her were also three tiny mason jars, each with a different flavor of UglyFruit, the “artisanal applesauce” Wu makes from Connecticut apples and sells to local coffee shop(pe)s. I had just taken a bite of the “vanilla bourbon” flavor (savory, spicy, an applesauce iteration of how houses smell after wood fires), when she leaned across to ask what I thought.. . . Read more
Amelia Nierenberg
Yale’s Secret Chef

A student-run restaurant turns dinner into performance art.

The magician slowly slices the grapefruit in half with a large knife. He pries the halves apart, juice running down his hands. Wedged in the center of the grapefruit is a dollar bill, which he was holding just seconds before. The audience around the table applauds, enjoying the opening act of a nightlong dinner spectacle. Alone in the kitchen, the chef and mastermind of the evening quietly prepares the first course of the meal. Every Friday night, junior Abdel Morsy cooks an elaborate dinner for. . . Read more
Eliza Fawcett