The Scientist and the Shrub

Michael Donoghue is the world’s leading expert on a plant that no one’s ever heard of.

Photo by Vivek Suri. “This is yesterday’s flower,” Michael Donoghue said, pointing to a half-wilted bloom. He was standing in the middle of a greenhouse, surrounded by students. The room was filled with insectivorous plants and deciduous trees, the air heavy with pollen and moisture. The plant before Donoghue had heart-shaped leaves, a spindly stem wrapped around a wire brace like ivy, and two huge burgundy flowers that drooped despondently. It was labeled Aristolochia gigantea. “And this is today’s,” Donoghue added, pointing to the larger. . . Read more
Henry Reichard
Curating a Legacy

An expansive circle composed of intersecting lines levitates on a wall in the lobby of the Yale University Art Gallery. Close up, specks of white emerge from blackness like stars in a compacted night sky. Jock Reynolds will explain to anyone who walks into the Gallery that this wall drawing by Sol Lewitt includes ten-thousand … Continue reading Curating a Legacy

An expansive circle composed of intersecting lines levitates on a wall in the lobby of the Yale University Art Gallery. Close up, specks of white emerge from blackness like stars in a compacted night sky. Jock Reynolds will explain to anyone who walks into the Gallery that this wall drawing by Sol Lewitt includes ten-thousand straight black lines and ten-thousand not-straight black lines. Reynolds, who was a longtime friend of LeWitt’s, told me that each of LeWitt’s drawings comes with a “certificate” that “is a. . . Read more
Ben Levin
The Hub of the Wheel

Behind a warehouse door in East Rock, John Martin tightens a bolt and gives the crankshaft a turn, sending the rear wheel of the bicycle into a spin above the concrete floor. He leans in and eyes the rotation approvingly. It spins true—no horizontal shake, no friction. Behind him, Connor Dwyer Reynolds, the bike’s owner, … Continue reading The Hub of the Wheel

Behind a warehouse door in East Rock, John Martin tightens a bolt and gives the crankshaft a turn, sending the rear wheel of the bicycle into a spin above the concrete floor. He leans in and eyes the rotation approvingly. It spins true—no horizontal shake, no friction. Behind him, Connor Dwyer Reynolds, the bike’s owner, breaks into a smile. Before finding the Bradley Street Bicycle Cooperative, Dwyer Reynolds knew almost nothing about bike repair. But he needed a bike and wanted to build it himself,. . . Read more
William Reid
Flight Paths

Most mornings, Jayson Peña wakes up early and loads the back of his Chevy Suburban with pigeons. Using his bare hands, he pulls the birds out of a white-shingled loft in the backyard of his home in Avon, Connecticut. He grabs each grey body around its midsection, his thick brown fingers wrapping easily around the … Continue reading Flight Paths

Most mornings, Jayson Peña wakes up early and loads the back of his Chevy Suburban with pigeons. Using his bare hands, he pulls the birds out of a white-shingled loft in the backyard of his home in Avon, Connecticut. He grabs each grey body around its midsection, his thick brown fingers wrapping easily around the bird’s stomach and tail, holding its feet in place. The air around the coop is warm and acrid with guano—pigeon droppings—but the musk isn’t quite so bad in the morning.. . . Read more
Skyler Inman
Yale Men in the Cabinet

Trump has nominated three Yale alumni to serve in his Administration. Who were they on campus?

On Capitol Hill, three Yale alumni are preparing for new jobs. Pending confirmations by the Senate, Steven Mnuchin ’85, Ben Carson ’73, and Wilbur Ross ’59 will take their place in President Donald Trump’s cabinet in the coming weeks. Yale alums have long inhabited the upper echelons of the U.S. government, but Trump’s Ivy League picks run counter to his populist campaign and rejection of intellectual elitism. These two Wall Street bankers and the neurosurgeon were neither Yale Political Union firebrands like John Kerry nor. . . Read more
Rachel Calnek-Sugin. Chris Hays. Arya Sundaram
Why Buy a Cow

In the Arethusa universe, Manolo Blahnik executives sell high-quality yogurt and a pastoral lifestyle.

I’m eyeing a ten-dollar bottle of eggnog, thinking will I, but half-heartedly at best, because I will, and I do, and that’s the story of how I end up spending thirty real American dollars on eggnog. The eggnog, advertised as “old-world” and “small-batch,” comes in oblong, glass bottles. They’re recyclable. The eggnog’s only available in November and December, if it’s not already sold out. The purveyor, Arethusa Farm Dairy, believes that you don’t just let eggnog sit on shelves, in cartons. To relegate Arethusa Dairy. . . Read more
Jared Newman
Montana, Running Back

Just past midnight on August 19, as the rest of the Yale football team slept before the first day of fall camp, Andrew Grinde made his getaway. The five-foot-eleven freshman running back slipped out of his room in Lanman-Wright Hall, taking care not to rouse his roommates, and walked out to High Street, where an … Continue reading Montana, Running Back

Just past midnight on August 19, as the rest of the Yale football team slept before the first day of fall camp, Andrew Grinde made his getaway. The five-foot-eleven freshman running back slipped out of his room in Lanman-Wright Hall, taking care not to rouse his roommates, and walked out to High Street, where an Uber awaited him at the curb. He rode to Union Station, then boarded a night train to Philadelphia. By the time Grinde’s teammates woke up, he was long gone. He’d. . . Read more
Mark Rosenberg
Quest For the Golden Rhyme

A young New Haven rapper strives to find recognition

There’s a charged silence as 22-year-old Matthew Barrington Bethea IV, sitting in the Starbucks across from the New Haven Green, searches for the title of one of those songs he “put more of himself into.” He cannot remember its name, but he recalls the lyrics with ease: Don’t wait up ’cause time ain’t waiting on you; You let all the problems pilin’ up, now the weight is on you. You been strugglin’ in the street, claim you’re hungry, tryna eat, But what happens when you. . . Read more
Claudia Mezey
The Magic Foot of Hondo Colwick

A prosthetics craftsman makes what he knows.

The first thing Hondo Colwick remembers about his surgery is the line of metal utensils on a sterile blue sheet. From birth, he had a fatty flap of skin where there should have been a foot. After he turned 3, surgeons sliced off two toes that protruded from the flap’s side. The toes had kept Hondo from easily placing his leg into the below-the-knee prosthesis he’d worn since he was ten months old. They also marked what could have been, if his mother had not. . . Read more
Maya Averbuch
Reel Talk

The man behind Yale’s screenings reviews the future of film.

Tony Sudol surveys his territory from the projection booth. He makes a brief foray into the theater to check light and sound levels, then returns satisfied. The show tonight, Jean-Luc Godard’s 1961 French New Wave film Breathless, is one Sudol has projected dozens of times. He knows exactly how it’s supposed to look and sound. While the first reel unspools in one of the reel-to-reel projection towers, Sudol runs his finger over the next, which he’ll load into the second tower in twenty minutes. He. . . Read more
Ruby Bilger