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

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

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

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

The Long Road Home

Poppo is standing barefoot in the tiny kitchen, flipping mealy Bisquik pancakes. He is used to cooking for his family; his mother Mary Anne is blind in one eye and reeling from respiratory disease. Poppo drenches three half-cooked pancakes in syrup for Mary Anne, who is sitting on a sunken couch, the only item of … Continue reading The Long Road Home

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

Pinheads

The night I met Bobby Speers at the Circle Lanes in East Haven, he was holding a bowler’s cocktail: lukewarm beer in a large plastic cup. I could see why he needed it. The windowless building reeked of stale cigar and pipe smoke, and the neon ceiling lights bathed the alley in a harsh, sterile … Continue reading Pinheads

We Built This City

He cannot help himself: In the small Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (lmdc) office, Alexander Garvin is ever the professor. In the conference room, Garvin, Vice President for Planning, Design, and Development at the lmdc, gestures out the glass window overlooking Ground Zero. He could be pointing at a chalkboard as he traces his finger in … Continue reading We Built This City

Voice of America

On September 19, 600 people packed the seats of New Haven’s Center Church on the Green. Wherever they sat, stood, or squatted, they listened in silence, breathless, their eyes trained on a small, ancient man hunched behind a podium at the front of the church. They listened as his voice, cracked with age, sang out … Continue reading Voice of America

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