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

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 ago on Chapel. Sometimes I just don’t understand people." Originally from the Hill neighborhood, Peter Davis has long dealt with the environmental dilemmas that plague industrial cities like New Haven.. . . Read more
Yusuf Samara
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

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 with two large tufts of beard growing down from either side of his chin, notices the awkward crowd and walks toward the door. He claps his hands and smiles. "Come. . . Read more
Helen Phillips
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

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 furniture in their stark living room. His sister Anna sleeps on a mattress on the floor rather than share a barracks-style bunk-bed with her two brothers in the bedroom. Mary. . . Read more
Victoria Truscheit
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

"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 has the name and visage of a trolley, complete with red and green old-time shell and clanging bell, its heart is an electric hybrid bus, built especially for the New. . . Read more
Christopher Heaney
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

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 light. "I’ve had better nights," he sighed. Indeed. Bobby was actually referring to his score, but he might as well have been hinting at something more. He did not look. . . Read more
Jacob Blecher
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

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 the air along the subway platform that will someday stand next to the footprints of the Twin Towers. The view is like a slide in one of his classes, only. . . Read more
Emily Lodish
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

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 these lines: In a murderous time The heart breaks and breaks And lives by breaking. It is necessary to go Through dark and deeper dark And not to turn I. . . Read more
Kathryn Malizia
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

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 means that he trains people to get arrested for the cause as quickly, painlessly, and effectively as possible. His tone was curt as he reeled off advice: wear comfortable shoes. . . Read more
Daniel Kurtz-Phelan
True Blue

Yale began creating its own history from the moment its history began. "The Victorious Crew of 1859," a painting held in Sterling Memorial Library’s Manuscripts and Archives, is prime evidence. The rowers in the picture are enjoying their moment, but not in the way the adult coaches in the painting would like. They are not … Continue reading True Blue

Yale began creating its own history from the moment its history began. "The Victorious Crew of 1859," a painting held in Sterling Memorial Library’s Manuscripts and Archives, is prime evidence. The rowers in the picture are enjoying their moment, but not in the way the adult coaches in the painting would like. They are not taking themselves too seriously. They stand casually. Their oars extend comically upwards, dwarfing the heroes below. But the two elders flanking them understand that history is in the making. One. . . Read more
Ellen Thompson
A Formal Feeling Comes

The logo was everywhere-popping out from behind doors, cast down from walls, scattered on tables. This cartoony triptych was the spokespicture for Yale’s "September 11th, One Year Later" programming. It was printed on every poster, flyer, and handout advertising the memorial events scheduled a year after the attacks. The logo consists of three pictographs-the first … Continue reading A Formal Feeling Comes

The logo was everywhere-popping out from behind doors, cast down from walls, scattered on tables. This cartoony triptych was the spokespicture for Yale’s "September 11th, One Year Later" programming. It was printed on every poster, flyer, and handout advertising the memorial events scheduled a year after the attacks. The logo consists of three pictographs-the first in red, the second in white, and the third in blue. The first image is an abstraction of the Twin Towers-and by abstraction, I mean two off-kilter rectangles that look. . . Read more
Flora Lichtman