My Chemical Romance

Falling in love with fermentation.

Illustration by Devon Geyelin. My kimchi fermented in a jar by my pillow, smelling sour. I imagined the vegetable shreds bubbling in salt and their own juices, as the millions of bacteria in the container facilitated the vegetables’ chemical breakdown into the Korean staple. Nestling it further into an old sweatshirt, I made sure the concoction would be warm enough through the night – if it reached below room temperature, the bacteria would die and the fermentation would stop. My roommate watched my new, slightly bizarre nighttime ritual with. . . Read more
Emily Efland
The Syn is Dead/Long Live the Syn

An autopsy of student anarchism.

As a spectator of the burgeoning activism scene on campus, I’ve been struggling to keep track of the major players. Groups and causes at Yale have high turnover rates, and I’ve learned the hard way that it’s best not to get too attached. After all, it’s tough to have one’s heart set on Occupying Morgan Stanley when everyone else has long since begun Pushing for Divestment. But this year, I forgot about my pledge of disengagement. I chose to champion the Yale Syndicate, an underdog. . . Read more
Aliyya Swaby
Not Rocket Scientology

A writer investigates the religious organization.

Illustration by Devon Geyelin The plain glass door sits between two storefronts on Whalley Avenue, and a sign directs visitors up the gray-carpeted staircase into an L-shaped corridor. Suddenly, his name is everywhere. It’s plastered across posters, running down the spines of books that fill the bookcases lining the walls, and printed beneath his picture, enshrined to the right of the entrance. As soon as you walk into the Church of Scientology of New Haven, you begin to breathe L. Ron Hubbard, founder of Dianetics and Scientology.. . . Read more
Lara Sokoloff
Found in Translation

The Fair Haven PreK-8 school finds a common language.

Courtesy of Fair Haven PreK-8 School With its clock tower, stone columns, and vast front steps, the entrance of Fair Haven PreK-8 School in the New Haven neighborhood of the same name looks classically neo-Gothic. But one glance inside the school, with its mural-lined walls adorned by writing and drawings of every language and culture, revealed that its student body hardly matches its 19th-century façade. On a Wednesday afternoon, English-as-a-second-language (ESL) teacher Michael Soares retrieved Yasser* from his sixth-grade reading class to help calm down. . . Read more
Yanan Wang
Silent as the Dead

A new take on an old cemetery.

Illustration by Devon Geyelin I knocked on the door of the caretaker’s office, but no one answered. I could hear a dog barking and someone shuffling around inside, but no one came to the door. I pushed it open myself and walked into a cluttered, smoky room. “Who are you?” the gray-haired caretaker asked. After I introduced myself and asked to talk to him briefly about the cemetery, he called out, “I’m busy. Have a pamphlet,” shoving one in my hand and pushing me out. . . Read more
Margaret Shultz
Derby Dreams

A fringe sport goes mainstream, and now the boys come out to play.

Photo by Sean Hale/Hale Yeah “Call me H.G. Welts,” he said, extending a hand. “That’s my skater name.” I was in a strip mall parking lot to catch a ride to Sunday night practice with the Death Quads, the men’s roller derby team from the suburbs of Connecticut. I had learned of them from a flyer at a vegetarian restaurant in New Haven. “Join the roller derby revolution,” it said in golden characters. The team’s logo was a goateed man, attired like a soldier in. . . Read more
Christopher Peak
Of All the Gin Joints in this Town

The opening of the original Richter’s Café in 1982, reopening this month as Ordinary.

Photographs by David Ottenstein Introduced by Katy Osborn When David Ottenstein first photographed Richter’s Café in 1982, it was called the Taft Tap Room and its interior had spent the past decade boarded up, not to mention the past year filled with trash and construction debris from The Taft Hotel’s 1981 conversion into apartments. Still, its future felt more optimistic to Ottenstein, who photographs disintegrating, empty structures. An abandoned Connecticut factory where pipes and broken glass are doubled in rain puddles, an Iowa farmhouse whose. . . Read more
Katy Osborn
The Way the Wind Blows

A small press goes green to keep from going under with the state’s first commercial-size wind turbine.

Photo courtesy of Phoenix Press Ten minutes after I was due at Phoenix Press, Inc., the spokes of my bike were still spinning. I searched out every corner’s street sign, hoping that the next would say James Street. Knowing that the friendly businessman I had spoken to was probably checking his watch, I had the sinking feeling that comes with being lost—until I saw the waving white arms of the wind turbine. They twirled gracefully in the breeze against the blue background of the sky.. . . Read more
Maya Averbuch
A Conversation with Daniel Yergin

An interview with the founder of the New Journal.

Daniel Yergin founded the New Journal in 1967, the summer before his senior year at Yale. He then went onto study international relations at Cambridge as a Marshall scholar, start an energy consulting company called Cambridge Energy Research Associates, and win the Pulitzer Prize for his 1992 book The Prize. Yergin is one of the most quoted authors on energy issues. A revised paperback edition of his sixth book, The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World—which the Economist called a “masterly piece of work”—is. . . Read more
Courtside Collisions

An urban squash program uses the sport of princes to break down walls.

Osuman Imoro, 14, looks on as Joby Davis, 15, slices a backhand at Yale’s Brady Squash Center. Photo by Caroline Lester. Osuman Imoro’s opponent was examining the blood streaking down his left elbow when Osuman stepped into the right-hand server’s box of the squash court and struck a loping serve. In the third game of this best-of-three match, Osuman, 14, was spent, his skinny chest pulsing with heavy breaths he would prefer you didn’t notice. Restless and self-effacing by nature, Osuman asserted himself on the. . . Read more
Ben Mueller