One Little Room, an Everywhere

Remembering what I wanted.

A year after we lost the house, on a chilly summer day, my mother refused to get out of the car. That is the only sentence written in my journal. Mom refuses to get out of the car. We were in a dirt parking lot one block away from our old house. Neither of us had visited the house since it had been foreclosed upon one year earlier. I was 20. My mother was now living with my grandfather in a town forty miles away.. . . Read more
Hayley Byrnes
Tlaxcala Dreams of New Haven

On stage, mothers find a hole in the border to visit their migrant children.

David Mendieta leans over the railing at John F. Kennedy International Airport, holding his baby boy and glancing often at the arrivals board with heavy eyelids. A 25-year-old contractor, Mendieta woke up his wife and son before dawn for the two-hour drive from their house in West Haven to pick up his mother at the terminal. His son bats a “Welcome Home” balloon. Tired families trickle into the lobby, all waiting for their mothers to arrive from Mexico. Anxiety mounts as light spills through the. . . Read more
Sebi Medina-Tayac
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
What’s In a Game

Finding New Haven in BORDERLANDS, pistol in hand.

Early on in BORDERLANDS, I pick up a pink gun called the “Lady Finger” from behind a grave. It’s a curvy, single-barreled pistol, and I grip it in my right hand’s fingerless glove. When I press “tab” to look at its specs, the words “Omnia vincit amor” (“Love conquers all”) pop up in red. I, Lilith—a Human Siren from the planet Dionysus—store it in my backpack, next to my submachine gun, and continue towards New Haven. The Lady Finger quickly becomes my favorite weapon, mostly. . . Read more
Elena Saavedra Buckley
Vanishing Winchester

An urban explorer documents the former gun factory before it transforms.

Bryan Buckley, a lanky 23-year-old wedding photographer and welder from New Bedford, Massachusetts, pulls into the parking lot of the Winchester Lofts in his red Volkswagen. He is not interested in the new loft apartments but in the decaying walls and boarded-up windows immediately adjacent to them. He wears a hoodie, jeans, and a baseball cap. His face is smooth and boyish. He takes out his phone and pulls up a satellite image of the block on which we’re parked, which shows the sections of. . . Read more
Isabelle Taft
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
Of House and Home

A student activist finds her place in the history of Black organizing at Yale.

Micah Jones and I are standing by a foldout table at Afro-American Cultural Center, better known as the House. She is the president of the Black Student Alliance at Yale, and I am her vice president and right-hand woman. We’re selling T-shirts to alumni at the House’s forty-fifth anniversary event. A woman, impeccably dressed, approaches us. She introduces herself as Bisa Williams. In 1975, six years after the House’s founding, Williams became the first Black woman president of BSAY since its founding in 1967. After. . . Read more
Eshe Sherley
Let’s Talk About Speech

A flashy “free speech debate” takes the stage.

The empty stage of the Yale Repertory Theatre looked like the set of a talk show. A black-and-white photograph of the New York City skyline hung in three panels in the center, and two empty frosted-glass tables stood on either side of the stage, each flanked by a black podium. Lights on the walls shifted sunset-like from orange to pink. On March 1, Yale students, professors, New Haven locals, and even high school debate teams shuffled into the Rep clutching grey pamphlets that declared: “Free. . . Read more
Eleanor Womack
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