All Roads?

Does a popular local nightclub hang in the balance?

Illustration by Devon Geyelin. It was a typical Saturday night in New Haven: a long line of people snaked back alongside Toad’s Place on York Street. Cabfulls more got out at the curb every few minutes. Hordes of college students spilled onto the adjacent walkway that divides the venue from Mory’s, the private club next door, and leads back to two of Yale’s residential colleges. Over the course of its nearly forty years in operation, Toad’s has hosted its fair share of legendary acts. In. . . Read more
Caitlin Cromwell
Letter from the Editors

To our loyal readers.

Dear reader, Men joining roller derbies, theater with audience as actor, a stolen lamp that took a church’s history with it. Urban squash leagues and Tolstoy marathons. Budget cuts on food stamps and a gang initiative that tries to define community. The stories we’ve loved publishing in our five issues have been about borders of all kinds—about setting and learning them, about crossing or bridging them. Borders give us order, marking guarantees and edges. They tell us what we are, and help us decide who. . . Read more
Staff
Free Writing

A prison narrative in context today.

Illustration by Devon Geyelin. Austin Reed wrote in silence and in darkness. Over the course of three decades, he crafted his memoirs in a prison cell in upstate New York, where he was prohibited from speaking and forced to work ten hours a day. The first line reads: “The bright sun was just a shining into the window of my father cottage when I was call’d by the voice of a female to come and take the last look of my dying father.” Yale’s Beinecke. . . Read more
Ezra Ritchin
Lost and Found

Learning cities by remembering their maps.

Illustration by Devon Geyelin. The trees on the New Haven Green are somehow unexpected. Many of their old trunks are too wide to measure with outstretched arms, and yet I might not have paid attention to them in all the open space. It was the maps of New Haven that have taught me to truly look at them. One map, from 1748, marks out two trees on the Green and labels each of them—“2 Trees Planted in 1686”—the way a church or town hall might. . . Read more
Mary Mussman
Sharpened Points

A radical cartographer questions what, why, and how we plot.

Illustration by Mona Cao. A lot of mapmakers end up selling posters, Yale professor Bill Rankin tells me, but he wants his projects to be something more. He wants to re-imagine the conventions of cartography, going beyond images you could hang for display or decoration. A Rankin map might be aesthetically pleasing, but you can be sure it will also be intellectually challenging. Rankin grew up in the orderly grid of Chicago, where he always knew which way north was. When he moved to Philadelphia. . . Read more
Caroline Sydney
The Same Old Song

A man and his machines.

Illustration by Mona Cao. When I walk into the large room jutting out of Tony DeLucia’s garage, I am momentarily lost in time. A metallic 1947 Wurlitzer jukebox stares at me from across the room. My eyes pick out a British Invasion pinball machine from the seventies, and a hefty silver-and-bronze Seeburg jukebox from the fifties. The jukebox plays songs like the Wurlitzer and The Crests’ doo-wop hit “Sixteen Candles,” and the pinball machine sits by the back wall beneath a wooden shelf displaying rainbow-colored. . . Read more
Adam Echelman
Beyond Fossil Free

How does divestment fit into social justice?

Illustration by Daniel Semenciuc. On a Sunday afternoon last September, the three musicians started to groove. The fiddle wailed, and the bass ba-dummed. “We got this battle,” the melodica-player crooned, “We’re gonna sit in their office, get a fossil free Yale.” It was a real-life protest song, the twenty-first century Pete Seeger. I knew it was corny. But as a folk musician myself, I couldn’t help but feel excited. “Welcome!” said a tall blond woman in a white summer dress. She introduced herself as Diana. . . Read more
Ashley Dalton
Lessons in Looking

Lines between reality and surreality.

Like a faint gray smudge sullying a building’s side—the only trace of the burned-down house that once stood next door—my photographs seek out the unexpected ways in which the natural and the man- made are intertwined. Rather than finding an easy division between the two, the images create an artificial naturalness and a natural artificiality. Along the way, I use both so-called “pure” observation and digital alteration; at times, I physically construct my own scenes. Seeing is as active as making: there is no such. . . Read more
Andrew Wagner
Lake

you could now say it…

you could not say it was the lake the ducks often come here a nice glide after dark I must say the cold freshens their feathers and any way they could hardly do better now could they as the sky blackens they do so slowly. . . Read more
Ava Kofman
Volcán Barú

Cocksure we ploughed ahead after midnight…

Cocksure we ploughed ahead after midnight, regretting it when the sweat chilled. Then hours of lockstep with you, just you. Thighs vibrated beyond the tree line. Summitting, we met nine Telcom towers— bastions of this state-in-the-making. Light clusters below meant the cities of Panamá and David; in expansive cloud forest, quetzals slept. We rubbed limbs by an illicit fire. This sufficed until dawn’s summoning: a sea on each horizon. Caribbean stratus rippled over lesser hills. You enveloped me and exhaled Pacific. Clarifying the apex, a. . . Read more
A. Grace Steig