Umbrella Man

Paul Hammer, New Haven’s bicycle activist.

We’re pulling onto the main road. My driver carefully looks over his right shoulder to check for traffic. A minivan passes, and the middle-aged, portly driver visibly snaps his neck around, craning to get a better look at us. The next driver does the same. When the street is finally clear, we slip into the traffic headed down Orange Street, and we’re off. I wish we were moving a little faster, because at this pace it’s hard to escape the stares of pedestrians and drivers. . . Read more
Sanjena Sathian
Sunday in the Park

An annual celebration of New Haven’s Edgerton Park.

Cars line both side of the road in front of New Haven’s Edgerton Park today. A jogger slows down, removes his headphones and peers over the wall to see what’s going on. I look with him. We see the top of a red inflatable slide, just visible among the canopy of maple trees. We hear the giggles of children melting into a faint ensemble of trumpet and oboe playing in the distance. “Sunday in the Park” takes place annually in Edgerton Park, a 22-acre site. . . Read more
Helen Gao
Hurting Enough

A tattoo artist named Duck helps one Yalie confront his fear of needles.

I hate needles. Always have. The goriest shoot-’em-up movies and the grisliest burn-victim photos don’t faze me, but I shudder at the mere thought of any implement that pierces, pricks, rends, or tears. And the idea of people subjecting themselves to said implements willingly has always occupied a special place in the pantheon of Things That Freak Me Out. Back in fourth grade art class, documentary videos on African scarification sent me staggering to the restroom; self-injury presentations in high school filled my head with. . . Read more
Cory Finley
Separating the Men from the Boys

A look at a WGSS class on what it means to be a man.

He is outstandingly handsome and robust, very masculine. This is The American Heritage Dictionary’s example sentence for the word “masculine.” It’s the kind of sentence that’s intended to elucidate, to enlighten. It’s the kind your high school English teacher makes you write on tests to prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you know the meaning of the word. Masculine equals handsome plus robust. Outstandingly so. The wise men of a new WGSS class. Brianne Bowen Does America really define masculinity this way? Does. . . Read more
Emily Rappaport
How to Succeed at Craigslist – 0$ OBO

A ‘been-there’ guide for the cash-strapped interior decorator.

Date: 2010-10-15, 2:25PM EDT Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?] A ‘been-there’ guide for the cash-strapped interior decorator: There are some great things about shopping in traditional stores: the consistency of selection and pricing; the choice to pay by cash, credit, check, or coupon; that warm sense of security you get approaching the register, confident in a safe transaction.  You know the feeling, you’ve walked those aisles. But especially for broke college kids, getting a good deal trumps all safety standards and concerns about. . . Read more
Bay Gross
Night Drive

A father and his daughter drive down Arizona’s roads.

Six biomes. Jacque Feldman The thing to do in my hometown, if it was a weekend and you weren’t old enough to drive, was a movie at the local mall. You might grab a slice of pizza first, but in any case, you needed a ride. Usually, the responsibility for my friends and me fell to Julia’s dad, a quiet guy with a moustache and thick glasses. Over the course of many ten-minute drives, he became privy to all the conspiracy theories and crushes that. . . Read more
Jacqueline Feldman
Pledging Allegiance

Gangs, drugs, violence, and the youth of New Haven.

A dangerous game. Jane Long Vanessa West, a heavyset 15-year-old from New Haven’s Newhallville neighborhood, has strings woven into her black cornrows. The strings are red, the color of the Bloods, a national drug gang with roots in California and members all over the country – including many in New Haven. West wears a red and black plastic belt, a red necklace, and two plastic buttons on her shirt, each with a picture of a young black man, and the words “Rest in Peace” in. . . Read more
Ali Weiner
One Man’s Trash

Yalies eat garbage, by choice? another man's treasure. Aliyya Swaby As I hoisted myself into the dumpster, I could tell by the bulging garbage bags inside that we were in luck.  My guides for the night, two Yalies who live off-campus, were already tearing the bags apart in search of food to restock their refrigerator. At first, everything looked inedible, but when I began sorting through the bags, I quickly learned how to pick out the gems. Unbroken packaged items are usually safe. Meat is only good “in winter,. . . Read more
Aliyya Swaby