A Pile of Shards

September 8, 2013
The only time I pass for Chinese is when I speak on the phone. This June, I called the Fashionable Orchid Hotel in Ji’an, a city across the border from North Korea, and asked if they took foreigners. She was puzzled. I told her I was a foreigner. She paused, confused. “Do you have a »

Portrait of a Communist

April 4, 2012
His remembrances … are valuable for old and young alike, for they are a lesson of principle activity under difficult conditions in the cause of humanitarianism, against racism, for peace, labor unity, and radical social change. -Joelle Fishman, forward to Saul Kreas: My Life and Struggle for a Better World Thirty-seven Howe Street, or the »

Revolution in New Haven

December 7, 2011
Of all the things that make a trip to New Haven’s Apple store so unique, the most arresting feature has to be the white, white light that pours out each evening from the store’s floor-to-ceiling glass faÇade, as though challenging the blackness of night in a hand-to-hand combat to the death. It wins the sidewalk »

How Yale Press Took Over Art Publishing

April 13, 2011
Enter the reception room for Yale University Press’s New Haven office, and, for a second, you might think you’ve wandered into the parlor of a country gentleman’s estate. You’d certainly think so if you saw the mirror on the right wall, whose gold-painted frame is chipped and scuffed just enough to bestow it with an »
Personal Essay

On Being Cold

February 3, 2011
We were well clothed, and, though sitting close to the fire, were far from too warm; yet these naked savages, though further off, were observed, to our great surprise, to be streaming with perspiration at undergoing such a roasting.” — Charles Darwin, The Voyage of the Beagle, entry dated December 22, 1834 The rain is »

Yale Entrepreneurs: Start Up, Drop Out?

December 17, 2010
It’s May 2009, and Leon Noel has an idea. As a Yale junior studying biological anthropology, he’s spent much time standing outside Commons in vain attempts to get people to spit in cups for his research studies. He’s gone as far as bribing people with money or Gatorade, but he still can’t draw enough participants. »