Places

What I Learned from My Father, the Pink-Collar Worker

As a black man in the field of social work, my dad was, as a white female coworker of his once put it, “like a fly in buttermilk.”

Aug 08, 2018
My Life in Iran Under Sanctions

I’d get up at six a.m. every Saturday, to be at the drugstore by seven. There I could fill my father's chemotherapy prescription.

Jul 31, 2018
Considering My Debt to Istanbul in the Wake of the Elections

“Today’s Turkey is a place where about half of the population is utterly dismayed by the state of affairs, while the other half couldn’t be more thrilled.”

Jul 18, 2018
How Immigrant Sculptors Shaped an Artists’ Hub Called Kumartuli

This “heritage site” has been home to my family since the 1940s.

Jul 12, 2018
To Volcanoes (at Gmail), with Love

What a strange place the internet is, where we can reach a stranger by the slip of a key—or get their mail.

Jul 09, 2018
Joan of Arc: The Girl Who Saves Cities

Statues and monuments tell us about ourselves mostly, what we hope to remember and be remembered by.

Jun 26, 2018
A Profound Desert Monument, or the Most Useless Tunnel in the World?

Burro was regarded by his contemporaries as a crazy person.

Jun 21, 2018
How a Lake and Former Coal Mine Can Help Us Think About Fossil Fuels, Renewable Energy, and How We Seek to Control Temperature

Collecting and burning wood, I felt close to my family. It was something tangible, something that kept us warm.

Jun 14, 2018
A Resilient Istanbul Nightlife Despite Sobering Liquor Taxes

An inverse relationship between the price of a drink and Turkey’s stability.

Jun 14, 2018
Wrack Line: Life After Hurricane Harvey, in Houstonians’ Own Words

“One in ten people in Houston is undocumented. And for them the storm is scary on many levels.”

Jun 11, 2018
Finding Peace at the Rothko Chapel: What Local Arts Can Teach Us About Our Cities—and Ourselves

In Houston, as with everywhere else, the arts serve as tiny lifeboats—and sometimes, if we’re lucky, we all find ourselves floating together.

Jun 11, 2018
The Year of Mercy: Too Far Gone on the California Coast

Misfits, outliers, drifters have always lived by the sea and at the mercy of the elements.

Jun 05, 2018
The Rodeo: A Holdover from Texas Lore, and Part of the Changing Story Houston Tells About Itself

If traditions like the rodeo can accommodate Houston’s diversity, whole new traditions will be formed—leaving us with something even better.

May 23, 2018
When You Have to Quit Your Dream Job to Pursue Your Dream

After I left, everything became clearer, in the way that a breakup can clarify a toxic relationship; put things in sharp relief.

May 17, 2018
Stitches of Love: Photographing Deceased Neonates

“I take these photographs so she’ll be able to remember the time when she had two heartbeats. Tears bucket down her face.”

Mourning My Birthplace: On Immigration, Family, and the Distance in Between

“When you’ve spent your life apart from a loved one, what prepares you for not knowing how to mourn?”

May 07, 2018
Old and New Turkey Square Off

“Turkey remains a country too complex and rich to split into tired binaries of east/west, secular/religious, and Old/New.”

May 03, 2018
Manhattan’s Vanished Little Syria, and the Work of Preserving My Family’s History

Raji Lian, my great-grandfather, came over from Syria in 1899.

May 02, 2018
Untimely Immigrants: My Family Within and Without, From Brazil to the United States

Each time I am lured by the mirage of progress, someone knocks at the door and I am reminded of being thirteen and having nightmares about ICE at our door.

May 01, 2018
Eight US States Have an Official State Firearm

The state bird of Alabama is the yellowhammer, and the state game bird is the turkey. One bird for beauty, and one to blow up.

Apr 25, 2018