Places

Bodh Gaya Sells “Enlightenment” to Tourists—It Sold Me a Philly Cheesesteak

My heart is set on the Philly cheesesteak—the only one, I’m certain, to be found in India.

Oct 22, 2020
When Your Country Calls You an Alien

Sometimes, the word “belonging” feels more apt when snapped into two: be longing.

Oct 07, 2020
Three Generations of Elizabeths, Breast Cancer, and Self-Preservation

When your maternal grandmother dies from breast cancer, there’s this strange intersection between her health and your mother’s health and yours.

Oct 05, 2020
An Ode to Poorly Lit Dressing Rooms

Dressing rooms were only special because of how we used them to quietly become human.

What Public Bathrooms Taught Me

The problem, of course, is that the public toilet involves doing the private in public.

Sep 24, 2020
I Loved My Job as a Bookseller—Then Covid-19 Transformed It

Every time I tell a customer that we’re not open for browsing, I know I am reminding them of how Covid-19 has disrupted our rhythms and routines, robbed us of numerous small pleasures.

Sep 16, 2020
The Champawat Tiger

“The borders don’t even matter,” Kartik said. “The British just made them up.”

Aug 04, 2020
What I Carry in My Bag of American Dreams

When we decided to immigrate to the US from Iran, I thought I was ready to face any possible hard times ahead—but there was still so much I had to learn about living.

Jul 21, 2020
Finding Myself in the Museum of Chinese in America

Chineseness became a part of my heritage I could name but didn’t really understand.

May 14, 2020
Why We Need Hospitality—Before, During, and After the Pandemic

As someone with over ten years in the industry, I still make $4.95/hour—plus tips.

Apr 22, 2020
Amid a Pandemic, Finding Rootedness in An Urban Forest

When I walk the dog or run errands, I pay attention to the trees around me. It roots me in the now.

Apr 15, 2020
Finding Biodiversity (and Chocolate) in the Forests of Ecuador

As a person who spends a lot of her time reading, writing, and teaching about endangered creatures and environments, I craved something hopeful.

Apr 08, 2020
By Us, for Us: Why WOC-Owned Bookstores Must Survive

When this pandemic is over, we hope to reopen our doors and offer comfort and sanctuary to our communities—as women of color so often have.

All That I Can’t Carry

The life of my Lolo and my family in the Philippines is a deep reminder that people live full lives there and places like it, across the globe.

Mar 30, 2020
Shocked Quartz: Traveling with a Chronic Illness

Will the vertigo again become acute? Will the stress of this, or some root cause that spurs it, end my life before it might otherwise end?

Mar 26, 2020
My Higher Power Is an Airport

The forces of air travel are virtually unknowable and immense, and we ourselves are small. I find a sort of peace in that.

How a Black Girl Learned To Fly

As the plane began to taxi, the first line of the comic Riri Williams: Ironheart #1 danced in my mind: “I was never meant to fly.”

In Search of Wonder in Iseyin

It’s Nigeria, after all. Hope is what keeps many alive. In plethora of sufferings and fears, prayers abound.

Feb 20, 2020
For My Immigrant Parents, a Vacation Is a Reprieve from Labor—for Me, It’s a Time to Work

My parents wanted to give me opportunities that they never had, to let me participate in bizarre American rites of passage.

Nov 21, 2019
A Nigerian’s Field Guide to Survival in Positano

We pass other boats and, from each one, there is the double-take, a stare. Two boats full of only black people is apparently a rare sight.

Oct 23, 2019