Places

Learning to Hate Yourself in Los Angeles

They told me, “Gay people are all in WeHo. There are no gay people in Inglewood.” To be gay was not only to be Other, but to be white.

May 05, 2021
To All the Coffeeshops I’ve Called Home

I drove past the third places that I’d grown up in and, through the eyes of an adult, saw a person shaped by spaces that are in-between.

What Home Staging Showed Me About Housing in America

Home staging is a privileged kind of precariousness.

Apr 26, 2021
A Black Physicist Is Borne Back Ceaselessly Into the Past

I want to live in a world where I can be a physicist without also being asked to speak on or compensate for the persistent racism of institutions.

I Will Always Be Able to Find My Father in the West

Out on the road and in the great outdoors my dad and I discovered we were more like each other than we believed.

Feb 05, 2021
As If You and I Agree

It’s relieving when you find someone who feels the same way you do about Covid-19 risk and public safety. But what about those who disagree?

Nov 10, 2020
My Own Personal Contagion

My German cockroach infestation, almost too good a pandemic allegory, forced me to confront the question of how much I could bear from New York City.

Oct 26, 2020
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.