Places

The Whole Country Is Fighting: A Dispatch from Ukraine

“The whole country is fighting,” one of my relatives told me. It was a throwaway remark, but it was the most apt thing I heard that weekend in Ukraine.

Dec 06, 2022
Why Advertising Feels Like a Form of Urban Pollution

The problem isn’t encountering text, or even a lot of it. It’s the text that we encounter, the how and why of its coming to be.

Nov 30, 2022
Revenge Travel Helped Me Learn to Manage My Anxiety

Though I estranged myself from my toxic family, their hold on my mind still needed to let me go. So I got on a plane and left.

Nov 28, 2022
Reading Joan Didion Taught Me How to Not Write About Hawaiʻi

Didion depicts Hawaiʻi as a place that exists solely in the white American imagination, and, because of this, her journalism is a fiction.

Nov 14, 2022
The Language of Plants Was Shaped By a Colonial Past

The more elaborate my mother’s garden grew, the more elided was the strenuousness of her efforts.

Oct 05, 2022
Always Check the Bathrooms

Whenever I’ve found someone passed out in a bathroom as a bartender, it’s because they’ve well exceeded their personal limit with alcohol. I also can’t help but think it’s because there’s been too little of something else.

Jul 27, 2022
Save a Life, Drink Outside

Protecting each other from harm? Caring about one another even when it’s hard? Is it too corny to say that I’ll drink to that?

Jul 19, 2022
Small Patches of America: When America’s Suburban Romance Is Undone

In other words, the suburbs are equated with whiteness because they were designed to be.

Jun 30, 2022
Austria Is Offering Citizenship to Descendants of Jews Exiled During Nazi Occupation. Is That Enough?

This right to return offered to Jews makes me think about who is entitled to join Europe and who is not.

Jun 21, 2022
Finding Warmth and Welcome as an Immigrant in Iceland

If I approached my immigration experience the same way people approach a start-up, maybe I could optimize the amount of time it took me to integrate.

Jun 15, 2022
Studying Nuclear Policy Without Being Engulfed By Fear

Like most people born just as the Cold War was ending, I learned about nuclear weapons in the past tense.

Jun 13, 2022
As a Teacher in a Pandemic, Where Does Work End and I Begin?

Integrating the personal with the professional was helpful in the chaos of 2020. But by 2021, I often lost track of whether I was a teacher or a therapist.

May 26, 2022
On Hiking Alone

Here is my official statement on why I do most things alone: I am a lone wolf. I am comfortable with myself. Here is another explanation: There is something about me that is fundamentally unlikeable.

May 24, 2022
The Coyotes in the HOA

Maybe we are the coyotes. We’ve invaded those tidy realms of whiteness, and we did not duck our heads. We acted like we owned the place.

May 03, 2022
Why Are “Good” College-Application Essays So Awful to Read?

For many, our education in first-person writing begins with the college application essay, which rewards uplifting narratives with neat-bow conclusions. This is a bad thing.

Apr 20, 2022
A Final Kampai for Angel’s Share, My Favorite Bar in New York

Why not form friendship around a love of good drink, openness, and a desire to treat each other with fairness?

Teachers Are Told to Ignore Their Bodies, But Chronic Pain Made Me Listen to Mine

I have never been as vulnerable with students as I was then, having to tell the fifth graders I was in pain.

Mar 23, 2022
Hiking Through the Colonial History of America’s National Parks

There’s a religious ring to the language of appreciating public lands in America. But, as a South Asian woman and a first-generation immigrant, I am not a welcome pilgrim.

Mar 09, 2022