Places

We Did Not Belong in Okinawa

Okinawa knew what to do with monsters.

Undercaffeinated

Hospitality is supposed to be a Russian tradition, but finding food in stores is increasingly difficult. Any generosity is bound to erode from lack.

Jul 08, 2021
What Does It Mean to Be “Made” Somewhere?

In Italy, I learned to stop searching for an authentic, fixed self, or an automatic kinship with the Chinese diasporic community—especially in a globalized world.

Jul 06, 2021
Coming Out, as Told by Florida Wildlife

Can you still hear us? We’re drowning the state in our chirps tonight if you’d care to sing along.

Jun 22, 2021
Our Hair: How I Found Community and Coconut Oil in France

Across the thousands of miles, and the hundreds of years of historical and cultural distance, Albertine and I had our hair in common.

Jun 21, 2021
The Perils of Academic “Potential”

We don’t need to accept potential as currently defined. We can change the questions we ask, the learning environments we create.

Who Gets to Travel to “Find Themselves”?

The spirit of manifest destiny has been rebranded into the travelogue.

May 13, 2021
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