Yale’s Most Daring Publication Volume LXXXVII | Issue 5 February 21, 2020
Dining with Yale’s most imaginative student chef.
Subsidizing CT’s flood-threatened Gold Coast.
Matching love(rs) with data.
Dishing the dirt on American Dirt.
February 21, 2020
EDITORIAL STAFF EDITORS-IN-CHIEF Kat Corfman & Eric Krebs MANAGING EDITORS Rachel Calcott, Hamzah Jhaveri, Chie Xu (at large) EXECUTIVE EDITORS Marina Albanese, Chalay Chalermkraivuth, Nurit Chinn, Fiona Drenttel, Jack Kyono, Laurie Roark FEATURES EDITORS Elliot Lewis & Macrina Wang CULTURE EDITORS McKinsey Crozier & Caramia Putman VOICES EDITORS Lakshmi Amin & Edie Abraham-Macht REVIEWS EDITORS EDITORS Adhya Beesam & Isaac Pross SCI+TECH EDITOR EDITOR Krish Maypole
ARTS EDITOR EDITOR Farid Djamalov
from the editors ☛ Dear beloved reader, Shhhhh. Don’t tell anyone I’m here . . . I’m writing from the road, on the run—it’s not always easy, being (at large). But what better time to plug the Herald than from behind a newspaper on a park bench, finally actualizing what my philosophy major has truly prepared me for: pretending to read(?). At the center of this week’s issue, Jack Kyono, PC ’20, investigates Connecticut’s quasi-subsidies of wealthy residents’ shoreline properties on the state’s Gold Coast. Though the properties are threatened by rising seas and increasing likelihood of hurricanes, homeowners— and the state—continue to invest in the lavish lifestyle of the Sound. On further controversies, Arun Sharma, PC ’20, writes an incisive commentary on popular outrage following the publication of American Dirt, shedding light on how far the argument for writing from experience can stretch. Through a discussion on the purpose of fiction, Sharma develops a more nuanced take on the question “Why was American Dirt so bad?” While on the subject of things we hate, a few of our pieces this week feature love: Daniel Yadin, MC ’21, muses on the successes and failures of newer data-driven matchmaking sites, like Datamatch and Orbit. Flip to his piece for a light, funny, and ever-so-self-deprecating look into dating at Yale. Julia Leatham, MY ’21, visits gourmet chef Annie Cheng’s, ES ’20, cozy Dwight Street pad for a four-course Valentine’s Day dinner. Along with star mixologist Lauren Lee, PC ’21, the two women have managed to design the ultimate underground dining experience, and give the Herald an inside glimpse into the delights and challenges of their work. We hope you enjoy this issue as much as we enjoyed putting it together! Reach me with any comments via carrier pigeon.
INSERTS EDITORS Abby Lee & Kyle Mazer
Signing off with love, Chie Managing editor (at large)
COPY EDITORS Marc Harary, Avik Sarkar
DESIGN STAFF CREATIVE DIRECTOR DIRECTOR Rebecca Goldberg DESIGN EDITORS EDITORS Robert Samec, Kapp Singer, Xavier Ruiz
BUSINESS STAFF BUSINESS MANAGER MANAGER Michelle Tong
The Yale Herald is a not-for-profit, nonpartisan, incorporated student publication registered with the Yale College Dean’s Office. If you wish to subscribe to the Herald, please contact the Editors-in-Chief at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. Receive the Herald for one semester for 40 dollars, or for the academic year for 65 dollars. The Yale Herald is published by Yale College students, and Yale University is not responsible for its contents. All opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not reflect the views of The Yale Herald, Inc. or Yale University. Copyright ©2020 The Yale Herald.
week ahead ☛ Dragaret Underground Friday and Saturday, Feb. 21 & 22 Yale Cabaret ☛ Authenticating Figures: Algorithms and the New Politics of Recognition Monday, Feb. 24 Whitney Humanities Center ☛ Theology of Liberalism Thursday, Feb. 27, 4pm 53 Wall Street
In This Issue
06 sci+tech 12 front
Michael Holmes, Holmes PC ’21, takes a closer look at the father-son duo that has powered more than three decades of success in Yale’s Scientific Glassblowing Studio.
08 voices In the heat of summer, Silver Liftin, Liftin TC ’22, discovers an alternate universe. Hubert Pach, Pach SY ’22, describes a rude— and terrifying—awakening in a poem.
09 arts The Yale Herald talks power, institutions, and black-and-white photos with Palestinian-American, Florida-raised photographer Nabil Harb, Harb MFA ’21.
10,16 features After attending their four-course Valentine’s Day dinner, Julia Leatham, Leatham MY ’21, profiles campus gourmet chef Annie Cheng, Cheng ES ’20, and star mixologist, Lauren Lee, Lee PC ’21. Daniel Yadin, MC ’21, contemplates the recent boom in campus matchmaking apps and the space they fill on campus.
Jack Kyono, PC ’20, investigates Connecticut’s subsidies of wealthy residents’ properties on the Gold Coast. With floods and sea level-rise looming, how could the best investors in the world own the worst long-term investments?
18 culture Armed with a 24-pack of Red Bull, three Yale juniors plan to galavant through Europe for a week-long quest. Ian Moreau, Moreau PC ’21, finds out why. Why was American Dirt so bad? Arun Sharma, PC ’20, endeavors to answer Sharma this question in a discussion on the complex relationship between identity and authorship.
20 reviews M.D. Eliacik, MC ’22, praises the psychrock philosophy of The Slow Rush—the new album by Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker. Leo Egger, Egger TC ’23, uncovers the heart-wrenching realism of Yale Cabaret’s newest show, littleboy/littleman. In our weekly segment Harold Recommends, our good friend Harold gives a mends quick review of 10 pieces of media we like this week.
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inserts 1. The 2nd Floor Sig Nu Shower / Leo Hot Tub Me? Yeah, I was at that Sig Nu mixer. Oh, you didn’t see me? That’s because, while you were drowning in keg foam, I was drawing myself a bath. I taped the shower door shut, blocked the drain with my solo cup, and soaked in a sweet, sweet solution of vodka and water. After finishing up at 37 High St., I did some subtraction, and hit the Leo Hot Tub on 35 High. Why do they have a hot tub? I don’t know, and it should probably be illegal. But what’s another STI?
2. Ice Machines in the Basements As Yale students, sometimes we work out. Once a year, we also have sex. These activities make us sore and in desperate need of an ice bath. Luckily, when Elihu Yale founded this fine institution, he had a vision in mind: to arm every college basement with an ice-machine. Slap a “closed for maintenance” sign onto the front, get naked, get inside, and get frosty. Post bath, bring the ice up to your dorm and blend yourself a dirty margarita. You deserve it.
3. The Silliman Igloo Ever wondered what would happen if you flipped one of the Silliman igloos upside down? Well, it would look like a Silliman igloo but flipped upside down. But this would make it the perfect shape for a bathtub—coincidence? Not, I think. So, knock over that igloo, get a hose, fill it up, hop in, and bask in the glory of your own resourcefulness.
4. Morse/Stiles Kitchen Have you ever been to the kitchen of Morse and Stiles? I haven’t. They won’t accept the hand-drawn sticker on my ID. But, based on the daily hordes of feasters that gather there, I bet their sinks are huge. Hit them after hours, squeeze your ass in, and watch the dish soap bubble. While your limbs may dangle, and sink size might make bath sex a challenge, you can still pamper your mid-section and maybe play with a dirty fork or two if you’re feeling frisky. 5. Cross Campus in the Rain When it rains it pours. When it pours, God may take away our happiness and reason for living, but not without replacing it with a natural, Earth-borne bathtub. Whoever said “hips don’t lie” never laid their hips down against the stoned Cross Campus path in the rain and let the mineral soil and water soothe them like an angelic masseuse. Next time the weather app reads pouring, instead of excusing yourself from class to stay in bed, excuse yourself from class to lie next to that fucking flagpole and bathe beneath the Lord.
Everytime I step Barney-purple shower shoes-first into my entryway shower, I wish I were tits-deep in the ocean. Sometimes all we need to re-inspire that joie de vivre is a bath. A warm, skin-soothing, mind-fucking bath. You might think such perfection could be hard to achieve here at Yale, but in my time, I’ve found these places get the job done.
Top Five Places to Take Baths at Yale Kiran Sampath, PC ’21
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An Imagined Conversation between the Section Asshole and the Professor of My 9 a.m.
Oscar Lopez Aguirre, GH ’20
It’s a chilly, rainy, sad Thursday morning, the kind when you forget your umbrella at home because being miserable feels right. You slept in your clothes the night before knowing you wouldn’t shower before class and would wake up five minutes before your professor starts taking attendance in WLH 004. This basement fucking reeks. Someone is talking about how this random childhood memory relates directly to Dante’s Inferno when the section asshole opens his goddamn mouth... Asshole: I just thought it was interesting that. [Silence] Professor: That....what? A: No, that’s my full comment. P: So you have nothing to say about today’s readings? A: Okay, you and I both know that I never do the readings. I don’t even bother to Sparknotes them. I say, “Something I found interesting” or “To piggyback off that,” and then I just talk and talk until I notice that everyone is nodding in unison. P: Well, I guess I’ll let it slide every now and then— [Asshole looks sad, begins to pack bag. Professor remembers he has tenure.] P: Eh, you know what, scratch that, let’s do this every class for the rest of the semester. A: [excited] Really? I can’t wait to make the atmosphere more intimidating by using irrelevant buzz words like “Victorian, ” “modernist,” and “navigating the subaltern nation-state.” P: Ugh. Perfect. A: So we’re gonna turn this capped 18-person seminar into a one on one “conversation”? P: Yeah. Sure. A: I just wanted to make sure because I noticed that one guy who always raises his hand. You know that guy? As soon as he does, you say: “We should move on.” P: No, I notice him. It’s just that he asks a lot of questions. For real. Also, can you do me a favor and interrupt him every time he tries to begin a sentence? And also answer his questions even though they weren’t directed at you at all? A: No, yeah I was planning to do that anyway. Just another quick question. Do you or do you not want me to take out every pencil, pen, highlighter, marker, and owl feathered quill I own and lay them all across the table? P: Is it completely unnecessary? A: Yeah. P: Go right ahead...Professor. [He winks] A: Oh, Professor!
You live in the suite across the hall, right? Yeah, we actually have met before, but it’s okay if you don’t remember my name. We pass each other before your 10:30 Spanish class every morning, and we’re in the same FroCo group, but it’s totally cool that you don’t ever say hi. Anyway, I’m good if you were wondering. I failed my midterm, but it’s not your fault, really. It’s just that I did knock on your door and asked you to quiet down last night. Like, multiple times. Just out of curiosity, though, why was your game of Monopoly so loud? I’m not trying to judge you, really, it’s just once it hit 7:30 in the morning and I heard what I thought was a baseball bat hitting bare flesh, I thought it might have been a little excessive? I don’t know. It’s all good, though! Also, I’d appreciate it if you could maybe stop leaving your peanut shells all over the bathroom. I mean, you can eat peanuts, you do you, but I do still have that deathly allergy I mentioned. It’s ok if you don’t have time to clean it up, it’s just I’ve been at Yale Health for anaphylactic shock twice in the last two weeks. It’d be nice to be able to brush my teeth without wearing a gas mask for a change. But it’s all good! Oh, and I did want to thank you for not smoking in your common room last weekend. I’m glad you remembered that I asked you not to, you know, since my parents were coming to visit me and your weed is, like, SUPER loud. I’m just confused as to why you thought it would be better to smoke in my common room? It’s good though, it’s really good, really it is. It’s just that I may have to drop out because of it. Anyway, sorry for bothering you. I know you’ve got a lot on your plate, still being undecided about your major and all, eating all those peanuts and stuff. Just wanted you to know that if you don’t see me next semester because my parents are sending me to counseling, I’m good! Thanks for asking.
To My Floormate: I’m Good, Thanks For Asking
Ihea Inyama, TD ’22
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Breathing Life into Science Michael Holmes, PC ’21
If Daryl Smith had his way, he’d be in space. For a glassblower like Smith, the allure of life on an orbiting satellite isn’t the view or the freeze-dried ice cream; it’s the lack of gravity. Glassblowing revolves around a simple law: hot, softened glass flows down. When working on a spherical flask, for instance, Smith must continuously rotate his work to keep it from sagging under its own weight like a gum bubble. For complex shapes like the long, corkscrew pipes that fit inside of condensers, he may need to work in stages, giving each curl time to cool and harden before he moves on to the next. This understanding of the material could change drastically in the weightlessness of space. Corkscrews might coil around and around without collapsing. Blown spheres could retain their shapes without rotation, like water droplets. Designs like spider webs that would be near impossible on Earth could become as easy to produce as test tubes or marbles. The scientific glassblower could glide like Peter Pan through a tangle of molten glass strands, twisting tubes of borosilicate into intricate designs. “I just think that would be really, really cool. But you know, I’m 58 now,” Smith says with a chuckle. “They better hurry up!” While he waits for NASA to get its act together, he’ll have to settle for the cluttered confines of Yale’s Scientific Glass Shop. The two-man shop is at once a studio and a gallery. Completed filter funnels and round-bottom flasks compete for space on every shelf like heirlooms on a mantelpiece. Open drawers reveal bundles of glass tubes and joints, which will eventually be formed into Schlenk flasks or chromatography columns. Neat, machine-printed labels classify tubs of ace threads, flanges, valves, roto flasks, torch components. All around the room, metal buckets full of glittering scrap glass take the place of trash cans. A workbench dominates one wall, buried beneath glass bulbs, tweezers, and printed schematics for Smith’s five-student glassblowing course. Across from the workbench is some heavy machinery. An annealing oven, which relieves stresses placed on glass during the rapid heating and cooling. Two massive lathes, used for rating large tubes and unwieldy fixtures, are the
centerpieces of the room. By the door, a calendar displays a modified 1946 Willys Jeep as the vehicle of the month. Immediately adjacent is a bulletin board, empty aside from a scrap of paper that reads: “That which is common to the greatest number has the least care bestowed upon it.” Smith’s own workspace is a big square table in the corner covered with glass tubing. In a short-sleeved industrial work shirt and worn jeans, he is the quintessential technician. His safety glasses, personalized with clip-on reader lenses, are held in place with a black elastic band. He spends his days at the table, opposite his son and assistant, Preston. Father and son make up the entirety of the shop’s staff. As both men work intently at their glassblowing torches, twin flames dance in the violet lenses of their safety glasses. Smith is a man who knows a lot about fire. With one hand, he adjusts his torch, tweaking the ratio of methane and oxygen. In his other hand, he holds a glass spider with delicate needle legs and a body like a shooter marble. The glittering arachnid is a decorative piece in need of a simple repair. Smith twists a knob, increasing the flow of oxygen to his torch, and a guttering, orange-yellow flame becomes a hissing blue jet. He works by sight and sound alone. Once the fuel mixture is to his liking, he moves the spider carefully into the flame, rotating it to ensure even heating. With his free hand, he picks up a glass hook, placing its tip in the fire as well. After a moment, the hook end melts to the body of the spider. Smith removes the newly joined pieces and pulls his hands apart. The still-molten connection stretches like chewing gum. As color fades from the glass, Smith holds up the finished creation, which dangles from the hook at the end of a crystalline thread. Overhead, a speaker plays Smith’s Pandora station. The spider sways to the beat of The Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This).” Smith and his son specialize in much more than decorative spiders. Factory-produced test tubes and flasks may be readily available but, in many cases, Yale researchers require pieces that are
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a little more specialized. That’s where Smith comes in. The customers who visit the glass shop are looking for everything from test tubes of unique diameters to one-of-a-kind refluxing columns with specialized outlet joints. They don’t come away empty-handed. According to Julia Curley, GRD ’21, a fourth-year graduate student at one of Yale’s inorganic chemistry labs, the glassblower has a catchphrase. “If you ask if he can make something, he’ll say, ‘Is it made of glass?’” Smith’s confidence extends well beyond Yale’s campus. The shop ships pieces to nearly a dozen different universities, sending stopcock adapters and distillation heads to the University of Connecticut, Vanderbilt, the University of Rhode Island, and even the Coast Guard Academy. When it comes to collaborating with researchers, Smith is a perfect fit. “It’s a lot of just getting stuff done, and figuring it out, doing things efficiently,” his son, Preston Smith, tells me. Still, customers who come to Smith find him not only experienced, but excited to work with lab staff to design the perfect apparatus for their needs. Nick Smith (no relation), a fifth-year graduate researcher, recalls being impressed at how responsive the glassblower was. “He is incredibly and intimately familiar with just about anything that’s a standard scientific apparatus.” “He’s the type of person who, if you get introduced to him once, he’ll remember your name forever,” Curley says. For Daryl Smith, the most satisfying work has always been with his hands, even before it involved a torch. He graduated from college with a bachelor’s degree in aquaculture (“Y’know, fish farming?” Smith clarifies) and spent a year working a fish lift at the Conowingo Dam on the Lower Susquehanna River in Maryland. When he found himself competing for fishery jobs, he decided to return to college for a master’s degree. Researching possible schools, he caught wind of the scientific glass program at Salem Community College in southern New Jersey, the only one of its kind to this day. Drawn by the opportunity to work with his hands and play with fire, Smith never looked back. “At the end of the day, you can see the results of your la-
bor.” He gestures to a cluster of flasks balanced on top of the nearby annealing oven. “It’s an absolute: ‘Here’s what I did, here’s my worth in the world, take a look. It’s right there.” For 10 years, Smith made his way through a series of industry manufacturing companies in Pennsylvania and Delaware. He burned through his apprenticeship, completing the requisite 8,000 hours in less than four years. “It was a lot of overtime,” he laughs. Their house at the time was built in the late 1800s, with an accompanying barn. The barn would become Smith’s home workshop, and it’s where his son, Preston, learned the craft. As a child, Preston learned to tinker with glass bulbs and tubes, making rudimentary baubles and toys. “He used to take a rod and make little miniature golf clubs out of it,” his father remembers. It was the elder Smith’s first experience as an instructor. In 1995, after attending a presentation by Kontes Glass at a local glassblowers’ meeting, Smith joined the company, and the family moved to the “Glass Triangle”—southern New Jersey, the heart of the American glassblowing industry. It was a big transition in more than just location. Compared to Smith’s earlier shops, Kontes was a manufacturing behemoth, with hundreds of employees and the work separated across specialty departments. In those days, no news was good news. “We joked that if you send it out, if it doesn’t come back, it’s okay,” he recalls. “You only hear anything when something’s not right.” He stayed with Kontes for five years, ending up as a lamproom supervisor. In 2000, Smith learned that the instructional chair position for the Salem Community College glassblowing program was available. For another five years, he taught future glassblowers in the very same school that kick-started his career. And while he left the community college to work at Yale in 2005, teaching has remained a part of his life. As the instructor of Yale’s Introduction to Scientific Glassblowing course, Smith teaches by example. Situated behind one of the torches at the shop’s long workbench, he heats a length of glass tubing and blows into
“ The scientific glassblower would glide like Peter Pan through a tangle of molten glass strands, twisting tubes of borosilicate into intricate designs.”
one end. Five chemistry grad students observe over his shoulder. Black Sabbath’s Paranoid plays on the stereo, just audible over the hiss of the torch flames. When Smith blows, the dimly glowing glass bubbles out into a blister, which he lances with a hand tool. “Don’t put this in the fire a lot, because it does fume,” he says, nodding at the tool. He flicks the glass from the blister into a can of cullet. The film-thin snippet of glass is still hot enough that it sizzles against the other scraps in the can. Smith shows the students how to round off the edges of the hole left behind by the blister. “It’s that simple,” he says. The students chuckle. Watching Smith teach underscores the extreme level of care and specialization that an on-site scientific glassblower provides to a university. As the students get to work on their own projects—today’s assignment is a t-hose connection for rubber tubing—their beginner efforts only serve to make Smith’s own comfort with manipulating glass all the more apparent. And as questions arise, Smith always has an answer. “He’s incredibly familiar with any type of glassware that you could need for any particular function,” his student Julia Curley says. “If you tell him that you’re doing a reaction that produces a gas, he’ll immediately know that you can’t have it be a sealed reaction vessel because it would build up pressure.” Like most faculty and staff, Smith includes a signature at the end of every email he sends. It contains his official title, department, address, and contact information. And at the very end, there’s a quote: “If not for glass, science would be blind.” Over the course of his 33-year career, Smith has contributed a lot to research. He’s crafted NMR tubes to contain spectroscopy samples. He’s sculpted pedestals for brain specimens at the Yale School of Medicine and made replicas of ducks’ corkscrew reproductive systems out of coiled glass tubes. He’s worked with researchers at the CERN supercollider to produce quartz rods for sensors detecting Cherenkov light. Without scientific glassblowers like Smith, it seems science would be lacking much more than just sight.
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The Universe Silver Liftin, TC ’22 The lake is a Universe on some days. The grass and the water coated gently with the gauze of the sun which, touching the living things that hum around it, comes alive. The ferns sway alongside the biggest tree: the mother that dips and twists in the heart of a Universe. The Universe! There has been a bell which orchestrates a Sunday. One nailed-down mark in blurry otherwise. Millions of footfalls from teenagers. Each has dirty feet and the currency needed to enter the Universe. Some find the water immediately, while others are content to sit on the hill and look down. Their bodies lie. Their hands flitter and their mouths are full and delicious delusions are packed into their ears like beeswax. They all strip to swim eventually and their dips and bones collect shadows and yellow honey light. Skin covered in fuzz catches the light and glows like it wants to be kissed. No one is married in the Universe. Everyone can kiss everyone; how small the world seems when they swim in the Universe. Something beyond the Universe, something godly, notices a body and watches as it rolls in the grass. Even as eternity exists for some, the best is fresh ignorance, and true eternities are filled with too much, too much. The insects are caught in the frenzy and they become excited! They are drawn to the sweat and the spots on the skin designated for freckle-growing later on. They slam themselves against the teenagers and spin away drunk. They spiral in the shape of corkscrews or halos and the teenagers throw up their hands and bat clumsily at them mid-conversation: eyes squinting, brows scrunching. The teenagers are basking or running or jumping, continuous motions conducting their bodies while their minds lag behind with less control. The Universe is seasonal. Everything grows and orbits in the summer and then dies. Some things die and come back unchanged. Some don’t come back at all. The teenagers return to the reborn grasses and the insects and they slide back into the Universe, the thing they will yearn for all their lives. In the Universe there exists infinity: there is no end or wall to be seen. Time is dirty thoughts and dreading classrooms—and still, for the next ones and the next ones, all will always be well under the breeze of the Universe.
Morning Hubert Pach, SY ’22 I awake immobile. Make any move and the world will fall apart, Along with all the schemas we devised; An insatiable heart, not my own, batters my insides, leads revolutions. An existence between blink and breath, A mind with quick, cycling resolutions. Next to me a man stirs from partial death. His stoic shadow rises on the wall, Comes towards me in a crawl, Hovers over me for an eternal moment, And in a deadly second becomes omnipotent. The young man gives my corpse a shake; Little known to him how long I’d been awake.
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Artist Talks: Nabil Harb YH Staff
This week, the Yale Herald sat down with Nabil Harb, MFA ’21, a photography student. Harb is a Palestinian-American photographer born and raised in central Florida. His most recent work deals with abandoned institutions from his home county.
YH: Can you describe your most recent body of work? NH: NH: It’s a new body of work I’ve been making since being here [at Yale]. It’s just been me going into this old abandoned jail in Polk County, Fla., where I’m from. So I photographed in there, I photographed in the medical examiner’s office in Polk County and then in a historic courthouse. It was about going behind the scenes into basements, into back storage closets. The whole jail is basically a storage area now. I’m photographing to track history, to think about these spaces as obvious sources of power and understanding how these spaces and
institutions have shaped the society around us. I’m trying to get to the center of that. I’ve made a lot of work in Polk County, and it’s all around the topic of power. It’s kind of haunting—it’s in black-and-white, some flash involved. YH: YH: What are the implications of their being abandoned places as opposed to active ones? NH: NH: Two fold. One: for practicality purposes. I wasn’t really interested in photographing an active jail because I don’t want to photograph inmates. I’m not interested in representing specific individuals, but rather the marks they made in those spaces. It would be so much more difficult to photograph in an active jail. There would be a lot more hoops to jump through, but then again, it speaks a lot more to history. They still have markings on the wall for how many inmates were in this block, how many suicide attempts happened in a given week, and how many people were on medical watch. It’s weird—I get to just step in. For a photographer,
it’s more fun to go in a space that’s empty because I can create a story, or maybe I can allow it to lead me unencumbered because it’s me, alone in this space, getting connected. It feels more meditative when I’m alone. I can imagine how, if it was active, it would be more hectic and stressful and I’d feel the pressure of the time limit. YH: YH: How does black-and-white photography help you better convey your stories? NH: NH: I shoot in digital. I’m starting to shoot film now for another project, but I like using black and white because of its relationship to history. A lot of canon documentary photographers use black and white. There’s this relationship between black-andwhite photography and fact and truth. Documentary work aims to show you something objectively, and I wanted to play with the objective/subjective push and pull that happens in photography. For practical reasons, I like the way black-and-white photography evens out all the lighting. A light from the bulb in a prison turns into the same quality of light that my flash is releasing. It unifies a lot of elements formally. YH: YH: As a Palestinian-American photographer from central Florida, how has your upbringing shaped your conception of art. How do you relate to what you depict and how you depict it? NH: NH: I studied anthropology in undergrad. I transitioned to photography because I realized that photography would allow me to talk about what I want to talk about, the way I want to talk about it. There’s a guise of objectivity in anthropological work that is so falsified. It’s still very subjective work—the ethnographer or anthropologist is just as biased as anyone with a camera. There’s this veil of “we pretend that we know what’s actually happening,” and there’s no room for subjectivity, because then your work is invalidated. Photography embraces subjectivity in a way that I find really productive and honest. I use that to dig into the concerns of where I was from, starting with Polk County. Being from there has given me a healthy amount of skepticism towards the art world.
As an artist from central Florida, trying to relate myself to the larger art world in New York, for instance, feels like [New York art scenes] are truly out of touch. It feels like, a lot of the time, New York art scenes are only interested in themselves, and if you leave that city, they don’t really care—especially when it comes to queer issues, which a lot of my work used to revolve around. It felt like I would see queer photographers in New York City making work that felt tone-deaf. There’s all this talk about what HIV and AIDS was in the art world in the ’80s and ’90s, but rarely have I found people that talk about it in a contemporary way. This is why places like Visual AIDS in New York City are so important. In Polk County, HIV contraction rates are still rising. It was frustrating to go to an art show in New York about AIDS that talks about what AIDS used to be. We still have that problem, big time! You add a Palestinian identity on top of all of that… I was hoping that, by coming to this school, I could stretch out the narrative, decenter it, and try to have this conversation about queer people of color’s issues somewhere else. YH: YH: On the note of bringing a new voice, what do you hope that your work communicates to others? NH: NH: I guess I’m still trying to figure that out. I know that, on the base level, it’s just trying to get people to think, “What would it be like to live somewhere else? What would it be like to live in Polk County and be gay? Or queer, or trans, or Palistinian, or black, or whatever?” Where I’m from is a bizarrely diverse place, and you wouldn’t expect it—I hope that people can start to consider that. I know that an MFA program here is full of students from LA, Chicago, and New York, and I know that those people come from other places and go to these schools, but I came from “another place.” I very much try to drag that with me here. I want people to reckon with the fact that people live differently in other places, and those other places are in this country. People in this country still have problems that we take for granted. I’m just trying to figure that out, and hopefully it works.
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Head-to-Tail, Fin-to-Scale, Root-to-Fruit
Julia Leatham, MY ’21 “It’s really not that deep. I like to cook,” Annie Cheng, ES ’20, told me when I asked about the multi-course dinners she regularly hosts out of her Dwight Street apartment. Last week, for Valentine’s Day, Cheng prepared eight private seating dinners over the course of four days. The meal opened with a French charcuterie board including a thick slice of brie drizzled in honey, three types of meat, walnuts, fig jam, and a bread basket. My younger sister smiled across from me at the candlelit table, the pink flush of her cheeks receding in the warm room. Her words moved as quick as her hand to the bread, trying each of the toppings as she meandered through stories of her first semester at college. We sat at a two-top table in Cheng’s living room, the walls collaged with artwork and jazz music playing lightly in the background. The ambiance was as comfortable as this easy conversation between sisters. Dining experience is a high priority for Cheng. “I’m less interested in amazing food than I am in amazing restaurant spaces. I’d love to create a community-oriented space where organizers would come,” she said. Throughout our conversation, Cheng reiterated this interest in activism as well as in ethical food consumption and production. She is particularly interested in fair pay for workers and minding the humanity behind every level of food production. “Organic food means more than just ‘organic food.’ It means no pesticides are harming the farmers working with it or the people who are picking it. It’s a system that cycles down to the workers.” As a double major in ER&M and Political Science with a concentration in food and the environment, Cheng cares deeply about all aspects of food, from growing it to serving it. Similarly, cooking without waste is a top priority. She uses all parts of her ingredients. “I used to have worms, too, but they died in the winter squall.” Simply put, her mentality is “head-to-tail, fin-to-scale, root-tofruit,” as she notes in the bio of her cooking-related Instagram @achg.kitchen. Another Valentine’s Day diner, Elisabeth Siegel, MY ’20, gushed about the evening. “[Annie is] just really amazing at putting the food together and combining everything into a cohesive menu,” she said. “The food was so, so good. Literally she made these whole shrimp that were the best shrimp [my boyfriend] and I had ever had.” The shrimp (grilled in curry jus) were served alongside seared scallops in a blood orange XO sauce. The two dishes
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together made up one of four courses served after our charcuterie board. This first course was named “first sight” in honor of Valentines Day. On deciding to host dinners for the holiday, Cheng replies: “I love love.” The second course, “in like,” included a roasted beet and burrata salad with citrus vinaigrette as well as truffle fries and a pot of garlic aioli for dipping. Every dish—down to the sauce—is made from scratch, designed by Cheng, who draws on her familiarity with food to craft dishes rather than from explicit recipes. She has worked in restaurants since she was 15 years old. In addition to line-prepping at fast casual restaurants when she was younger, she now works at Tarry Lodge in New Haven and receives mentorship from the chef. After graduating, she will work front-ofhouse at Blue Hill Farm, a fine-dining restaurant in Tarrytown, NY. The third course of the meal—named “in love,” naturally—consisted of a lamb ragu pappardelle with tomato chili oil. The lamb was slow cooked for 16 hours, only one element of laborious preparations that typically require weeks of foresight. Cheng crafts the menus herself, taking care to pair flavors within and across dishes for a unique meal over multiple courses. After designing a menu, she shops for her ingredients, being mindful of their source. For Italian food ingredients in particular, she loves to shop at Ferraro’s Market, a family owned grocery in New Haven. Once she has the ingredients, she often has to prep certain items ahead of time so she can work quicker during the event as she completes all the cooking alone. Recently, Cheng teamed up with Lauren Lee, PC ’21, who provides signature cocktails pairings to match Cheng’s meal design. Lee’s interest in drink design and bartending began with the TIPS course offered through Yale her first year, the same year she met Cheng. The two became friends, but not on the grounds of their food-industry interests. After the certification course, Lee continued exploring recipes on her own, jotting down her original creations whenever inspiration struck. Like Cheng, Lee’s education was largely self-directed. She watched YouTube videos on craft cocktail making, and read books and articles on the subject. On her own, she bought ingredients and tested out flavor combinations. In addition to self-study, Lee spent a year away from Yale living in Seoul, South Korea, where she worked in the bar. Her original recipe book is now going on 80 pages long—combined
with online archives, her cocktail list includes nearly 4,000 different drinks. The drinks (which can be perused on her Instagram @barphenomenology) bear names as delicious as their taste. Her recipes are detailed and interlace long lists of ingredients. To give a feel for their intricacy, her original drink “A Gentleman or a Lady” is made with hibiscus-infused tequila, blood orange liqueur, lemon and lime juice, cranberry kombucha and agave syrup topped with a maraschino cherry and a dehydrated lime wheel as garnish. Lee is a self-proclaimed “maximalist,” saying she uses her concoctions as a way to find “comfort with complexity.” Other drinks she’s designed feature trendy and romantic names like “VSCO Girl” (a matcha and absinthe-based drink with toasted marshmallow garnish), “Saint Cecilia” (a fruity symphony in honor of the patron saint of musicians), and “The Poet’s Answer” (a brandy-based citrus cocktail with orange wheel garnish). Both Lee and Cheng said they initially spent time at Yale exploring various other interests, but were ultimately pulled back to cocktails and restaurants, respectively. Elaborate drinks and delicate recipes can seem glamorous and indulgent, in the way many creative endeavors glisten in their presentation. Cheng is quick to acknowledge this misconception, saying, “I don’t want to romanticize this. Kitchen work is grueling. It’s hard work; it’s hard on your body.” Many Yale students spend their time on campus with books and laptops, sitting down to crunch numbers or analyze texts. The idea of flitting around a kitchen, tasting and concocting delicious meals can seem like a dream to those unfamiliar with the realities of the work. As I spoke to Cheng before my meal, she was finishing preparations in the kitchen: lifting lids, wiping knives clean. She referenced a cookbook and pulled it from her shelf, summarizing the con-
cept of “lateral food pairings,” which refers to recognizing and becoming familiar with broad flavors like “umami,” “sweet,” “sour,” “salty,” and “bitter.” By knowing which ingredients create these flavors, one can learn how to substitute or combine them to make a dish into something new. “If you’re able to use those flavors together or replace them with each other, you’re able to get a different profile,” Cheng described. “For example, where Chinese cooks might use rice vinegar, a Spanish cook might use sherry. Understanding ingredients rather than reading recipes has been integral to my cooking.” The meal ended with a course called “in light,” a dessert selection of two dishes: a citrus olive oil cake with dark chocolate glaze and a yogurt mousse with basil drizzle and fresh berries. The flavors and textures layered delicately: sweet, bitter, tart. “Food brings people together. It’s really not that deep.”
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BEFORE THE FLOOD Climate Destruction and the Bailout of Connecticut’s Gold Coast
Jack Kyono, PC ’20 YH Staff
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The average house on Fairfield Beach Road in Fairfield, Conn., is big, beautiful, and expensive—several million dollars at the low end. Some houses are second homes, and many have been in the owners’ families for generations. Each property has a priceless real estate asset: a private beachfront on the Long Island Sound. On a fall evening in 2012, as Hurricane Sandy battered the East Coast, a few of these houses were swept into the Sound. For homeowners, it was a sign that the effects of climate change were already here, even in the richest county in Connecticut. Stephanie Thompson, a realtor who sells in the Fairfield Beach area, remembers the damage. “We had so many trees down, we were without power for over a week. . . . I mean, a lot of houses got knocked down,” she recalls. But the destruction didn’t push Stephanie out of business. “Did it affect sales on Fairfield Beach? No. Not at all,” she says. Warming oceans mean that storms like Sandy will be all the more common. And as glaciers melt and sea levels rise, the Sound will inch closer and closer to those houses along Fairfield Beach Road. According to CIRCA, a climate non-profit funded by the University of Connecticut (UConn) and the Connecticut state government, the Sound will rise 20 inches by 2050, putting coastal property in Connecticut further at risk of flooding and destruction. The numbers beg the question: How could the best investors in the world own some of the worst long-term investments? The answer: a little denial, and a lot of taxpayer dollars helping wealthy homeowners stay on the shore. Don’t You Know How Bad It’s Going to Be? For 18 years, Mitch and Jess McManus lived on a hill in the upland area of Fairfield, safely outside of the flood zone. But a few years ago, they moved directly onto the waterfront, at the end of Fairfield’s Harbor Road. The water is now a few yards from their window. “Why did you guys decide to move?” I ask the McManuses, sitting in their kitchen on a rainy day. Jess, a stay-at-home mom, smiles and waves her arm towards the large windows in the adjoining living room, through which we can see the water. “This!” she says. “The view.” “I think it was a lifestyle choice,” Mitch, a luxury car salesman, adds. “Rather than an investment, [it was a] value choice.” During Sandy, the McManuses’ old house was undamaged, but they weren’t blind to the destruction.
After the storm, Mitch and Jess went around town helping friends clear debris. “I had a pump,” Mitch says, “so I’d go from friend’s house to friend’s house to help them clear out their basements because they were completely filled with water.” Witnessing Sandy didn’t deter the McManuses from moving right onto the water. In fact, when I spoke to them, they seemed unsure as to how their new house fared during the hurricane. But Joan Hatheway, another resident of Harbor Road, does remember. “I don’t know the McManuses, but I have a dog, and there’s a dog park around there, so I know the area. And we saw those houses flood in the storm,” Joan tells me. The McManuses aren’t the only ones settling down right on the ocean. Brad Purcell, an investment manager, has lived on Fairfield Beach Road since 2007. He’s building a new property four houses down from his current home. During Sandy, Brad’s basement flooded with several feet of water and the sea rose right up to the back door, stopping inches from the main living area. Still, Brad doesn’t think people are wrong to move on from thinking about Sandy. While he readily admits that the climate is changing and storms are getting worse, he’s not concerned. “We haven’t had a big storm since Sandy,” Brad says. “People are starting to say, well, maybe that really was a 100-year storm and, yeah, we’ll have storms, but we’re not going to have another storm like Sandy.” The experts disagree. A few weeks before my conversation with Brad, the most important town officials, environmentalists, and academics working on coastal resiliency in Connecticut gathered in a conference room at Fairfield University, in the uphill part of town. The occasion was the first annual Resilient Connecticut Summit. From the first panel discussion, the tone was bleak. George Bradner, an official in the Connecticut Insurance Department, told the audience that a disaster worse than Sandy is on the horizon. “What keeps me up at night is that ’38 Express,” he said, referring to the 1938 New England Hurricane, which was a Category 3 storm when it hit Connecticut. (Hurricane Sandy was downgraded to just below Category 1, the lowest grade of hurricane, right before hitting Fairfield.) George continued, “It’s long overdue. The probability of an event like that is much more likely [now] than it was 80 years ago.” Lori Mathieu, an official in Connecticut’s Department of Public Health, agreed: “We love our little towns, and want to preserve them. But the Category 3 is coming.”
After assuring me that a storm like Sandy isn’t coming again anytime soon, Brad Purcell, the investor, asks me to pull up a website on my laptop, FloodIQ. com. If you enter an address, it shows its risk of flooding during a Category 1, 2, or 3 Hurricane. I type in Brad’s address and select Category 1. “We’re this little piece of land here,” Brad says, pointing to the one house not highlighted in blue or purple, which represent flooding levels, on Fairfield Beach Road. “And we’re still dry,” he says. I toggle the settings to show the impact of a Category 3, the type of storm that Lori Mathieu, the public health official, predicted is coming. Brad’s house on the map is now shaded deep purple, meaning three feet of flooding or more. Brad blinks at the screen, and settles back into his seat. “I would be very concerned about a Category 3, after living through what was almost a Category 1,” he tells me. “Having said that, would it change my decision to live on the beach? No. It would not.” Brad gazes out the window. “I look out here,” he says, “and it’s extraordinary.” Jump On the Money The night before Hurricane Sandy hit New England, Janet Megdadi-Sachs and Paul Sachs were at their son’s eighth birthday party. They’d heard the official suggestion that everyone in the flood zone in Fairfield—which included them—should evacuate, but
“I’m on a rant because the National Flood Insurance Program ticks me off.”
were planning to stay at home. They had survived Hurricane Irene the previous year and assumed it would be fine to stick around for this storm, too. But a friend at the party insisted they evacuate that same night, so the Megdadi-Sachses went to stay with their inlaws in Branford, Conn. They wouldn’t return to their home for 10 months. The flooding from Sandy was so severe in their neighborhood that several feet of water inundated their house—a standard two-story they had bought for $875,000 in 2007—and stood for two days before dissipating. Everything was ruined. But today, Janet, an executive at Visa, leads me around her house with glee, pointing out the improvements from their $700,000 post-Sandy renovation. “We chopped off the garage and put a two-story addition on,” she brags from the front lawn, where she points out where the original roofline was. “We almost doubled the square footage,” she says. Since renovating, the Megdadi-Sachses’ house is now worth $1.25 million, they estimate. The nearly 50-percent increase in their property value was not despite Sandy—it was the opposite. These improvements were possible because of the hurricane. “Sandy was like a blessing in disguise,” Janet says. After the storm ended, Janet and her husband Paul, a stay-at-home dad, started making phone calls—to the insurance companies; to FEMA affiliates; and to their neighbors, telling them to do the same. As soon as Hurricane Sandy was officially labelled a disaster by President Obama, disaster relief funds became available to families like the Megdadi-Sachses. Insurance provided through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) gave Janet and Paul $250,000, and a FEMA-backed 30-year, fixed 1-percent interest rate loan provided another $350,000. Janet and Paul supplied the rest from their own pockets, but the $100,000 they put up in cash was still less than the boost in overall property value. Janet says, “We just jumped on the money really quickly.” Janet and Paul see no problem with the amount of money they were given. “It’s the regulation behaving as it should,” Janet explains. It is in FEMA’s best interests, she says, if the houses that were destroyed are rebuilt in such a way that there’s no chance of floods destroying them again. The Megdadis-Sachses had to follow specific building instructions in order to qualify, including raising the home from its foundation. When I first arrived at their
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home, I had to walk up 14 steps to get to the front door. Janet is well aware that her family won the lottery with Sandy, while less fortunate families are still recovering. “The thing about the affluent neighborhood,” Janet says, “is the people in the affluent neighborhood know how to work the system. That’s why you end up with these crazy beachfront communities where there’s not a house under $2 million. . . . I don’t know if that’s good or bad, but that’s where we’re heading.” Selling the Dream The subsidized recovery from Sandy is part of the reason that more and more real estate value is being concentrated on the disappearing shoreline. But the main reason the shoreline is still crowded with mansions has to do with flood insurance. In the mid-’60s, there were no mansions on the coast in Connecticut, according to Diane Ifkovic, an expert in flood mitigation planning at the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP). Diane says, “When these houses were first built in the ’30s, the ’40s, whatever, they were little shacks that people went to in the summer. They had no heat; they barely had a toilet.” Storms smaller than Sandy would hit the coast, and the properties would be damaged. But Diane says it was never a big deal because the properties weren’t worth much anyway. She tells me, “Oh well, they blew away. You
put them back together with whatever blew up on the beach.” Today, there are no shacks in Fairfield, and the destruction posed by storms has higher stakes. For decades, the NFIP, the flood insurance program that bailed out the Megdadi-Sachses, has allowed people to build larger, higher-value houses in more flood-vulnerable areas. The NFIP was formed in 1968 with the dual purpose of creating an affordable policy for towns at risk for flood damage, and to curb development in areas designated as floodplains. Towns across the country could opt in to the program, and give their residents the opportunity to purchase flood insurance through the program, which has subsidized premiums, far cheaper than the rates suggested by actual flood risk. Isn’t it a good thing if insurance rates are low and people are protected from losing millions? According to Bruce Hyde, an expert in land use planning at UConn, the NFIP has been too good for homeowners. Bruce’s voice gets louder the longer we speak on the phone.“I’m sorry,” he says. “I’m on a rant because the National Flood Insurance Program ticks me off. Because what it did was it allowed people to build in places where they shouldn’t have built in the first place.” Connecticut is one of the only states in the country where every municipality participates in the NFIP. As part of its rules, if you buy a house in a flood-
plain with a mortgage, you are required to purchase flood insurance. This provision was supposed to discourage people from buying properties in floodplains, but according to Stephanie Thompson, the Fairfield realtor, as richer buyers bought increasingly expensive homes, insurance became an afterthought—a small price to pay to stay within regulations. “Those houses are in the million-dollar level anyway,” Stephanie says. “You’re not dealing with entry-level buyers. Paying extra for flood insurance is something they’re happy to do.” For decades, the NFIP was like a dream for homeowners. But on the federal side, the math was adding up to be a nightmare. Insurance doesn’t work, from the supplier’s side, if you are routinely paying out more money to claims than you are taking in from costs of premiums and policies. Hurricane Katrina threw the NFIP’s finances into chaos; after Hurricanes Irene and Sandy, it became clear there was an issue with insurance costs. They were simply too low to account for the cost of rebuilding multi-million dollar homes on the coast, or to discourage from building in floodplains to begin with. By the end of the Sandy rebuilding process, the NFIP paid out $8 billion in claims. As of 2017, it is estimated that NFIP owes the U.S. Treasury over $24 billion. In 2012, months before Hurricane Sandy but after Irene, Congress passed the first significant flood insurance reform act in a decade, the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012
(Biggert-Waters). Biggert-Waters pegged premiums to actual risks and called for premium costs to increase every year until they are equal with actuary-determined levels. Insurance costs skyrocketed, and the nationwide coastal real estate industry cried murder. In 2014, the industry successfully lobbied Washington for a new bill with less drastic increases, the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 (HFIAA). This act not only slowed down increases in premiums, but also eliminated a crucial provision that had been the real estate industry’s primary criticism of the previous bill. Under Biggert-Waters, if a house was sold, its insurance rate automatically adjusted to the actuarial rate. Now, under HFIAA, houses sold with unrealistically low policies keep those rates even after they are sold, allowing artificial safety on the shore to continue. An Abusive Relationship The climate crisis is already here. In 2018, over 17 million people became climate migrants as a result of 178 natural disasters. The World Bank reported in 2018 that, by 2050, over 143 million people worldwide could be displaced by climate-related disasters. Climate change impacts the poorest people first. Why should we care about how it’s go-
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ing to affect the second homes of the richest people in the world? This answer is simple: Thanks to the NFIP, an economic co-dependency has formed between homeowners, town administrators, and the state of Connecticut that could ruin the finances of the entire state. Connecticut has a home-rule system, allowing each municipality to function as its own political entity. Each town handles its own finances, its own regulations, and importantly, its own measures for shoreline resiliency. For coastal towns, this is complicated by the fact that their budgets are dependent on the property tax revenue coming in from the expensive mansions that line the shore. In 2013, the Natural Resources Conservation Service submitted the suggestion to the state legislature in Hartford that the official strategy of coastal communities for shoreline resiliency must be managed retreat, where towns buy back the properties most at risk. Politicians representing shoreline communities immediately killed the resolution at the state level. Bruce Hyde, the land use expert, wasn’t surprised. “You’ve got politicians who can’t even respond to climate change right now, let alone try to explain to their constituents what managed retreat is and how it works,” Bruce says. “That is not a political move that anyone wants to take.” The towns are in a difficult position. None want to voluntarily let millions of dollars leave the positive side of their registers. “[Shoreline residents] pay a huge amount of taxes,” says Diane Ifkovic, the flood mitigation planner. “It’s almost an abusive relationship, a cyclical, parasitic relationship between these properties and the towns, because [the towns] rely on them so heavily.” The towns can’t lose the properties, so they spend millions elevating roads, repairing sewer lines, and replacing storm-destroyed power lines so that they can run into the floodplain. Stephanie Thompson, the Fairfield realtor, sees in the codependent relationship between towns and coastal owners another injured party: the American taxpayer. She says, “If people want to live on the water, they live on the water. Personally, I think it’s a little unfair, because it’s you and I who are basically helping to pay for the insurance that covers the rebuilding of all their houses.” Those $24 billion in loans that the NFIP owes to the U.S. Treasury? Those are taxpayer dollars, and there is currently no plan on the table to repay the debt. Nine billion dollars of NFIP debt has been forgiv-
en in the past two years, but the dual 2017 Hurricanes of Irma and Harvey returned the debts to their pre-forgiveness levels. There’s no obvious solution to this codependency, but simple economics may bring the coastal real estate market, and thus Connecticut’s finances, to disaster if flood insurance costs begin to rise, or a storm worse than Sandy hits. Bruce Hyde thinks it could take a lot before property values dip significantly, but when it comes, it will be catastrophic. “And are we prepared for it?” Bruce asks. “No.” The End of the Dream? How long can life on the shore continue as it is? Flood insurance costs are beginning to make real for homeowners the risks of living on the shore. Even under the more conservative HFIAA that passed in 2014, the rates inch closer to actuarial costs every year. The costs have increased significantly. According to Diane Ifkovic, who also acts as liaison between the NFIP and towns in Connecticut, “Every year your rate goes up no more than 15 percent. But that’s a lot each year. We did the math on this: It’s been five years, so right about now, your policy has basically doubled. It’s like compounding interest.” For many homeowners, the increase in prices has become prohibitive. “I’ve had peo-
ple call,” Diane says, “where they ask, ‘When is this going to stop? I can’t afford this anymore.’” But even with these first clues of a slowdown, development on the coast hasn’t stopped. Walking along Fairfield Beach Road today, there is almost no sign of the damage from Sandy. There are more properties there now than in 2012. Homeowners who can’t afford rising flood insurance costs sell their lots to richer buyers who can. According to research published earlier this year by the real estate website Zillow, between 2010–2017, Connecticut built 478 new homes within the 10-year flood risk zone, which in total are worth over $880 million. Of those homes, 318 were in Fairfield County and are collectively worth $755 million. The more shocking statistic: In that time, Connecticut built 3.5 times more houses in the flood zone than in safer areas. That’s the highest ratio in the nation. All of the significant development is happening right on the Coast at a time when property values may begin their eventual decline. When I ask Bruce Hyde if he has read the Zillow report, he laughs. “I hadn’t heard that, but it doesn’t surprise me,” he says. Even if insurance costs are making it difficult for many people to afford living on the coast, there are still a lot of people with a lot of money in Fairfield County. Bruce tells me, “People have the money to build above the base-level elevation required based on the town zoning regulations, and they want to live on the shore. It’s as simple as that.” Get Out While You Still Can
“I say no problem. Bring it on. I do not have PTSD.”
I ask each of the beachfront property owners if our discussion of the grim sea level rise statistics and ominous warnings from the experts have them doubting their long-term plans. Most are unfazed. The McManuses, who moved into the waterfront house near the dog park, smile politely when I tell them the sea may be at a dangerously high level for their home by 2050. Mitch laughs, and says, “I’ll be dead. I’m older than I look.” Jess smiles and rephrases her husband’s words. “We definitely feel like we’ll be here as long as we’re alive. It’s a special place. We love it. Maybe we’ll pass it down to our kids.” Brad Purcell, who showed me FloodIQ.com, feels confident about his chances on Fairfield Beach Road. “Maybe this answers your question: If I didn’t have a mortgage, I would not have flood insurance,” he says. “That’s how strongly I feel about this house’s ability to withstand flooding.”
At the end of my conversation with the Megdadi-Sachses, the family who “jumped on the money,” Janet Megdadi-Sachs walks me down the stairs to the garage. It’s chilly because, in order to meet FEMA regulations, the garage is not fully enclosed. The outlets are high up, near the ceiling. Fake cobwebs and ghosts made from sheets hang from the walls. A chalkboard next to a zombie mannequin reads, “Get Out While You Still Can.” Janet turns to me and says, “We had a Halloween party in here and still haven’t cleaned up.” Paul and Janet plan to move when their youngest daughter, who is eight years old, turns 18 and goes to college, but they disagree on where they’d go. Janet would like to stay on the coast. “I would always live close to the ocean,” she says. Paul disagrees. He was diagnosed with PTSD after Hurricane Sandy.“Still, to this day, it freaks me out when it rains really heavily. I would rather live somewhere where it’s not a possibility.” Janet looks at me to say she has zero concerns about flooding or a storm doing any damage to their house, now that they are FEMA-compliant. She declares, “I say no problem. Bring it on. I do not have PTSD.” The lifestyle choices of the experts I’ve spoken to are different. Diane Ifkovic lives in Haddam, Conn. It’s a 20-minute drive from the coast, but it sits on the Connecticut River, which will rise along with sea levels. I ask her if flooding is something she’s concerned about for her own home. “When I bought the house, I did look at the flood map,” Diane tells me. “The 500-year floodplain is at the very bottom of the hill I live on. So, I don’t really have concerns.” I ask Diane,“So the storm would have to be apocalyptic to affect you?” “It would have to be pretty biblical,” she laughs. Bruce Hyde lives in New London,Conn., half a mile from the Sound, but he says, based on the topography of the town, he’ll be safe from the effects of sea level rise. But about a half hour into our interview, the whole of which has been devoted to a stream of reasons why people shouldn’t live on the coast, he makes a confession: “I’ll tell you, I don’t know that if I didn’t have enough money, I wouldn’t do the same thing. In my head, I say that’s stupid to live on the shore, but it’s a really attractive place to live.” Even for someone whose main responsibility is working to save coastal towns from destruction, Bruce is still attracted by the mystique of living on the water. “Fortunately, I don’t have to worry about making that decision,” Bruce tells me. “Because I don’t have the money to live on the shore.”
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Love in the Time of Data Daniel Yadin, MC ’21 Spend enough time eavesdropping on bleary-eyed undergrads nursing Powerades at Sunday brunch, and you may hear some variation of an archetypal joke. At Yale, they say, first base is fucking, second base is texting, third base is smiling at each other on the street, and a home run is eating with your hookup in their residential college’s dining hall. Many students make it to first base, but a rarefied few, I anecdotally report, score a home run. This base system, of course, is no law of nature, no more an inevitable path than the teenage mantra of french-feel-finger-fuck, and everyone from Yale Daily News op-ed writers to the Office of Gender and Campus Culture have tried their hands at dethroning casual, anonymous sex. Rarely have computers been involved in this effort, but, considering the times, it was perhaps inevitable that a technological solution to our collective dearth of dates would arrive on campus last spring. “Have you been single for a while and are trying to get back into the dating scene?” began the Facebook post. “Are you trying to get over your commitment issues and want to test the waters of having an actual relationship? Sign up for Yale’s first three-day relationship program from Apr. 29–May 1, where we match pairs together for three-day committed relationships!” Interested students would simply have to fill out a questionnaire, answering open-ended prompts like “Describe yourself in 100 words or less!” and “What is the most interesting thing you have done at Yale?” A team of students would sort, by hand, the compatible pairs, with an eye toward similarity of responses. Couples who were matched would commit to each other as significant others for the duration of the program, receive dating tasks like reading through the New York Times’s “The 36 Questions That Lead to Love,” and generally be free to proceed as they wished. The organizers appended just one caveat to their advertisement: “We discourage sexual engagements during the three day period, and instead suggest a more wholesome dating experience.”
The brainchild of Barkley Dai, MY ’20, and the production of a seven-student team, the Three-Day Relationship Program attracted about 180 students during its first operational semester last spring. Shunhe Wang, MC ’20, who worked on the program, told me that Dai approached him with the idea that semester, selling him on the opportunity to develop “ways to make people stay in longer-term relationships.” The following fall, when the team reprised the program, freshly-equipped with an algorithm that would do the pairing for them, nearly 900 students signed up. Though the Three-Day Relationship is not returning to campus this semester—Dai is out of the country, and other organizers are busy—students can welcome a host of other services that promise to harness the power of data and technology in the service of love. In addition to the crown jewel of dating apps, Tinder, and gender- and sexuality-specific platforms like Grindr and Bumble, student-run services like Datamatch and Orbit are following in the data-driven footsteps of the ThreeDay Relationship. Datamatch, an implant from Harvard, functions like the Three-Day Relationship, except with flashier graphics and more data collection. During the week leading up to Valentine’s Day this year, over 1,300 Yale students filled out a survey that promised to collect the data to feed the algorithm to produce their perfect match just in time for the holiday. Questions like “Which campus building best describes you?” and “What’s the naughtiest thing you have done?” combined with biographical information like face, name, residential college, and top Spotify artists, drew in a full quarter of the student body. “I did it because I feel it was like a meme,” said S., a junior who asked to keep her name anonymous. “I wasn’t doing it for real.” She was in fact turned off, she said, when she saw that some of her five matches were taking the game seriously, decking out their bios with full punctuated sentences and sleek pictures. “My bio was ‘I love food’ and five emojis.” Her friend D., a junior who also asked to remain anonymous, added that he was drawn to Datamatch by “the unrealistic hope that you get paired with the person you’re kind of thinking about.” S.
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agreed. Datamatch was not the place for people looking to find romance, but for students who wanted to scratch a romantic itch while maintaining ironic, meme-y distance from the whole project. “If you got something funny, it’s funny to tell people,” she said.
“I imagined myself sucked into another website, finding another platform that stirred just enough hope to keep me hooked and just enough disappointment to keep me sad.” D. agreed; he had, in fact, been laughing about his top match—the person with whom he was supposedly 100% compatible. The algorithm did not work for him (nor did it work for S.), and he was paired with someone who reminded him of “just grime. And not the singer. Someone I look at and shudder.” The school-specific data provided by Datamatch seems to point to a systemic discord between matches, at least at Yale: in its bar chart of “school thirstiness,” determined by the rate at which students messaged a match, Yale ranks low compared to the 26 other schools in the Datamatch universe. Yale seniors were the thirdleast-thirsty demographic, behind just Wellesley seniors and Columbia juniors. Whether this is a function of algorithmic failures or an intrinsic quality of Yale students is hard to say, though S. and D. identified a main disappointment in the process. “I was hoping to get attractive people,” she said, annoyed. “Someone to fuck,” said D. There are, of course, apps for finding people to fuck, but Datamatch, like
Three-Day Relationship, seemed to offer the promise of a more personalized, human experience. After submitting their data to the system and having it run through a secret algorithm, the hope of finding a human being on the other side of the screen was strong for S. and D. “The only good thing in this kind of stuff is to meet someone else,” S. said. “It was fun. Another social thing. It felt like a game.” Neither met with any one of their matches. Soon after I spoke with S. and D., a Gmail notification pinged on my phone. “Someone just added you to their Yale Orbit,” read the subject line. Orbit is a new website that allows Yale students to upload lists of their crushes and receive a notification every Friday if any of their crushes put them on their list, too, like a drawn-out Tinder match. I opened the email, and my eyes fell immediately upon the fat blue box dominating the center of the screen: Get Started , it prompted. I pressed the button, and massive bubble letters appeared, white on a navy blue background. FIND YOUR MATCH, it told me, and in that moment I was tempted, as S. and D. had been, by the game. Maybe, yes, against all odds, that one person I had been sort-of-somewhat thinking about had placed me in their Orbit and I now had the chance to do the same and find out on Friday night that we had, in fact, matched, and wouldn’t I then be happy that I had decided to Get Started? Wouldn’t it be a shame not even to try? I imagined myself sucked into another website, finding another platform that stirred just enough hope to keep me hooked and just enough disappointment to keep me sad. And I, of course, did not want that outcome, but I wondered how I would feel if more people around me started using the platform, first, of course, as a joke, but then in earnest. Could I resist Orbit even if it soon became yet another social world churning subterranean beneath the physical one, and if all I had to do to participate was to spend a little more time on my phone, to tell this website just a little bit each day about my crushes, my preferences, my habits, myself? I then got a text from my friend. “Btw did you get an email saying I chose you for Orbit” “Ya” “Jeje,” she said. “It worked.”
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A Continental Competition Ian Moreau, PC ’21
“They are stranded in the Old World: Europe. They have no phones, no money. Only their Odyssean cunning and a 24-pack of Red Bull. The goal? Reach Berlin.”
Picture this: Two white boys. One gay and tall, the other short and straight. A third boy, Latino, with an ambiguous sexual orientation, is medium-sized. It’s April. Springtime. They are stranded in the Old World: Europe. They have no phones, no money. Only their Odyssean cunning and a 24-pack of Red Bull. The goal? Reach Berlin. No, this isn’t a woke mashup of Jason Bourne and The Amazing Race . Rather, it’s the Red Bull Can You Make It competition, and it’s the dream of three Yale students—Matt Nadel, GH ’21, Sammy Landino, GH ’21, and Teava Torres de Sa, GH ’21—to participate. “Entering the competition was originally my idea,” said Landino, a Directed Studies alum and proud Italian-American. “A chance to rough it in Europe for a week, all expenses paid? That’s not an opportunity a guy like me can pass up.” The competition is divided into two main phases, Nadel explained to me. First, university students from around the world form teams of three, each creating a one-minute video pitch explaining why their team should be chosen
to participate. All the videos are then uploaded to YouTube and the Red Bull website, where the public can vote for their favorite teams. After one week, competition officials select 15 teams from the United States to participate in the race to Berlin. In the second phase, the race itself, the chosen teams are dropped in a random European city with no money or technology—just a week to reach their destination. Landino was instantly intrigued upon learning about the competition from a friend. The decision to enlist Nadel and Torres de Sa, his friends from Hopper College, was a no-brainer. “Teava is my suitemate, and Matt is one of my best friends,” he explained. “We’re really about as close as it gets. Collectively, we speak Italian, French, Spanish, and Portuguese. This is a dream team we’re talking about.” Getting the other two on board required little effort, Landino said. Nadel confirmed: “I mean, I saw no reason not to go for it. The concept of traveling to Europe definitely appeals to me, while the concept of actually spending money on that does not. It seems like this
competition is the best of both worlds.” Torres de Sa’s reasoning, however, was a bit simpler. “Sammy is only a quarter Italian,” he said, “and I needed an opportunity to expose him. His over-pronunciation of the word cappuccino has gone on for far too long.” Thus, “Team That’s Amore” was born, entering the competition with a video that showcases each strapping team member and his individual skill set. This competition is not without its predecessors. Back in the 1700s, upon finishing their formal schooling, the sons of wealthy aristocrats would embark on a months-long “Grand Tour” of the continent, soaking in the artistic and cultural achievements of classical antiquity and the Renaissance. Today, things are slightly different (at least for Team That’s Amore). Europe has certainly remained a desired destination. But instead of a thoughtful, meandering journey meant to nourish the young mind and spirit, the Grand Tour is now a hectic, corporate-sponsored, caffeine-fueled dash to Berlin. It’s an appropriate extravaganza for our late-capitalist era.
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Writing Across Asymmetries Why does Twitter hate American Dirt? Macmillan Publishers released Jeanine Cummings’ fourth novel with every advantage an author could hope for: a seven-figure advance, an endorsement from Oprah’s Book Club, positive blurbs from industry-leading publications. American Dirt was projected to be a breakout success before its first sale. The most comprehensive explanation for the novel’s controversy is the simplest: People hated it. Four days before its Jan. 21 release, a New York Times review imputed that it “flounders and fails” while “mauling the English language.” CNN and other major news organizations began to cover squabbles between critics, activists, and novelists that spanned the breadth of digital and print media. Cummings canceled her book tour due to threats against her physical safety. This attention is extraordinary for a work by a relatively unknown author, especially a novel of American Dirt’s middling quality. As with any Twitter-worthy drama, this disaster had another dimension that commanded attention: race. Cummings identifies as white and has never lived in Mexico, while her novel follows a Mexican family fleeing cartel violence to the United States. So amidst surprise that Macmillan threw its weight behind such a poorly written book, Twitter developed an embittered discourse about positionality, privilege, and voice. One camp demands that Cummings yield space to authors of the characters’ background. Cummings wished that “someone slightly browner” could have written her book. Well, this lot argues, they have. Others defend the novel as true to the inventive spirit that distinguishes good literature. While some shy away from defending her execution, they stand their ground on Cummings’ right to claim this narrative terrain. American Dirt still hit the top of the New York Times Best Seller list. But, in response, authors and publishers began promoting novels by Latinx authors which, in some cases, sold out—a clear repudiation of Macmillan’s decision to promote and fund American Dirt. I fully appreciate the subsequent support for authors of color. Many of the circulated titles are sorely underread and underappreciated. But arguments raised against American Dirt do little to clarify what one should expect of the industry. Is it helpful to think about literature as a
zero-sum game, one in which some authors take space from others? If so, are we condemned to write our own experiences and give up pure creation? A third camp, perhaps the most nuanced of the lot, suggests that writing about marginalized groups, especially those underrepresented in literature, entails a unique set of ethical obligations. Rather than categorically barring a set of authors from writing about a set of experiences, this position evaluates each work in its ability to responsibly portray its subjects. Another buzzy contemporary novel explores the possibility of such portrayals: Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday. In the first section we encounter a young writer, Alice, who pursues a relationship with a much older, more famous author. Given Halliday’s own history with novelist Philip Roth, the reader itches with speculation about parallels between the romantic trajectories of author and character, writer and written. The second section lurches us, unexplained, onto an entirely different topography. We meet Amar, an Iraqi-American who has been stopped by travel authorities in Heathrow. The text cuts between the airport scene and Amar’s memories, snatching the reader from the remove of the first section into an intimate psychology. And just as abruptly, the third section returns us to the world of the first. An interview with Ezra Blazer (Philip Roth’s alter ego) reveals that the second sec-
tion was written by the young writer from the first. The novel wrinkles itself, folding authorial responsibility back to Alice. Unlike American Dirt, this novel— which reduces to a qualified endorsement of straying from one’s lane—was met with acclaim. An indisputable factor of this divergence is the superiority of Asymmetry’s writing. The characterization is more credible, the edifice of the text fuller. Halliday’s world-building is self-aware, self-critical. Alice writes to challenge her own powers of invention, imagining herself into an entirely unfamiliar life. Yet the criticism of American Dirt extends past quality—it is about authorship. Cummings stands accused of taking space from Latinx writers who are more qualified to represent the characters in her novel. In these terms, Halliday commits the same sins as Cummings. In this rendering,the argument against American Dirt demands that novels correspond to things as they are. Firsthand experience injects reality into the world of the novel, providing hard-earned credibility to the authorial voice. We can rest assured that the depiction is “responsible” because it is of the writer’s world, art reflecting life. This desire for convergence between author and background presupposes that these writers portray their context more accurately. Halliday’s diffusion of authorship challenges the very premises of the debate. It is an illusion that exaggerates the distance an author can close in her writing. Halliday’s identity fades
Arun Sharma, PC ’20
into the background as readers encounter one fully realized piece of fiction inside another. The problem with American Dirt is not its quality. Nor its author. The misdeed is a betrayal of fiction’s most central self-conceptions. Fiction does not claim to be true because it accurately represents the world as it exists. If that were the goal, we would be better off reading anthropological studies or biographies. The truth of good fiction is generated by the reality we find on the page, in the rigor and coherence of the author’s craft. In the case of American Dirt, the writing falls short of this truth. It fails to imbue the characters with internal complexity. It fails to interrogate the premises of its plot or the assumptions of its world. Cummings’ book is not racist because it extends beyond the author’s experience. It is racist by diminishing the very people it purports to uplift, in failing on its own terms to elevate itself to truth. Halliday succeeds where Cummings fails because Halliday meets the demands of empathy and imagination that such a project requires. More than coherence, she offers dimension. Writing outside of experience and without depth is more than futile. It is harmful. None of this is to say that the solution is a better book about Mexico by a white author. It is to instead propagate precision in our dissent. The danger of throwing money at Cummings is not in her whiteness, or in her relationship with the subject matter. It is in the arrogance with which she approaches difference. Uncoupling identity from authority is a vote of confidence in authors of color. They do not need the protection of cordoned-off material or zoned literary geography. What these writers need instead is recognition of their writing as the products of skillfully plied craft. If large publishing houses are incapable of completing this function, then it is time to rethink decision-making power in our literary world. By these lights, the great villain of this story is not Cummings. It is Macmillan. We must advance this conversation past identity to center on the gatekeepers of our written culture, to truly interrogate how it is formed. We undertake this challenge not to prioritize representation over quality, but because with American Dirt we have sacrificed both.
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Festina Lente: Tame Impala’s The Slow Rush Doruk Eliacik, MC ’22
On Valentine’s Day 2020, Aussie multi-instrumentalist and mastermind Kevin Parker’s psych-rock project, Tame Impala, released their fourth studio album. It’s titled The Slow Rush, and I politely ask that you pause your day and listen right now. Why? Not only is it a spectacular sonic adventure and kaleidoscopic cornucopia of eclectic color, but it’s thematically relevant to life at Yale. The Slow Rush is the effective consolidation of Parker’s maturation. The album is borne from the tension between his struggle to come to terms with a long perpetuated self-image and the aim to cope with the anxieties engendered by an uncertain future. Parker oscillates between the desire to change and the fear of losing sense of one’s identity. It is a raw, candid statement, expressed in a form that’s delicate and accessible. Transcending the stress brought on by his unexpected fame following 2015’s Currents, Parker recognizes his inner loner stoner—from which much of his music so far has stemmed. However, Parker nods at his older self with acceptance as he lets the shadows of his past evolve and live on within him. He avoids the common pitfall of newly-famous artists who become parodies of themselves. He successfully overcomes
angsty adolescence, which characterized his early work. The name of the game is reconciliation, and Parker understands that he will have to undertake his artistic and personal evolution one small step at a time. Fortunately he’s up to the challenge—he can finally find peace in growing up and moving on. All this is deducible from the sonic landscape as well as the lyrical tapestry. The writing is Parker’s most explicitly personal to date: “Posthumous Forgiveness” in particular presents a heart-wrenching address to his late, estranged father. The instrumental is a tasteful marriage of his early garage rock guitar riggs and later affinity for catchy pop hooks, all held in place by a warm ocean of synths and rich layers of textured percussion. There are moments of bliss and melancholy, invitations for dancing your head off and contemplating the cosmos alike. There’s much to ponder, and much to run after, but the mind-body can’t take more than one deep breath at a time. So festina lente, or: make haste slowly. And in the meantime, I’ll leave you with these lines from the album:
If it calls you, embrace it If it haunts you, face it If it holds you, erase it; replace it
☛ Yale Symphony Orchestra’s Heavenly Bodies Enjoy the YSO this Sat., Feb. 22, at 7:30 p.m. as they perform a sinfonia by rockstar New York composer Missy Mazzoli. ☛ Noah Dillon Catch the cool kid photographer when he visits campus next week on Thurs., Feb. 27, at 5 p.m. to discuss Images from the Void. Sounds spooky! ☛ Græ by Moses Sumney Listen to the first half of the new double album by the singer-songwriter known for beauteous falsetto and wearing only black. ☛ The State House New Haven’s newest music venue offers techno raves and bellydance salons. ☛ Wede Harer Guzo by Hailu Mergia + Dahlak Band Groovy psychedelic funk from the Ethiopian jazz musician is saturated with eight-minute lose-yourself tracks. ☛ James Prosek: Art, Artifact, Artifice Make your way to the top floor of the Yale University Art Gallery for the new exhibition, in which artist Prosek presents a rainbow spectrum of birds, anthropomorphic sketches, and weaving by Ruth Asawa. ☛ 2017–2019 by Against All Logic Nicolas Jaar’s alter-ego delivers mind-bending beats and trippy instrumentals from the archive. ☛ The “Every Frame a Painting” Youtube Channel With beauty and expertise, Tony Zhou created the best film analysis channel (RIP) YouTube has ever seen. ☛ Snowpiercer by Bong Joon-ho Watch the film, then watch Zhou’s video on it, and then watch the film again. ☛ Reddit r/yale/ Just learned THIS exists!
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The Heart of Theater is Rhythm Leo Egger, TC ’23 littleboy/littleman, written and conceived by Rudi Goblen, YSD ’22, follows the lives of two Nicaraguan brothers, Fito and Bastian , as they try to make sense of their Latino identity while learning to navigate their complex sibling relationship. Ultimately, they both seek to live a life that means something. Both the brothers are performers, but in different ways: Fito is a street performer who dreams of one day becoming famous; Bastian is a telemarketer who pretends to be white on the phone in order to earn more money. Bastian is also an ardent and pragmatic realist who believes that Fito’s dreams are absurd. Over the course of the show, the audience watches the brothers confront colorism in the Latinx community, immigration rights, and Bastian’s lost love. By the end, the brothers must confront the trauma of their childhoods and the death of their mother. Their mother fled Nicaragua and dangerously crossed into the United States to give her children a new life. The brothers question how they will ever live a life that honors this sacrifice their mother made for them. Goblen is a marvelous playwright— perhaps his greatest achievement is his control of pacing, illuminated by the direction of Christopher D. Betts, YSD ’21. The play breathes with poetic rhythm. Scenes alternate between longform nar-
rative and spoken word vignettes. This fluctuation creates a momentum that guides the audience all the way to the show’s tragic conclusion. The juxtaposition of poetry and colloquial language creates its own music. Through a masterful balance of extremes, Goblen takes us on a ritual journey through memory. Robert Lee Hart’s, YSD ’20, captivating performance as the charismatic Fito arches across hilarious improvisation (during Fito’s street performances) and a heart-wrenching cathartic drum solo (yes! there’s a drum kit on stage!) which leaves Hart gasping for air. Dario Ladani Sanchez, YSD ’20, brings nuance and empathy to the character of Bastian, a counterweight to his fiery brother. The opportunity to watch actors of this caliber in a setting as intimate as Yale Cabaret can only be called a gift. The inviting nature of this production exaggerates the devastation the audience feels at the end when Fito is shot and killed by a police officer after a street performance. Through comedy, street performance, and music, Rudi holds out his hand for us, allows us to bask in the story he has built for us, and then strikes deeply as we sit mournfully in silence after the drums roll and the lights go out.
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our sponsors PATRON T. Spielberg GOLD CONTRIBUTOR Abra Metz Dworkin Molly Ball Christopher Burke SILVER CONTRIBUTOR Dan Feder Brian Bowen David Applegate Fabian Rosado DONORS C. Morales Ervolino, Sam Lee, Joshua Benton, George E. Harris, Laura Yao, Ted Lee, Michael Gerber, Brendan Cottington, Marisol Ryu, Natasha Sarin, Emily Barasch, Marci McCoy, Julia Dahl, Maureen Miller
—things we hate this week
the herald blacklistt
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Lying about your height There’s no way you’re 4’6”.
What is it about wizards?
Fake IDs Wait your turn!
If I can’t shotgun it, I don’t want it.
Seven holes I prefer 18.
On and on and on and suddenly off.
Dusty organs My pipes are all clogged!
Do you have LaCroix?
arffa lecture series
Jewish Translation and Cultural Transfer in Early Modern Europe Iris Idelson-Shein Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Iris Idelson-Shein is a senior lecturer at the department of Jewish History, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, and head of the collaborative research project on Jewish Translation and Cultural Transfer in Early Modern Europe, funded by the European Research Council (ERC). Her research interests include cultural translation, Old Yiddish literature, science, and gender in early modern Ashkenaz. She is the author of Difference of a Different Kind: Jewish Constructions of Race During the Long Eighteenth Century (Univ. of Pennsylvania Press, 2014).
lecture one • tuesday, february 18 • 5:00 pm • Sterling Memorial Lecture Hall “Between Imitation and Innovation: Revealing the Hidden Corpus of Early Modern Jewish Translations”
lecture two • wednesday, february 19 • 5:00 pm • Sterling Memorial Lecture Hall Not to Need Another Nation: Motivations for Translation in Early Modern Hebrew and Yiddish Translations”
lecture three • tuesday, february 25 • 5:00 pm Sterling Memorial Lecture Hall “No Place Like Home: The Uses of Travel in Early Maskilic Translations”