Places

Always Check the Bathrooms

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

Jul 27, 2022
Save a Life, Drink Outside

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May 26, 2022
On Hiking Alone

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

May 24, 2022
The Coyotes in the HOA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mar 09, 2022
We Need the All-American Diner

Diners are affordable, accessible, and a staple of our national imagination. They’re also disappearing—and we need them now more than ever.

Mar 02, 2022
After the Family Cabin Burned

But there was also the feeling of home, and these feelings shiver still in my core.

Finding Peace at the Most Beautiful Taco Bell in the World

I need the ocean to quiet my thoughts, the surfers to remind me I’m a person, the Taco Bell as a place where I become solid again.

Jan 13, 2022
I Wrote an Essay on Sleep Paralysis to Finally Talk About Men’s Ugliest Urges

Once it happens, sleep paralysis tends to recur. It’s as if a spirit has marked your bed, like the first coming has irreversibly altered you.

Jan 06, 2022
My Parents’ Country Doesn’t Exist. I Moved There Anyway.

I was enjoying what exists of this place today—be it Croatia or Yugoslavia—without the need for comparison.

Dec 08, 2021
Before You Leave for Bulgaria

My husband’s grandfather wrote an immigration guide called “Before You Leave for America.” We could have used one in reverse—for moving to Bulgaria.

Dec 06, 2021