LETTERS FROM THE EDITOR
INSIDE THE ISSUE
Meet Me On the Lighted Path
February 19th, 2019
Every year when the temperatures start to dwindle, the leaves discard their beautiful spectrum of sunset shades, and the noise of chirping birds begins to fade, my heart sinks a little. But it’s the Sunday when I have to turn back my clock that I despise more than anything else. ..
A Walk From “Harmony Hall” to “Campus”
February 19th, 2019
“Harmony Hall,” Vampire Weekend’s new single, runs five minutes and nine seconds, the exact amount of time it takes for me to stroll from Harmony Hall, the Columbia dorm on West 110th Street, to Butler Library’s grand entrance. It’s Friday afternoon, and my pace aligns eerily well with the tune’s transitions: Just before the one-minute mark, the acoustic prelude yields to the soaring chorus, as if to fuel my traverse across 110th. “And the stone walls of Harmony Hall bear witness,” Ezra Koenig sings, as the dorm’s graceful facade recedes behind me...
Who lived in your dorm before it was a dorm?
October 12th, 2018
A couple weeks ago, David Hanzal had a bout of déjà vu. Someone came into People Against Landlord Abuse and Tenant Exploitation, the West Harlem nonprofit better known as P.A.’L.A.N.T.E., asking for advice—someone like Hanzal, four years ago. “He walks in, he says, ‘I’ve organized my building, I’ve done 311, I don’t know what to do, the landlord’s doing this.’” The client lives right near Columbia’s 17-acre Manhattanville expansion, in the neighborhood of the same name. “He's got a long road ahead of him. You know, he’s where I was in 2014.”..
On Being Detoothed and Unloved by my Favorite Dog
October 9th, 2018
Last summer, I had four wisdom teeth yanked out of my mouth. In the days afterward, I was puffy-cheeked and achy-jawed, with a stubborn, drug-induced droopy eye. I was comically miserable...
Ten years ago, Columbia pledged $76 million to local nonprofits. What happens when it runs out?
October 8th, 2018
It's 6:30 on a Friday, and it's already dark outside. Six people sit around a long table—not a bad turnout for a muggy day like today. They have gathered at the West Harlem Skills Training Center, a little black awning on the corner of 134th and Amsterdam, for a workshop about obtaining street vendor permits...
Dear Diary, Please Add This Song to My Spotify Playlist
February 21st, 2018
Like any angsty, pre-teen girl growing up in Fairfield County, Connecticut, I read a lot of Sylvia Plath. I thumbed through “The Bell Jar” with a reverence that bordered on the religious and dog-eared my copy of “Ariel” until every corner of every page was creased. Mostly, though, I was captivated by her diaries. Plath’s diaries, which unravelled everything from human nature to “big, dark, hunky boy[s],” touched a raw nerve in my adolescent self. And so, of course, I bought myself one...
Three Japanese Groceries
February 20th, 2018
In a strip mall off Virginia Beach Boulevard in Virginia Beach, Virginia, nestled between a smoke shop and a laundromat, you can find J Mart Japanese Grocery. The entire store is only about the size of an average suburban kitchen. At the front of the store are two standard refrigerators, with the ’90s-style grainy white doors and a top-loading freezer with a glass cover. Shelves stocked with dry goods, like soy sauce and rice vinegar, line the back walls. To the left, behind the single cashier, is a display of beckoning lucky cats, sake sets, magazines, and English-subtitled anime DVDs. ..
February 19th, 2018
As I see it, affection is practically invisible on this campus. Maybe it’s a New York thing. Or maybe it’s a generational thing—I have no clue. It absolutely doesn’t parade around in the open. Still, it’s there, and it fits into little interstices throughout the day: on a bench between classes, through small talk in passing, in dorm rooms, or on the job. On this campus—where it seems that people don’t have the time or expendable energy for extravagant gestures—love and affection come in short bursts: in moments that are indiscernible to most of us because they’re too short, too discreet, or too subtle...