Happy belated Valentine’s Day! As the weather shifts from cold to warm to cold again, we hope you’re enjoying it with the ones you love. This week, we’re taking a trip inward and backward, our words spanning both distance and time, and touching, occasionally, on love.
In this week’s cover story, Sam Needleman explores why how we define our neighborhood matters. The boundaries of Morningside Heights have blurred since the Manhattanville expansion, and including Columbia under the Harlem umbrella, one local historian suggests, could open the door for the reverse: for Columbia to include Harlem under its umbrella.
The season premiere of our historical podcast, The Ear, interrogates institutional memory with a look back at the role of Columbia’s chaplains in and after the 60s. AJ McDougall brings us the first episode in a two-part series about the spiritual and social contributions of Reverends John D. Cannon and William F. Starr to student life: their relationships to student protests, their participation in singular marriage ceremonies, and their sponsorship of the first LGBTQ student group on an American college campus.
Far from the activists and historians of Harlem, Claire Phillips sifts through the ashes of her childhood home and inspects the remains for the fingerprints of her grandmother’s ghost.
Maddie Woda also writes about a home—her father’s home in Powhatan Point, Ohio. She visits the hill where he went hunting and the store where he bought his first beer, landmarks of a childhood that helped inform her own.
We hope you loved this week’s issue as much as we loved putting it together.
Julian, Candy, Gavrielle, and Grace