A recent scene in our tiny Boston apartment:
Perched at our cosy workstation, I was scrolling through the news when a curse of frustration startled me from my peaceful evening routine.
I swiveled in the white-mesh office chair to watch my husband stand up from the couch and speak at his cellphone. Not into, just at, letting loose a string of choice words in his native tongue.
I strained my neck to confirm… Yep. The screen was blank.
It was déjà vu.
This scene had initially played out a few weeks prior. My cell phone had been the first to…
Every once in a while, from my perch in the local library, I watch a bedraggled, elderly man in a wheelchair spin down the road a dozen-or-so meters beneath my dangling feet.
Without hesitancy, this man charts his fitful course smack-dab in the middle of a narrow thoroughfare within a busy commercial district.
As he descends the low-grade incline, he stops and starts his chair, punctuating his monologue, fluctuating between indecipherable mutters and hearty proclamations.
He has looped several plastic bags over each handlebar. These flimsy banners balloon into funky, asymmetrical tail lights. …
One year ago, I left my job and the city of New York, trailing a move my husband had made due to a job offer in Boston.
Now, as I write this, my husband and I are mulling over when to leave our current apartment.
It will be our first joint move.
It will be my twenty-first move altogether.
We have mixed emotions about the prospect of breaking our lease.
Although it seems like a fairly straightforward and simple thing to do, we feel intimidated.
Neither one of us has ever broken a lease before, and we don’t want to…
Reflecting on these moves jumpstarted a plan to compile a housing market comparison for several cities along the East Coast, a helpful guide for those looking to relocate.
But that didn’t happen. My research fueled anger at my own housing history, as well as concern for vulnerable families everywhere. I decided to linger for a bit on the personal and the anecdotal.
Still, if you’re interested in renting in either NYC or Boston…
Summer internships, work abroad, returning to school, seeking deliverance from a killer commute—from my inaugural move eighteen years ago to my latest relocation in 2017, I’ve been quite the adventuring nomad.
When I first transplanted myself from the countryside, I was dismayed by urban housing conditions. Rent was both exorbitant and exacting. With fierce competition for affordable units, you could expect the window for a decent apartment to close within mere hours.
I made disheartening comparisons between uninspiring shoebox-sized units and spacious rural homes. …
In terms of apartment hunting, very little has changed since my husband and I got married several years ago.
Three changes of note: I now have the best roommate! I’ve upgraded from single bed to double bed occupancy. And the laundry basket is never empty.
Overall, though, our apartment needs and wants are similar. And we keep things as simple as possible.
Which is why we find apartment hunting to be equal parts disappointing and surprising.
Using the following checklist, my husband and I have yet to find housing that satisfies our minimum standards.
1) Health & Hygiene. No toxins…
Friends and family pour into a crowded dining hall, excited to celebrate Grandma’s ninetieth birthday. Blue blazer, rosy cheeks, colorful corsage — Grandma is radiant and poised in a sea of well-wishers.
Later in the afternoon, Mom steps to the mic, calling attention to a make-shift dance floor: “Please welcome our featured performers!”
The room breaks into a sustained, hearty applause. Two rows of women file onto the square tiles sporting short, coiffed curls and comfortable shoes. On cue, they begin to sway and twirl.
I marvel at the familiar blazer in the center, back row. …
Dear Reader: This story contains a brief depiction of sexual assault. The description has been simplified in an attempt to avoid a triggering effect.
Until Time’s Up surged across social media, I’d been doggedly suppressing recollections of sexual harassment and sexual assault from my lifetime.
I thank the brave women and men who spoke out loudly, shared their stories, and who continue to advocate for change. Because of you, I’ve been empowered to exercise my own voice.
Sexual assault is a common crime, an atrocity with an ancient history. …
“Let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.” ~ Mother Teresa
“Hmm, I think it’s about time we removed this baby tooth,” the dentist said, delicately tapping on my central incisor. “It should have fallen out by now.”
I didn’t like the sound of that, of course, but I wasn’t about to say anything. I was eight years old, in second grade. I wouldn’t even mention that the bubble gum fluoride was a pretty icky flavor.
Some weeks later, I was back in the bumpy leather chair. The sunlight streamed through…
The juxtaposition of Madagascar is striking and unforgettable: the richness of its endemic biodiversity, the extreme poverty of its people.
As you travel outside of regional capitals, the asphalt quickly thins to gravel. Rocky roads wind past scattered towns and outposts. Eventually, the gravel disappears into the dirt.
Should you continue on these paths, you will travel back in time.
You will witness the human hand as a mighty tool. Wielding mud and thatch to build a home. Pounding grain with mortar and pestle. Cultivating crops.
Despite the antediluvian infrastructure, millions of Malagasy villagers constitute resilient communities.
They march courageously…
A kind and intelligent human. Lifelong learner. Comfortable with my bundle of contradictions.