I was loitering in my dorm one afternoon when I received the following text: “Hi Amy, I’m Lena, are you still in NY? I will come to NY next month. Do you have time to go hiking together?” I tried to remember if I’d left a fake alias of Amy anywhere, and when I couldn’t, I told her she had the wrong number. The conversation should’ve ended with whatever she’d say next, probably something short, but then came two cordially punctuated sentences.
On a rainless weekend morning above 40 F, you can usually find Roland Pearsall lugging a cart with chords and amplifiers in one hand and a guitar case in another. He’d be on his way to Harvard or Davis Square, about to sing his heart out for the next several hours with the voice of someone who had grown up singing on grassy plains.
On Oct. 6, comedian Joe Pera released his first standup special on YouTube. He opened it with the following words: “How ‘bout this door?” He then turned to gesture at the massive black door looming behind his substantially smaller body. “Something pretty big could come through this door.” Pera just smiled warmly and stayed pointing at the door awhile. The absurd investment was never mentioned again for the rest of the special. There is not an inkling of explanation for it.
I grew up in China, and ironically, my first taste of the modern American flavor of racism came from a Chinese American. It has a subtle taste, with a pinch of passive aggression and the type of aftertaste that makes you unsure if what you just encountered was racism.
If you turn right on the basement floor of Houston Hall, you’ll see a signless grey door with a metal plate where the handle is supposed to be. Inside, you won’t find the popular ’70s R&B disco band Earth, Wind & Fire, but rather the stalls where Houston basement residents flush, brush and shower, surrounding you left, right and center.