Essays

Urban life, in the first person

A man in silhouette in the doorway of a house in Detroit, Michigan, chatting with neighbors

'We Look Out for Each Other Here'

Who will love, and take care of, my neighborhood the way the older residents have?

What It's Really Like to Live in a 'Dorm for Adults'

I live in a “hacker house,” but I’m not a tech bro. Here’s why it’s not so crazy to share a home with 17 roommates.

On Being Latina a Long Way From Home

Moving from L.A. to D.C. taught me a lot about losing and rebuilding my identity.

Seoul Searching in San Francisco

I was born in Seoul, but raised in Nebraska. I didn’t reconnect with my roots until I arrived in the Bay Area.

What I Learned Installing Solar Panels

It was easier than I thought.

Eating My Way Through Israel

How a new kind of comfort food helped me settle in to life abroad.

The Best Thing About San Diego Is...Tijuana

Across the border, I found a vibrant scene that helped me appreciate California.

Finding a Familiar Shore

Wandering along New York’s waterfronts helped me adjust to life in the city.

At Home Among the Stacks

How seeking out used bookstores helped me find my way through unfamiliar cities.

What the 'Freedom' of a Car Means to Me in a City Where Everyone Drives

Compared to the subway I was used to, driving in Seattle was freeing—but it was also lonely.

A Pilgrim in Chicagoland

I didn’t feel at home in my new city until I became a tourist in my old one—and brought back the souvenirs to prove it.