We’d like to greet you with a goodbye. Specifically: take care.
Take care is a promise willed to the departing. It means keep yourself safe and pay attention. Volume 55, Issue 3 of The New Journal follows people and communities who intimately understand what it means to fulfill this promise, and when a promise isn’t enough. Formal systems of support can fail to help individuals, so informal systems—from personal networks to strangers who want to help—step up to take care when those established channels fall short. In this issue, communities take the wheel, literally.
“Reintegration Roadblocks” follows an organization that supports people reintegrating post-incarceration to overcome the innumerable hurdles on the road to getting a driver’s license; while, in “Scrap Cycling,” a writer cycles after the man behind Peels on Wheels—a start-up filling in for New Haven’s landfill-dependency by collecting neighborhood food scraps on his bike.
In our cover story, students make the game-time decision for their friends in alcohol-induced emergencies: either call 9-1-1—sinking their friends into the debt induced by an uninsured ambulance trip—or hang up to take care of the emergency themselves. “It’s not right,” Chief Perez says when our Executive Editor Jesse Goodman speaks to him. “We’re supposed to take care of each other.”
It doesn’t stop there. In one story, we see a woman spend decades fighting to build public memory of Lucretia, an enslaved woman who is believed to bethe first Black resident of New Haven. In another, the crowds brought together by the Elm City Express come back to life, with wins shared both among the players and the city alike. In “This Tattoo Is Permanent,” clients’ queer identities and permanent ink collide as modes of rebellion, thanks to the work of a queer tattoo artist. And, in the endnote, a man tends to the pianos in the School of Music one string at a time, the quiet enabler of the thrum of the ivories at hundreds of concerts.
We’d like to thank the writers, editors, copy editors, designers, Photography Head Lukas Flippo, and Creative Director Kevin Chen for the tremendous amount of care they put into this issue. Our collective promise is this issue, which we now depart, and leave to you.
The Managing Board