October 6, 2022

Volume XXXIII, Issue XIII

Editor's Note

Dear FM, Spooky season has officially begun (I don’t make the rules). And if encountering the spooky means confronting the strange, unfamiliar, or abnormal, we’re starting this month with the spookiest spook of all: an issue published on time. Issue XIII is here and it’s full of beguiling content. First up, HNL and BWF bring us a tour de force of a scrutiny with “Treeland: The High-Rises Harvard Never Built.” It traces the rise and fall of Treeland, a graduate student housing complex slated to be developed in Cambridge’s Riverside neighborhood in the early 1970s. The University faced little formal pushback when building Peabody Terrace and Mather House, everyone’s Brutalist favorites, in the late ’60s, so it had every reason to believe building Treeland would be smooth sailing, too. Instead, the development met with fierce opposition from the Riverside Planning Team, a coalition of working-class residents led by the fiery Saundra Graham, who were fed up with Harvard’s decades-long pattern of evicting residents and demolishing buildings to expand its footprint. Drawing on previously sealed archival documents and interviews with longtime Riverside residents, including Graham herself, the scrut traces the story of how activists went up against Harvard and won. As Harvard continues expanding into Allston today, the lessons from Riverside are as salient as ever. It’s meticulous, insightful, and beautifully rendered — give it a read! HRTW kicks off the rest of the issue with a 15Q with Danielle Allen, government professor and former gubernatorial candidate, covering topics that range from Minecraft to the decline of democracy. We’ve got a couple groovy Conversations. CY profiles Ana Isabel Kielson, a ballerina-turned-Social Studies lecturer who runs an unconventional summer program on an isolated island (you know you’re intrigued). CJK talks to George Vaill, a dental lease negotiator better known as the “Free Advice Guy.” What’s the meaning of life, you ask? Vaill has an answer — or at least a thought-provoking follow-up question. SWF tells us all about the most American fruit you’ve never heard of: the pawpaw. But good luck getting your paws on the popular produce — most pawpaw sellers’ stocks are pre-reserved months in advance. Continuing the tradition of FM writers staying up all night in questionable places, DRZ spends a night in the SEC (that’s the Science and Engineering Complex, for our resident Humanities people) and lives to tell the tale. Two levities this week! Few things are scarier than the prospect of a 9am section the morning after Harvard-Yale, but EAG and MN brave the thought and imagine how to survive this apocalyptic scenario. AHL and IYG boldly ask: what if Lamont Library had a Tinder account? You can judge for yourself which way you’d swipe your HUID. Finally, the unrivaled MX graces us with a poignant, unflinching endpaper about her relationship to creative writing, introversion, and walking. There’s no conceit here: it’s just really good. As always, thank yous are in order. Thank you to all our execs, but especially to KT for amazingly dedicated proofing. To JH, for podcasting magic, and to SS and MH for design wizardry. To HNR and BWF for an incredible scrutiny, and equally as importantly, for committing to the bit no matter how late the hour. To JGG for late-night (early morning?) proofing so scrupulous it makes up for your rarely getting the bit. To RCU, happy birthday. And to SSL, who is scarily good at her job. Thank you. Enjoy Issue XIII! Now that you have all of tomorrow to read it, there’s no excuse not to. Spellbound, MVE & SSL