Expense Account, Mint
One of the first things you notice about New Haven, home to Yale University, once the senses have taken their fill of freshly brewing coffee, the natty boutiques and the buzzing bars, are the people who rummage through dustbins and ask you for some change. Adding to the feel of big-city crime in this tiny (population 130,000) seaside city halfway between the Big Apple and Boston are the notices in the mail from the university and the police that warn about dangers of walking alone after dark. That crime and poverty are twins in urban areas I know from Delhi, but to see the homeless rummage through bins, take a sip out of a bottle in the trash can to get at that last elusive drop, in a country known for its wealth, is part of my culture shock. Of course, I get over the other shock of constantly trying to enter shuttles and cars from the “wrong” side. The feeling of living in a bubble, as a member of the urban mass affluent in Delhi, persists with me. Across the globe. In a country with a per capita income 46 times mine. But one in six is poor in the US. That things are broken in the US is clear. But the work to reinvent is on as well. I am discovering this at Yale.