"Jean-Michel's paintings contain spiraling active forces, and these forces are a constant. One force is script. Nothing makes him more righteously angry than to get this question, 'Tell me about your graffiti.' What Jean-Michel did was not graffiti. There were statements, there were epigrams, and he wanted you to see them so he wrote it out always in capital letters. That is one current always flowing."
"'One night, it was almost closing time and a dude grabbed the conga then started chanting: ‘Aguacero de mayo [‘May showers’].’ I wrote: ‘Perhaps this has reference to the religions in Cuba.’ Cut thirty years to 1985: I’ve been assigned to interview Toni Morrison, who said, ‘My mama said you should jump out in the first showers in May’—and I froze. Lydia Cabrera, the queen of Afro-Cuban anthropology, wrote: When you prepare the prenda, the Kongo charm, one ingredient may be rain from the first showers in May; it comes direct from God.'"
"Parts of these chapters were written on the tables of Jean Michel Gamme and Jean-Pierre Vuillermet's Union League Cafe in New Haven. I was equally welcome to write at Caffe Adulis, where the three Eritrean brother-owners — Sahle, Fiere, and Gideon Ghebreyesus — even went so far as to twist dials to cast extra light on my table. Similar courtesies were extended by Jeff Horton at Scoozie's Restaurant and John Clark at Zinc. All of these restaurants are in New Haven."
"'Rap has really begun to get around the mainstream culture,' said Robert Farris Thompson, a professor of African and Afro-American art history at Yale University. Hip-hop words from what was once an underclass subculture are now common parlance among America's youth. 'Rappers are persons of words, and those words are getting into the language,' said Professor Thompson."
"The atmosphere of a university is the subtle creation of its history, traditions, and surroundings, and is an element as vital as its more tangible properties. If, as Syrus says, 'Discipulus est priori posterior dies,' antiquity is a factor in its influence which neither wealth nor equipment nor even a high order of instruction can supersede. If we wish to take a true estimate of the genius of the institution, we must consider the character of the men who attended its birth and impressed themselves upon its youth, the molding force of the events through which it has passed, and the ideals toward which it has always striven."
"The ironmonger opposite South College uses his front yard to advertise his wares. On the door-steps is a pair of 'portal-warding lion-whelps.' On one side of the walk is a deer with liver-colored mottlings, and on the other a realistic Newfoundland dog. In the center of the right-hand grass plot is a bathukolpos sphinx on a pedestal, and in the centre of the left-hand plot an ornamented fountain with goldfish. On the edge of the basin squats a large green frog."
"Time and tempest felled it at last; but it blooms here in marble still, its name is preserved throughout the city as the distinguishing mark of divers stores, shops, and companies; and a pretty marble slab, like a grave stone, in Charter Oak Place inadequately marks where the original flourished until 1856. In Bushnell Park (named after that eminent theologian, the late Dr. Horace Bushnell, who was the chief promoter of this public pleasure ground) there is a couple of Charter Oaks junior, sprung from its fruit; and 'certified' acorns, possibly taken from these younger trees, but supposed to have grown upon the parent, have been worth their weight in gold at charity fairs. Across the Connecticut, leading to East Hartford, stretches a covered bridge one thousand feet long, and taking up in its construction a corresponding quantity of timber. Mark Twain, showing some friends about, told them that bridge also was built of wood from the Charter Oak."
"It is at the fireside that we look for virtue and patriotism; for songs that stir the blood and fire the zeal; for songs of home, of mother, and of love, that touch the heart and brighten the eye. Music teaches all that is beautiful in this world. Let us not hamper it with a machine that tells the story day by day, without variation, without soul, barren of the joy, the passion, the ardor that is the inheritance of man alone."