The highway from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Highway 1, looks like any other highway in the world. This fact alone is disconcerting. The road to Jerusalem should be special. Somewhere deep down I suppose I wanted it to be a dirt road, a cobblestone road, anything but a normal highway. I even fantasized that the ascent from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem would not happen by means of a road at all. It would just happen. In reality, it is a highway. A highway filled with too many cars and bastard truck drivers probing the limits of vehicular stability and good sense.

About two thirds of the way up to Jerusalem, however, an interesting and unusual sight does present itself. It is the sight of abandoned vehicles along the side of the road. They aren’t normal vehicles, passenger cars or trucks. The vehicles are painted in the telltale green that only gets slapped on things owned by the military. You don’t get much time to inspect these military vehicles as you drive by on the highway. It is hard to guess their purpose, though it looks like they’ve been there for a while, remnants from something that happened in the first half of the 20th century.
More… “The Road to Jerusalem”

Morgan Meis has a PhD in Philosophy and is a founding member of Flux Factory, an arts collective in New York. He has written for n+1, The Believer, Harper’s Magazine, and The Virginia Quarterly Review. He won the Whiting Award in 2013. Morgan is also an editor at 3 Quarks Daily, and a winner of a Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers grant. A book of Morgan’s selected essays can be found here. He can be reached at



In Berlin, the powers-that-be have ensured that the dead live on. I don’t mean with statues — pick any city and you’ll find a plinth topped by a notable erstwhile resident, and Berlin is certainly no exception. No, this city goes further in its national pride by naming its streets, parks, and bridges after long-deceased German luminaries. Writers, politicians, and protestors lend their names; so too — and perhaps more importantly — do the many top-drawer composers and philosophers that have enriched the world and increased the country’s cultural stock. Schubertstrasse, Brahmsstrasse, Schopenhauerstrasse, and Lessingstrasse are not tucked-away lanes but well-traversed streets. To get to one of my favorite bookstores I head along Kantstrasse (one of the city’s main arteries), turn onto Leibnizstrasse, and before reaching the multi-lane chaos that is Bismarckstrasse, branch off onto the leafy calm… More…

In a public park where families take their children to play on the swings, in what was, just a few decades ago, East Berlin, is a wall of relief sculptures. The sculptures date from the Communist days. They depict children who are happy and healthy, adults who are industrious and kind. There is work, play. There is life. Monuments like these — the remnants of the dreams and aspirations of a lost civilization — can stimulate that most disconcerting emotion amongst Germans: ostalgie (literally, east-stalgia, nostalgia for the old East Germany). It is not the first thing you expect to encounter in Berlin, ostalgie, until you realize that nothing in Berlin is settled, no aspect of the recent past has yet been laid to rest.


Just up the block from the park is a square, in the center… More…


From the editors: We are saddened by the passing this week of Drexel University President Constantine Papadakis. Quite simply, this publication would not exist if not for the strong and unwavering support of President Papadakis. Contributing writer Paula Marantz Cohen reflects on his legacy.

Constantine Papadakis, president of Drexel University, died at the age of 63 on April 5. “Taki,” as he liked to be called, succumbed to complications connected to a year-long struggle with lung cancer. His death should not have been surprising, yet it was. It seemed unthinkable that this enormous life force had been quenched.

When Taki became president of Drexel 13 years ago, the university was in dire straits. The physical plant was in disrepair, enrollment had plummeted, and salaries were frozen. I recall the first time the faculty met with its new president…. More…