Allison had never met the woman who rang her doorbell one wet, bone-chilling Saturday morning in October. But after Allison welcomed Liz Lipman-Stern into her cozy New York City apartment, the two mothers faced each other for only a few seconds before embracing.
“Thank you,” Lipman-Stern murmured, her voice heavy with gratitude.
Allison pulled away and strode to a waist-high deep freezer in a corner of her living room. She withdrew two clear gallon-size bags, each containing smaller frozen pouches of a creamy, pale yellow liquid — Allison’s breast milk. Lipman-Stern took them gingerly and knelt to pack them into two coolers she’d brought as she and Allison exchanged tales of diaper rash. When the milk was secure, Lipman-Stern headed back out into the rain.
Read the rest of the story, about the booming market for breast milk, here.
The early part of the 1960s was a particularly harrowing time for a woman to become pregnant. From 1962 to 1965, a virus of global pandemic proportions was wreaking havoc on fetuses, causing miscarriages and birth defects, and although work on a vaccine was underway, it would not become commercially available until 1969.
The virus was rubella, and the terror it caused in the United States has largely faded from public memory. But Louis Cooper and Stanley Plotkin — doctors who were on the front lines of the epidemic and who both worked to develop vaccines for the virus — have not forgotten. In interviews, they recounted the uncertainty, fear and agonizing choices pregnant women faced during those years. The scenario is one to which a spreading outbreak of Zika virus in the Americas is starting to bear eerie resemblance, in a sign that the U.S. may not be so removed as it thinks from the scourge of infectious disease.
Read the rest of the article here.
Recycling appears nonexistent in Jordan, at least in the developed-country sense of the practice, save for at select locations. But unconventional recycling is alive and well, and it’s easy for residents to contribute to and even facilitate the process by separating trash before tossing it into dumpsters. Continue reading
The truck of a man who makes living reselling scrap materials scavenged from dumpsters.
Few professions are more grueling, dangerous and revealing than digging through trash. As work that is completely dependent upon the refuse of others, it is a window, of sorts, into a country’s economic soul. Continue reading
Up the hill from the office of the magazine where I work is an empty lot bounded by low concrete walls. Strewn with empty cigarette packs and squashed soda cans, this garbage graveyard is also teeming with tall purple thistles, beautiful in their own spiky way.
Some of the crispiest and most flavorful falafel you’ll ever eat comes from Abu Jbara, near Second Circle.
1 – The best falafel is found not at Hashem but at Abu Jbara (not the chain) off of Second Circle, behind the Belle Vue hotel. Their crispy little nuggets contain even more spice and flavor than Hashem’s, and they serve equally tasty hummus, mutabbal, and the like. What’s a bit odd is that if you sit indoors, you have to buy the falafel yourself from the shop next door, whereas if you sit outside, sometimes servers will bring it to you. It is worth the minor hassle, though.
Bread and dough dumped in an empty lot.
They are nestled in the dirty corners of doorsteps and abandoned alleys, dropped haplessly by the roadside, even hung off of dumpsters. These are bags of uneaten bread, bread on which the government of Jordan will spend a whopping 260-290 million JD ($367-410 million) subsidizing this year alone.
AMMAN—Ziad had already donned his white onesie, its front smeared like a painter’s smock with bits of wax and honey as it rested over his Santa-like paunch. His 17-year-old assistant, Adnan, loaded buckets of sugar water into the bed of a pickup so ancient you could see the road through a hole in the passenger side floor.