Photo by Zoshua Colah on Unsplash

The day I met Massimo Vignelli I was a bundle of nerves. It was Spring 2011, my first time in New York City, and my mind buzzed from all the stimulation around me–the blaring sound of the taxi horns, the stench of pizza and garbage hitting my face, the hypnosis of the jumbo screens in Times Square. I scurried my feet throughout the city, eventually arriving at the Upper East Side of Manhattan, where Vignelli lived. To calm my nerves, I peered at my feet, admiring the pristine blocks of concrete that beamed in the spring sunlight. I scoured, block…


Dad stood at the edge of the shore, witnessing the ocean for the first time, at forty. His green eyes peered into the horizon, unmoved by the waves that crashed into his ankles.

“Whatever, I’ve seen large bodies of water before,” he scoffed.

Of course, he had, spending most of his life in Illinois, Michigan, and Ohio–states enveloped by the Great Lakes of North America. But even as his words scoffed the ocean, his eyes refused to look away from the horizon. It had been months since the sunlight beamed on his coarse skin, since the wind brushed through the…


After five years, I’m moving on from my role at Google. During this time, I traveled across six continents–traversing over 100k miles/161k kilometers in 2018 alone. I learned powerful lessons about maps, working in big tech, and the complex feeling in my soul as I witnessed the Internet’s expansion on a global scale. It was a privilege to work with a global team and local organizations to make Google Maps–a tool that one billion people use every month–more inclusive for motorbikes, public transportation, and communities new to the Internet. …


“I want to thank the town of Van Horn,” Jeff Bezos said in his Post-Penis-Rocket-Flight Press Conference.

“This is a small, amazing little town. And you know, we’re making a dent in it.”

But do you know the dents you’ve already made

the ones that scratch through my neighboring streets of Seattle, clawed with cranes that stretch higher and higher

while the tents notch deeper and deeper.

Do you know the dents you’ve made in my hometown in Ohio, that time I drove by that shopping mall I used to work at,

only to find it occupied with parking lots…


An eye-witness account from a US Citizenship Tutor Volunteer

The colors of red and blue flashed from every screen in every home. I walked through my neighborhood in Seattle, gripping the ends of my leather jacket to seal off the bitter wind that trickled through my sleeves. It was Tuesday night–not just any Tuesday–but November 8, 2016. My phone begged for my attention, buzzing incessantly from the inside of my pocket. But I kept walking. With each step, I moved closer and closer towards a building that I had never been inside before but had walked by hundreds of times.

I stepped inside.

The lobby was glossy, illuminated with…


Yesterday, I went to the eye doctor.

The doctor conducted the usual eye exam. A series of choices were projected in front of my eyes.

“Number one?”

“Or number two?”

The visit with the doctor lasted 8 minutes.

Then, it was time to select a new pair of glasses. An optician came forward and offered to help.

The visit with the optician lasted 48 minutes.

I looked at the optician’s name tag. His name was Sean.

Sean looked down at the computer screen with his eyes peered over his glasses. He began to type on his keyboard, entering information into…


I worked at my first job when I was 16.

It was a weird job.

It was 2005. I worked at a store called Babies-R-Us, and sold breast pumps to mothers. I had never used a breast pump before, but I was a great salesperson.

Portable technology. Improved comfort. A strong grip.

The store was located at a shopping mall in the state of Ohio. This mall opened in the late 1980s as the second-largest mall in the state.

In the 1970s-80s, on average, a new mall opened in the United States every three days. But in 2005, as I…

Lauren Celenza

Designer & Writer

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