Left to right: Niamani Williams-Coles ’20, Jonathan Paul ’22, Dagim Belete ’22 and Thai Nguyen ’21 posed and discussed their own favorite flags. For Paul, it’s Trinidad and Tobago, “because it reminds me of home”; for Nguyen, it’s Vietnam; for Belete, who is from Addis Ababa, it’s the green-yellow-red flag of Ethiopia. He explains, smiling: “I love those colors together so much that I’m even happy when I see red, yellow and green apples together!”
Left: Megan Thompson, stage name “Angelfire,” is a fire spinner who trained with a troupe in Boston. “The Amherst crowd is super amazing,” she said. That crowd collectively gasped in admiration as she hula-hooped a ring of fire and together winced at the potential dangers. When asked if she’s afraid of getting burned, she said, “You tend to get burned more in the kitchen than playing with fire like I do.”
Right: When I asked fire guy Peter Meyer if he had a title, he said, “Human.” And if I were to describe what he does? He said, “Play.” Meyer, who has a background in martial arts, said he doesn’t perform, he plays, and “the hardest thing to do is to just play and know that people are watching us play.”
Left, top and bottom: Daniel Kim (in black shirt), an admitted student, is a Californian, so he was a bit suspicious of the festival’s New England-made churros (creations of the Valentine Dining Hall staff), “but they really hold up.” Asked which flag on Fayerweather resonated most, he said he was proud of his Korean descent and pointed to the white, black, red and blue flag of South Korea.
Right, top and bottom: Adriana Badena, an admitted student, had never played cornhole before, but she gave those beanbags a toss. A Houston native, Badena also said the churros were surprisingly good. Her favorite flag was the Mexican one, which reflects her own background.
Left to right: Tejia Pavao ’21, Marley (last name not known), Stephen Johnson ’19, Kennedy Reed ’19. Pavao was partial to the Lebanese flag, because of Amherst’s exchange student here from the American University of Beirut, while Reed was drawn to the French flag since she hopes to study in Paris soon.
Most of the cuisine was cooked by Val staffers, but the fresh-made crepes were courtesy of The Paris Creperie café in Brookline, Mass. The crepes came in three flavors: strawberry with butter and brown sugar; bear claw with cinnamon and cookie butter from Trader Joe’s; and dulce de leche. Pictured here is cook Nicole Allen. Note the Eiffel Tower logo on her shirt.
“This is the greatest day of my life,” joked admitted student Joanna Idrovo (at right). “I have an alien balloon hat on my head, I’m eating coffee fudge ice cream, and I’m listening to K pop.” Joanna, who was drawn to the Mexican and Ecuadorean flags, was with Andressa Silva (left), an admitted student (who has accepted). Silva loved the Brazilian flag and confided to her questioner, “I have eaten so much food!”
Left to right: Cosmo Brossy ’19, Emery Sorvino ’19, Lauren Eisner ’19, Billy Massey ’21. “This is the best event of the year,” said Eisner. Brossy held a container of poutine from the Canada / U.S. food tent. What about flag preferences? Sorvino said Denmark, since she was back from studying abroad in Copenhagen, while Brossy suggested Portugal, which he had visited on spring break after studying Portuguese.
They called it the “Battle of the Patricks.” Senior Patrick Rauschelbach ’19 and first-year student Patrick Spoor ’22 noticed the line had temporarily shortened to play a giant game of Connect Four. So they went four it. Each took turns dropping plate-sized purple or white discs to try and get a quartet all in a row, á la tic-tac- toe. The elder Patrick won, gloated mildly and got wistful that this was his last on-campus City Streets. He was born in Bitburg, so his favorite flag was the German one, while Spoor’s was Ecuador (his mom’s family is from Guayaquil).
Lianbi Ji ’21 (at left) is a big fan of City Streets: “It’s just wonderful: it’s one of the few occasions when all at the college can get together.” Ji remembered how she felt, back when she went to the festival as an admitted student and spotted the flag of China. “When I first arrived, it made me feel so welcome.” She is shown here with her friend Benny Weng, a Williams College student.
“I fed them some of the beef short ribs, and they loved it!” said Joseph Herzig (in glasses) of his dogs Pearl (black and white) and Dutch (brown), who got a lot of love from passersby. Herzig, a landscaper, is the son of Cathie Rubeck, lead garde-manger in Dining Services. What’s your mom’s best dish? I asked Herzig. Said he: “All her dishes are the best dishes.”
A number of eager, shoeless students lined up next to the young children of staff and faculty for a turn, then skidded down the bouncy slide. We didn’t get the name of this partaker. But if you know who this is, slide us the name.
Dusk befell this, the seventh annual City Streets celebration—which took place, as I learned from Joshi Gajadhar, a postdoctoral physics research associate at the College, on Nepal’s new year’s day. “Naya Barsha Ko Subhakamana!” he wrote in my notebook; “Happy New Year!” in Nepali. You can see the nation’s distinct double-triangle-shaped flag—the only non-quadrilateral national flag in the world—in the bottom row of the flags illuminating this special night.