Street: Let’s talk about Street. How did you prove that you had what it takes to lead our fine publication?
Nina Wolpow: I spent all of the money that I brought to Havana, Cuba, where I was studying abroad, buying internet cards for dial–up internet at various nationalized hotels in order to interview for this job. So I think that got the point across.
Street: What was studying abroad in Cuba like?
NW: It’s definitely not for the faint of heart or stomach, but it’s a really incredible experience. I encourage anyone with an international passport or the balls to break laws to go immediately, and see the last little fractal of communism that floated off the Soviet Union that still exists. It’s also really cool because they don’t have very much technology, so live music is still a huge thing there.
Street: How was flying there?
NW: So it was just us and all these Cubans bringing like 17 dozen Krispy Kreme donuts and big screen TVs and just insane shit. The conveyor belt at the airport was the most absurd thing I’ve ever seen in my life. I don’t know how the transition from rice and beans to Krispy Kreme goes on the digestive system, but I imagine it’s not great.
Street: Back to Street: Describe what it was like to be the mama of the Street family.
NW: It was a lot of buying food from Fresh Grocer, a lot of calming Chloe Bower’s nerves when she had design panic attacks late Wednesday nights and a lot of waiting all night for Sam and Hose (Ed. note: former Managing and Online Managing Editors) to finish so we could get McFlurries from McDonald’s.
Street: Did you deal with a lot of backlash as EIC?
NW: Yeah, you have to have a really thick skin. Or, just pretend like you have a really thick skin and go home and cry.
Street: Who or what would the Street mascot be?
NW: Definitely the Fish McBite...I went through a phase where Sam and I would only sing the Fish McBites jingle. And so the mascot, at least when I was there, would 100% be the Fish McBite.
Street: What was the biggest Street scandal during your EIC career?
NW: Getting kicked out of my house in Puerto Vallarta for a temporary period of time for things that were published in the Round Up.
Street: That’s so mean.
NW: I deserved it.
Street: Fill in the blank: there are two kinds of people at Penn...
NW: Those who find themselves in country music, and those who just don’t get it.
Street: What’s your guilty pleasure?
NW: My guilty pleasure is really cheap American food. I love Olive Garden. Whereas some people like pizza, like, that’s not my thing. If you take me to Olive Garden—the whole salad, breadstick, alfredo combo...
Street: If you could live anywhere on the planet, where would it be and why?
NW: In “Friday Night Lights.” I’m definitely a Tim Riggins girl even though I don’t want to be.
Street: If you could have a drink with anyone in history, who would it be and why?
NW: I wanna say Faulkner because he’s my favorite writer, but I’m going to say Hemingway because he was hotter. Physically. But I would rather talk to Faulkner.
Street: What will you be doing on this day in 10 years?
NW: Honestly, I’ll probably be making dinner for a bunch of kids. I really want a lot of kids—fun fact. Five or six or seven.
Street: What’s your favorite Disney movie?
NW: “Snow White” was definitely my favorite. I wore a Snow White costume for 30 days straight until my mom taught me how to make a sandwich and I cut a tomato and the tomato squirted on my Snow White dress.
Street: When was the last time you cried?
NW: Ugh, last night. I’m writing my thesis! I cry every day.
Street: Tell us about your first kiss.
NW: I remember my first good kiss. My first good kiss was at boarding school on a swing set. As the bells were ringing for me to have to check in for my freshman check in. My first love.
Street: What was your first AIM screenname?
NW: Ninabike. Because my cousin’s was Alexsoccer, and I wanted to be like her. And I couldn’t do Ninasoccer so I was like, shit, what other sports do I play? And the answer at that time was none, so...bike.
Street: What will you miss most about Penn?
NW: Knowing that in a huge place populated with so many people there are so many things that can, just, surprise you and make you happy...Real cities and real life—I don’t think it’s really like that.
Street: So why’d you want to pose naked for your picture?
NW: Well first, because I really love that scene in “Forrest Gump”...But the reason I posed naked for this photo is because for a long time, Street replaced my sex life, and was the only thing that was allowed to touch me at night. So I thought it would be appropriate.