34th Street Magazine is part of a student-run nonprofit.

Please support us by disabling your ad blocker on our site.

Letter from the Editor

Letter from the Editor 12.04.2019

Catch you on the flip–side.

last letter.jpg
Photo: Sam Holland

For my entire tenure as its editor–in–chief, I’ve struggled to find a good answer to a very important question: what is Street? 

I started out in the negative. Street isn’t iced coffee. It isn’t high–, middle–, or low–brow. But you have to define something in the affirmative, and here’s what I’ve settled on, after a long year of sleepless nights and desk soup and Slack messages. 

Street is the lived, human experience of Penn. It’s what you’re listening to, watching, reading in the news, wondering about, filtered through an analytical, sharp perspective.

Street is legacy. As of 2019, it’s more than double the age of the editors who run it, but it doesn’t show a wrinkle. Street is people. For me, it’s been Dalton, Daniel, Ethan, Lily, Sarah, Nick, Remi, Angela, Autumn, Dani, Sabrina, Isabella, and so many more. 

I think the reason I had trouble answering what Street is, the reason I dodged that question for so long, is that I thought Street was me. And it’s not—anymore. And that’s okay. 

I joined Street my freshman year. I needed it, because around that time, I was struck by a peculiar feeling. I felt that my life was truly, utterly worthless. I will spare you the details of that year; I relive them enough.  

What I will say is that 34th Street Magazine gave me a place to belong. It helped me find my voice as a writer, and gave me the confidence to find my voice as a person. It made me realize I didn’t need to be in Wharton, and gave me the tools to do what I’ve always wanted. It has been the honor of my life to lead this publication and to give to it some small fraction of what it has given to me. 

With the close of this letter, I turn Street over to new keepers—hopefully better ones. And they’ll turn Street over too, next year. We’re stewards here, each hoping to pass on something a little bit better than it was before. And, if we're lucky, we leave a little bit better too.


Most Read