nicole a clark


The Boba Guys Just Want You To Love Their Balls

// The Bold Italic

It’s 10:40 a.m. on a Thursday. The intersection of Octavia and Haight is already clogged with cars, and I consider purposefully dawdling because I’m 20 minutes early for my interview with the founders of Boba Guys. I don’t want to enter the premises early, not just because it’s awkward, but because I know that the tapioca “pearls” aren’t ready until 11:00 a.m. — and I’m committed to ordering the same drink every time. It requires balls. Twelve ounces, hot lychee green tea, almond milk and 25 percent sweetness.

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I Went to San Quentin to Meet the Inmates Who Code, But I Left with More Questions Than Answers

//The Bold Italic

The courtyard at San Quentin State Prison is perfectly coiffed, decked with bird-of-paradise flowers, calla lilies and the bright-green grasses you’d find on a suburban lawn. These topiaries sit between “heaven and hell,” a spot thronged by churches and maximum-security holding cells. The unsightly creeps in if you look up at the watchtowers, bedazzled with barbs in loose coils.

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The Modest Problem of Death: On Mark O’Connell’s To Be a Machine

// The Los Angeles Review of Books


The Masks Come Off When You Enter ‘The Speakeasy’

//No Proscenium

Mark O’Connell’s To Be a Machine gives voice to the transhumanist movement, which is predicated on the belief that technology should be used to extend human life and eventually achieve immortality. Transhumanism may appear to approach the occult, but many of the innovations O’Connell writes about have already infiltrated our collective consciousness.

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Around the corner from City Lights, a man in a blue hat waits for you to deliver the word. He will give you directions, and should you choose to accept them, you will find yourself at the heart of a speakeasy, transported back in time to the 1920s, the time of the Prohibition.

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Personal Essays

Selective Novacane

// Femsplain

I dislike the appropriation of personal tragedy into storytelling for this very reason. There is nothing beautiful about it. If not that, there should be nothing beautiful about it. But this Russian roulette is the closest approximation to living with depression. You wake up every morning contemplating table stakes without the energy to actively participate in the making or undoing of your own life. And so you run.

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Things I Have Actually Done to Escape Street Harassment

// The Bold Italic

I’m walking down Mission Street, and someone drops the “You’d look better if you smiled, baby.” So, of course, I oblige by laying a smile on them, because what’s a girl to do? You have some options here. Smile so aggressively you look vaguely unhinged, like a cartoon character on acid. Alternatively, raise your upper lip to ooze some type of seductive chipmunk ethos. The options are really limitless and can be customized with your full creative preference.

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Growing Pains

// Yale Daily News Magazine

I’ll spell it out for you. You have your Montagues and you have your Capulets — they don’t really get along. Romeo is your typical angsty teenager. He broods until he sees a hot, new underage thing. Juliet, at the delectable age of twelve, enters the scene. They chat. They exchange scribes. His life is changed forever.

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What Non-Burners Think Happens at Burning Man

// The Bold Italic

Every year around Labor Day, a group of 60,000 people gather in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert for a week of bacchanalia and “radical self-expression.” But what actually happens at Burning Man? Even regular Burners have difficulty describing the experience with any clarity — and since there’s so much going on, everyone’s experience is a little different.

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