What’s in the Water

I don’t know what infected my own parents, whose immigrant families had once been described in the same terms as snakeheads, to compel them to live inside a gated enclosure. All I know is that I don’t go home all that often because, when I do, driving up the road past the old iron gates, I feel uneasy. I’m never sure whether I’m entering as a visitor or an inmate, or whether I ever earned my way out.

Reflections on growing up in Crofton, Maryland — site of the Frankenfish Incident of 2002.




  • Sandy Isenstadt
  • Despina Stratigakos
  • Barbara Penner

Sandy Isenstadt

Sandy Isenstadt is a professor of architectural history at the University of Delaware, and a columnist for Places.

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Gabrielle Esperdy

Gabrielle Esperdy is a columnist for Places. She is associate professor of architecture at the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

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Despina Stratigakos

Despina Stratigakos, an associate professor at the University of Buffalo, is a columnist for Places and author of Where Are the Women Architects? and other books on architectural history.

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Barbara Penner

Barbara Penner is a columnist for Places. She is Professor of Architectural Humanities at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL.

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