MapSo Spotlight: Maplewoodian, Columbia High School Student: Josh Lee

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Hey, I’m Josh Lee!

What town do you live in, and how long have you lived here?

I’ve been a Maplewoodian since 2010.

SOMA or MapSO?

Mapso, always. I mean, there is definitely a generational divide over what we call our towns, if you’re over 40 you probably say SOMA. Soma just reminds me of somatic cells.

What do you do?

Not much really. I’m a CHS senior, member of the boys’ distance running team, clarinetist of the CHS Wind Ensemble, co-leader of Asian-American Student Alliance, Student Council Communications Chair, Achieve peer tutor, adamant SZA stan.

Which book have you been meaning to read?

I’ve been meaning to read Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari to familiarize myself with anthropological concepts.

If you could say one nice thing to the residents of MapSO, what would it be?

Continue the creative environment that celebrates the arts and produces talented artists like Lauryn Hill and SZA. Let’s keep the Columbia High School Hall of Fame stocked for the next few decades.

Is there anything about our towns that bugs you? Or, if you could change one thing, what would it be?

Stop saying our towns are diverse and progressive without first acknowledging and fighting against our towns’ ugliest flaws and inequalities.

If MapSO was a type of music or flavor of ice cream, what kind of music or flavor of ice cream would it be?

Mapso is like an overpriced, organic vanilla ice cream that you buy in some Brooklyn ice cream store. We have high property taxes, are kind of indie and granola, and are a pretty generic suburb in a good way.

What’s your favorite dessert in MapSO?

Vanilla soft-serve with rainbow sprinkles in a wafer cone from Village Ice Cream. It satisfies a childhood craving.

What’s your favorite thing about living here?

We are so close to NYC, but also have our own little splice of nature in the reservation. It’s the best of both worlds. Also the youth activism in our communities is promising and powerful.

Which MapSO has the best pizza and what is it?

Arturo’s Margherita pizza in Maplewood.

What’s your favorite place to go on Saturday morning?

The Bread Stand with my friends to order a pain au chocolat and hot coffee.

What is your favorite place to hang out in Maplewood and South Orange Village?

Hanging out in the rez on a balmy day with my friends unbothered by any of life’s stresses.

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