Where I Go: The Place Where Everybody Knows My Name

Writer Arvin Temkar Traveled to Arvin, California, in Search of the Arvin of It All

I used to wonder: Is there any place where people will know my name?

I’ve always hated Arvin, my uncommon, easy-to-mangle name. For most of my life I didn’t even know where it came from. When I was a kid I asked my father, who is from India, what my name means. He told me, “beautiful face.”

A skeptical child, I didn’t believe him. A recent Google search confirmed my suspicions, revealing no such translation and no correlation between my name and a predisposition to attractive features. So, not long ago, I …