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After Sandy, A Great and Complex City Reveals Traumas New and Old

A writer joins her friend Ben Heemskerk, the owner of the Brooklyn bar The Castello Plan, as he organizes a group of community volunteers to help in the hardest hit areas post-Sandy:

"On Monday the same thing started all over again. Our numbers were smaller, people were returning to work, and we'd lost our escorts, but our group now included an Army captain who had just returned from Afghanistan. By noon we'd been dispatched to a church parking lot on Beach 67th Street in Rockaway Beach.

"The parking lot was empty when we arrived except for one National Grid truck; National Grid is the contract operator that works with the Long Island Power Authority, whose power lines run onto the Rockaway Peninsula. Rockaway is the one part of New York City not served by Con Edison. The National Grid truck had set up a table where people could charge their phones.

"It was difficult not to conclude based on our surroundings that the neighborhood had not been served at all. Within five minutes of us setting up our goods in the empty lot, and without any real outreach needed, crowds began to appear—batteries, flashlights, disinfectants, diapers and blankets were getting snatched up quickly. It’s at this point the need began to feel overwhelming, and the frightening suspicion that help, official help in the form of city officials or large established disaster-relief organizations, was not going to arrive, started to sneak up on us."
PUBLISHED: Nov. 10, 2012
LENGTH: 21 minutes (5330 words)

A Reverse Migration from Post-Crack New York

On making a move from the City to the South. Steven Boone and other New Yorkers have headed to Warner Robins, Georgia:

"Like so many young black parents, she moved south not just to provide her children with a more secure environment but also to escape the punishing New York rents. In Warner Robins, entire homes in quiet areas rent for less than a single room in Bed Stuy. Townhouses on well-kept complexes, complete with pool and 24-hour gym access, go for as little as $450 a month and rarely higher than $850. In Macon, the college town next door (and geographically the true dead center of Georgia), gorgeous historic homes rent for as low as $400 a month and often no more than $650. (The local rumor is that, as lovely as the homes are, the ghosts in them insure frequent turnaround. Cool.)

"This new wave of African-Americans heading south has been called the Second Great Migration or the Reverse Migration, in contrast to last century's black exodus from a segregated, hostile South to opportunities in the North."
PUBLISHED: Feb. 5, 2012
LENGTH: 6 minutes (1649 words)

Takeout story: Behind bulletproof glass and out on a bike for a Chinese restaurant in Mott Haven

Nancy Lin, 30, and her family own and run Lok Hin, a Chinese takeout restaurant on Brook Avenue in the Mott Haven of the Bronx. Just recently, in August, Nancy’s younger sister, Lynn, was assaulted on a delivery. She was screaming on the streets while two men punched her and stole her food. The men were about to get her money, too, but she was saved when someone in the neighborhood opened their door and got her inside. The same thing almost happened again to Lynn even more recently, but her brother showed up and scared her attackers off.

Nancy has also been attacked. An armed robber came into their kitchen at lunchtime, pulled a gun on her father and cousin and called out, “Don’t move.”
PUBLISHED: Oct. 24, 2011
LENGTH: 19 minutes (4782 words)

Catastrophic 'News of the World': Some Salvage Jobs Are Impossible, Even for Rupert Murdoch

We've seen scandals before at News Corp. properties, and in normal circumstances, the obsession with the fates of these editors would be a matter of forgetfulness. Do we not already know that top editors and executives in Rupert Murdoch's international media empire, like naughty nephews of the Caesar, need only to be assigned to a lush manor in a remote province for a time before their behavior there necessitates their return to Rome, their old sins in the capital long-forgotten?
PUBLISHED: July 25, 2011
LENGTH: 13 minutes (3269 words)

The Kingdom and the Power of David Carr

This is one version of David Carr, which he endorses: a veteran of the alternative newsweekly scene, and the media-focused Web 1.0 craze; a former crack addict and single father on welfare who has written a memoir all about it without sparing himself, who tweets with abandon, moves comfortably among the paper's enemies at dinners, parties and media events; a journeyman reporter who is content to have the ear of the executive editor and the cub reporters alike on an informal basis, grateful as he is to have the job he has. It's not wrong, but it's not complete.
PUBLISHED: June 23, 2011
LENGTH: 27 minutes (6882 words)

Homelessness in the Age of Bloomberg

We had four options: join Ready Willing and Able’s program, which prepared men to become street sweepers and janitors; sign up for a Bloomberg administration program which presents participants with a one-way ticket out of town, so long as the applicants could provide a contact person in the destination city who would agree to host them; enter the city’s shelter system, which the liaison accurately portrayed as a horror show, with gang-and-drug-infested death traps like Wards Island (Said one of my brethren, “Yo, I was at Wards Island one night, woke up and a dude was laying there dead, all cut the fuck up.”); or hop in the van with him to tour Brooklyn’s three-quarter sober houses, which were private residences that sounded a lot more promising than a shelter.
PUBLISHED: May 21, 2011
LENGTH: 10 minutes (2518 words)

Designer Shades, Quiet Hustle: The Entrepreneurs of the New York City Homeless Shelter

It’s a secret because homelessness is the one condition they find shameful. An inner-city hustler’s entire life is devoted to either rising above his station or projecting the illusion of same. So when the drug abuse or prison term or unemployability send him into the street, he needs a hiding place. Homeless shelters are a place for him to hide his shame. What I discovered at various shelters in New York City is that they are also the place where hustling goes into overdrive.
PUBLISHED: May 13, 2011
LENGTH: 7 minutes (1812 words)

Huffington's Cultural Revolution

You can change the particulars however you want, and set the time anytime you want. Some examples: The website, famous for its slideshows and linkbait, wants real reporting now; the magazine, famous for its celebrity profiles and fashion spreads, wants features on the state of women in Afghanistan; the newspaper, famous for its discounting of the importance of work on the web, wants to liberate you to blog all day; the blog, famous for its short, pithy takes on other people's news, wants long essays. A website that has traditionally treated its "editors" as "product managers" who spend more time in bizdev and marketing meetings than editorial meetings wants to liberate them to provide meaningful guidance, support and direction for a new editorial team with beefier journalistic bona fides.
PUBLISHED: March 23, 2011
LENGTH: 11 minutes (2847 words)

The Making of Anthony Weiner

It seemed to be yet another triumph of the Chuck Schumer school of politics on Sunday morning, when Anthony Weiner made it onto “Meet the Press.” Weiner, after all, is something of a Schumer protégé, a six-term congressman who started out as a lowly college intern in Schumer’s office all the way back in 1985, and who still hails the senator as “my singular influence.”
PUBLISHED: Dec. 1, 2010
LENGTH: 7 minutes (1809 words)