The effect an HIV-treatment pill is having on the gay community: "For some men, Truvada’s new use seems just as revolutionary for sex as it is for medicine. 'I’m not scared of sex for the first time in my life, ever. That’s been an adrenaline rush,' says Damon L. Jacobs, 43, a therapist who has chronicled his own experience with the drug on Facebook so enthusiastically that some assume Gilead, the drug’s manufacturer, must be paying him."
PUBLISHED: July 13, 2014
LENGTH: 19 minutes (4899 words)
How New York real estate became the new Swiss bank account, drawing in wealthy investors from foreign countries.
PUBLISHED: June 29, 2014
LENGTH: 27 minutes (6750 words)
In Brownsville, Brooklyn kids are joining gangs whose territories are based on the housing projects where they grew up. The warring gangs have helped made Brownsville the "murder capital of New York":
Prosecutors and detectives still don’t know when the battle of Brownsville started or what it was over. Some think it grew out of a perceived slight at a dance-hall party in one of the warring projects, whose turf is separated by about ten blocks. But the authorities did establish a connection to the current group of principals by the summer of 2010, when a series of shootings, allegedly by Hoodstarz members, wounded two associates of the Brownsville Fly Guys (a gang aligned with the Wave Gang). In October, one of them died from the injuries.
Two days later, in what was likely B.F.G. retaliation, the purported Hoodstarz leader, 16-year-old Hakeem (“OCC”) Gravenhise, was ambushed in front of his apartment building with a fatal barrage of gunfire. His mother witnessed the shooting. There have been no arrests in his murder.
PUBLISHED: June 19, 2014
LENGTH: 20 minutes (5179 words)
Our favorite stories of the week, featuring New York magazine, San Francisco magazine, Cincinnati Enquirer, The Awl, and Salon.
TV reporter Miles O’Brien’s first-person account of what it’s like to lose your arm:
I’d always heard amputees talk about the stares and the acute awareness of being viewed as different. During my first shoot for the NewsHour with one arm, I was wearing a blazer when I met a researcher I was to interview. She left the lab, and I took my jacket off. When she returned, it was a good thing she wasn’t sipping her coffee, because she would have offered up an amazing spit take. As we both looked at my stump, I shrugged and said, “It happens.” She smiled and nodded and then we pressed on. It didn’t really bother me for some reason—perhaps because of the honesty of her reaction. What makes me more uncomfortable is when I notice people consciously looking away. Is that pity? Revulsion? On the sidewalks, I look straight at people looking at me, and lots of times, they smile. Maybe I am still attractive. Or maybe I’m a freak.
PUBLISHED: June 12, 2014
LENGTH: 10 minutes (2680 words)
A new FDA-approved painkiller has some doctors worried about its abuse potential:
On October 25, 2013, the FDA announced it had approved the drug. The agency gave its rationale later in a statement: “In the case of Zohydro ER [extended release], we determined that the benefits of the product outweigh its risks.” (The FDA has taken a public beating ever since; every time the FDA defends its decision, the makers of Zohydro post it on the company website like an endorsement.)
Before the sun came up the day after Zohydro’s approval, an opiophile had posted this reaction online: “When a 50 mg Zorro hits the block, it’s gonna fetch a big ol’ price, I betcha. And it’s anti-abuse-proof. Hell, yeah, I can see the Tweens lining up at my klinik already.”
PUBLISHED: June 8, 2014
LENGTH: 18 minutes (4685 words)
A look at the highly competitive world of laundry startups:
In early October, Washio opened up shop in San Francisco. Not surprisingly, the area around Silicon Valley was already awash in laundry disrupters. In addition to Prim, there was Laundry Locker, along with three other locker-technology-enabled businesses: Sudzee, Drop Locker, and Bizzie Box. There was Sfwash, which offered ecofriendly cleaning on top of pickup and delivery. There was even, briefly, a service called Your Hero Delivery, whose driver-founders dressed like superheroes. (“At the end of the day, did we really want to spend our whole lives schlepping dirty laundry?” one of them told PandoDaily of their decision to fold. “No.”) Another upstart was about to launch: Rinse, whose founders described their business to a Dartmouth alumni newsletter as “an ‘Uber’ for dry cleaning and laundry.”
Metzner knew someone in common with the founders of Rinse, so he decided to give its CEO, Ajay Prakash, a call. Just to let him know his company was coming to San Francisco. And so forth. “It was, you know, a perfectly civil conversation,” says Prakash, which may have been what Alan Arkin termed a “business lie.”
PUBLISHED: May 21, 2014
LENGTH: 22 minutes (5545 words)
Our story picks of the week, featuring New York magazine, Texas Observer, Paris Review, Financial Times and Collectors Weekly.
A cancer doctor on losing his wife to cancer:
One day she stumbled on the stairs and told me it was nothing. Then she stumbled the next day and dismissed my concerns when I gasped. “I’m totally fine, I just wasn’t paying attention.” Then the whites of her eyes, the sclera, turned yellow. I didn’t manage it well.
We were sitting at a coffee shop when the light caught her just right and I saw it. I tried for a few moments to keep talking about whatever topic we had landed on, but I discreetly texted a friend of mine from college, also a doctor, in medicalspeak to share the terrible news—“scleral icterus.”
I couldn’t hold it in anyway. “Your eyes are yellow,” I blurted out.
PUBLISHED: May 6, 2014
LENGTH: 24 minutes (6012 words)