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This week, we’re sharing stories from Brian M. Rosenthal, Katelyn Burns, Chris Ip, Wendy S. Walters, and Nathaniel Penn.

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1. ‘They Were Conned’: How Reckless Loans Devastated a Generation of Taxi Drivers

Brian M. Rosenthal | The New York Times | May 19, 2019 | 28 minutes (11,532 words)

A two-part investigation examining how taxi industry leaders artificially inflated the price of medallions, which allow taxi drivers the ability to own and operate a cab, and trapped low-income drivers in reckless loans while government officials looked the other way.

2. When I Couldn’t Tell the World I Wanted to Transition, I Went to Dressbarn

Katelyn Burns | Vox — The Goods | May 23, 2019 | 9 minutes (2,300 words)

“Earlier this week, Dressbarn’s parent company announced that it would be closing all 650 locations to focus on more profitable brands, and I’m sad to see my sentimental favorite go. I have bought many dresses since then, but I have a special place in my heart for that particular Dressbarn, in a parking lot between an Olive Garden and a Super Cuts. I look at the store now like I look at my manhood — it was there when I needed it most, but in the end, it couldn’t last. I’m going to miss the place.”

3. Impossible Foods’ Rising Empire of Almost-Meat

Chris Ip | Engadget | May 19, 2019 | 24 minutes (6,100 words)

A story of a bloodless culinary coup in the trillion-dollar market for meat? It’s possible!

4. The Black Law Students’ Association Party (or, Why Can’t I Write Joy?)

Wendy S. Walters | Iowa Review | May 16, 2019 | 12 minutes (3,068 words)

Trying to answer that question sends the author back into her past, where she examines her black middle class upbringing, black upward mobility, and the tenuous prosperity of the educated and ambitous.

5. The Curious Cons of the Man Who Wouldn’t Die

Nathaniel Penn | GQ | May 20, 2019 | 29 minutes (7,483 words)

“Do I understand what he was up against? Mark asks me. Did I see that the disease had every single advantage? When you’re facing that kind of enemy, in that kind of battle, you’re allowed to cheat, aren’t you?”