The Last Days of the Leather Fortress

Besides motel rooms and swank LA mansions, where does hardcore porn get filmed? For the last ten years, in this San Francisco basement. Here’s a very NSFW portrait of’s final week.

Author: Tina Horn
Source: Hazlitt
Published: Oct 11, 2017
Length: 19 minutes (4,958 words)

Magic Can Be Normal

In an effort to help her eight-year-old daughter see herself — an Asian American girl — in popular culture, Nicole Chung takes her to see Desdemona Chiang’s race-conscious production of The Winter’s Tale at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

Source: Hazlitt
Published: Jul 18, 2017
Length: 10 minutes (2,560 words)

The McSorley Poet

Rafe Bartholomew tells the story of his father — Geoffrey Bartholomew — who felt that his addiction to alcohol and his bartending job at famed McSorley’s in New York City had prevented him from achieving the dream of becoming a writer. Bartholomew quit the booze, but not the bar and wrote a self-published manuscript of poetry: The McSorley Poems: Voices from New York City’s Oldest Pub. In this poignant story of ambition, regrets, fathers, and sons, Rafe recounts how Bartholomew found his voice by mining the humanity of the “Unsorted Regulars, Misfits, Liars, Heroes & Psychos” who frequented the bar.

Source: Hazlitt
Published: May 8, 2017
Length: 22 minutes (5,555 words)

An Incomplete List of My Failures

In this installment of Mouthful — a monthly column at Hazlitt about the author’s relationship with food, ten years into recovery from anorexia and bulimia — Sarah Gerard examines failure. She recounts failing a stranger, a failed project, and her failed marriage and considers how these experiences have affected her outlook on life and her ongoing recovery.

Source: Hazlitt
Published: Apr 27, 2017
Length: 10 minutes (2,536 words)

The Loneliness Recipe

In searching for a Korean radish called mu in a bid to make her grandmother’s soup, Vivien Lee meditates on family and food — what it means to be Korean in the West — where the burning desire for individuality is at odds with the communal approach to life, food, and family in the East.

Author: Vivien Lee
Source: Hazlitt
Published: Apr 11, 2017
Length: 6 minutes (1,552 words)

A Place of Absorption

Katherine Laidlaw recalls an abusive relationship in which her boyfriend threatened her with a boxcutter. In examining why she stayed as long as she did, she observes how the emotional scars affect her thinking and perception in what should be a new, exciting relationship — to the point where “Everything now — a flicker of tone, a sideways glance, a distant voice on the end of the phone — is a sign, a flag, a warning.”

Source: Hazlitt
Published: Mar 16, 2017
Length: 12 minutes (3,183 words)

Uncommon Ancestry

How fertility doctors impregnating their own clients is more common than you might think and on how the law around tracking sperm donors and donations is impotent against the problem.

Source: Hazlitt
Published: Mar 7, 2017
Length: 25 minutes (6,341 words)

The Meaning of Allahu Akbar

An essay on the many true and beautiful meanings you’ve never heard of behind “takbir” — the expression of Muslim faith, “Allahu Akbar” — literally, “God is great.”

Source: Hazlitt
Published: Feb 9, 2017
Length: 6 minutes (1,538 words)

‘Failing is a Skill of General Utility’: An Interview with Sarah Manguso

Anna Furman interviews Sarah Manguso about the process of writing her new book, 300 Arguments, her writing influences, failure and thwarted ambition, and how she’s sleeping post-inauguration.

Source: Hazlitt
Published: Feb 10, 2017
Length: 10 minutes (2,658 words)

Butches, Femmes, and Mobsters: The Three Lives of Malvina Schwartz

“Moms Mabley? She was a very good friend of mine. We used to go to the Theresa Hotel, Frank’s Restaurant, and Johnny Walker’s—that was the one black gay bar, uptown. Billie Holiday used to come there, and Lionel Hampton, Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughan. Everything was accepted. You were just another freak, barking along.”

Author: Hugh Ryan
Source: Hazlitt
Published: Oct 12, 2016
Length: 19 minutes (4,855 words)