Search Results for: San Francisco Magazine

Dear New Owners: City Magazines Were Already Great

As the president sucks up the oxygen from the media atmosphere, it’s easy to forget how important local journalism is right now. The regional press—the holy trinity of newspapers, alt-weeklies, and city magazines—is where we can find true stories of friends and neighbors impacted by immigration raids, fights over funding public education, and the frontline of relaxed environmental standards that will impact the water we drink and the air we breathe. We need to support their work. Read more…

Making the Magazine: A Reading List

Magazine nerds, here we go: A starter collection of behind-the-scenes stories from some of your most beloved magazines, including The New Yorker, Time, Entertainment Weekly, Cosmopolitan, Vanity Fair and the New York Review of Books, plus now-defunct publications like Might, George, Sassy and Wigwag. Share your favorite behind-the-magazine stories with us on Twitter or Facebook: #longreads. Read more…

The Bohemians: The San Francisco Writers Who Reinvented American Literature

Ben Tarnoff | The Bohemians, Penguin Press | March 2014 | 46 minutes (11,380 words)

Download .mobi (Kindle) Download .epub (iBooks)


For our Longreads Member Pick, we’re thrilled to share the opening chapter of The Bohemians: Mark Twain and the San Francisco Writers Who Reinvented American Literature, the book by Ben Tarnoff, published by The Penguin Press. Read more…

How One Magazine Shaped Investigative Journalism in America

The following story comes recommended by Ben Marks, senior editor for Collectors Weekly:

Doris Kearns Goodwin’s most recent history, The Bully Pulpit, chronicles the intertwined lives of Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft, often in excruciating detail, from Roosevelt’s struggles with the bosses of his Republican party to the fungal infections that plagued Taft’s groin. But the most illuminating aspect of Pulpit is the spotlight it shines on the muckraking journalism of the early 20th century, particularly as practiced by a monthly magazine called McClure’s. There, writers such as Ida Tarbell, Ray Baker, and Lincoln Steffens held the feet of the powerful to the fire. In one landmark issue, January 1903, articles by all three were featured, including the third installment of Tarbell’s 12-part exposé of Standard Oil and Baker’s counter-intuitive, sympathetic portrait of coal miners, whose dire circumstances had forced them to cross picket lines. Read more…

5280 Magazine's Geoff Van Dyke: My Top 5 Longreads of 2011

Geoff Van Dyke is deputy editor of 5280 Magazine in Denver. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Outside, and Men’s Journal.


• “The Food at our Feet,” by Jane Kramer, The New Yorker

Kramer can almost make you smell and taste the stuff she’s picking: mint, asparagus, fennel, mushrooms. Plus, maybe my favorite lead sentence of the year: “I spent the summer foraging, like an early hominid with clothes.”

• “The Kill Team,” by Mark Boal, Rolling Stone

The disturbing investigation into an Army unit in Afghanistan that was killing civilians for sport.

• “Liking Is for Cowards. Go for What Hurts,” by Jonathan Franzen, New York Times

I kind of didn’t want to like this piece, but Franzen’s assessment of “consumer technology products,” and our fraught relationships with them, feels right on.

• “The Day that Damned the Dodgers,” by Lee Jenkins, Sports Illustrated

As a lifelong San Francisco Giants fan, it was heartbreaking to read this chronicle of how the Giants’ greatest rival, the Los Angeles Dodgers, have gone from one of the most respected organizations in sports to one of the most dysfunctional.

“What Really Happened to Strauss-Kahn?” by Edward Jay Epstein, The New York Review of Books

A fascinating investigation that suggests Dominique Strauss-Kahn was set up, perhaps even by people associated with French president Nicolas Sarkozy.


Pretty much anything by Charles P. Pierce at Grantland, but especially his piece on the beginning of the end of NCAA sports and his unflinching essay on Jerry Sandusky and Penn State.


See more lists from our Top 5 Longreads of 2011 >

Share your own Top 5 Longreads of 2011, all through December. Just tag it #longreads on Twitter, Tumblr or Facebook. 

The Top 5 Longreads of the Week

Below, our favorite stories of the week. Kindle users, you can also get them as a Readlist.
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The Top 5 Longreads of the Week

Below, our favorite stories of the week. Kindle users, you can also get them as a Readlist.

Sign up to receive this list free every Friday in your inbox.

* * *

Read more…

Why Certain Workers Are More Vulnerable to Wage Theft

The problem of wage theft is not confined to any one industry, ethnicity, size of business, or corporate structure, says Labor Commissioner Julie Su. Each year, California loses approximately $8 billion in tax revenues to wage theft, and Su’s office has investigated millions of dollars’ worth of violations committed by, among others, a hospital, assisted living providers, and a construction project. But restaurants in Chinatown are particularly egregious offenders: A 2010 report by the CPA found that half of Chinatown restaurant workers have had their wages undercut, payments withheld, or tips stolen. A survey of low-wage workers in Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles, performed by the National Employment Labor Project, reveals that close to 85 percent of foreign-born Asians, 78.8 percent of women, and nearly 85 percent of undocumented workers have experienced overtime violations.

Among the most likely victims of wage theft are nonunion workers, people who don’t speak English, and immigrants who lack an understanding of their rights. Not all of the workers involved in the Yank Sing campaign fell into these categories, but many still felt vulnerable. If they went public too soon, if they picketed the sidewalk or stormed the dining room or publicized their story in the media, they risked turning management against them and losing their livelihood— and many of them wanted to keep working for Yank Sing. Their situation was unusual: According to Kao of the Asian Law Caucus, three-quarters of the wage claims received by the organization’s free legal clinic in San Francisco are filed by workers who have already left their job. People who are still employed, notes Victor Narro, project director at the UCLA Labor Center, typically don’t risk such actions without the protection of a union contract.

Vanessa Hua, writing for San Francisco Magazine about a brigade of kitchen workers who successfully fought to recoup $4 million in lost wages from Yank Sing, one of San Francisco’s premier dim sum restaurants.

Read the story

What It’s Like for Renters in America: A Reading List

As we all recently learned from the now-Mayor of New York Bill de Blasio’s campaign, America is becoming increasingly divided along class lines. Major cities, such as de Blasio’s New York (or #deblasiosnewyork, if you like Twitter), are keeping up with that trend. These are three stories of hellish renting experiences in major American cities:

1. “Sympathy for the Landlord” (Lauren Smiley, San Francisco magazine, October 2013)

Smiley’s story about renting in the most expensive city in the country isn’t a very light read, but her nuanced view is essential to understanding the current political and societal climate in San Francisco.

2. “Why Run a Slum If You Can Make More Money Housing the Homeless?” (Andrew Rice, New York magazine, December 1, 2013)

The story of how one family gamed the system and is charging the government $3600 per month, per room, to house some of New York’s many, many homeless.

3. “Lord of the Sties” (David Bates, Boston magazine, January 2014)

Bates’ story about nightmare landlord Anwar Faisal is a terrifying portrait of what it’s like to be a college student renting in Boston.

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Photo: eviltomthai, Flickr