Louis Scarcella was a star New York City detective in the ’80s and ’90s, cracking cases no one else could. Now it appears that many of the people he put away were innocent, forced into false confessions and convicted with testimony from flimsy witnesses. Scarcella maintains that he did nothing wrong, despite evidence against him much stronger than in many of his cases.
The postscript of a viral hit.
The gangs of Brooklyn’s Brownsville, an area with the higest concentration of public housing in America.
The murder of an Iranian band in Brooklyn by one of their own.
Previously: Nancy Jo Sales on the Longform Podcast.
Memories of the old neighborhood, before everything changed.
Tyson on his childhood in Brooklyn and the man who changed his life. An excerpt from his upcoming memoir, Undisputed Truth.
The story of Kokie’s, and its gentrifying Williamsburg neighborhood.
Why almost everything we think we know about the iconic photo from Robinson’s first game is wrong.
How the Brooklynization of culture killed regional music scenes.
Searching for answers 40 years after a Brooklyn man threw acid in the face of his 4-year-old neighbor.
A profile of Quentin Rowan, a.k.a. Q. R. Markham, ‘author’ of last fall’s short-lived spy novel hit Assassins of Secrets, which was pieced together using more than a dozen sources.
The dissolution of Brooklyn softcore skin-mag Jacques and the marriage of the couple that created it.
An abridged history of violence in "America's first suburb."
Note: Elon Green is a contributing editor to Longform.
Dreaming of the perfect apartment.
Should anyone ever choose to remake and bastardize Breakfast at Tiffany’s, I propose an opening sequence re-imagined to reflect more contemporary preoccupations. The revised opening scene should be filmed against the backdrop of an early evening in Brooklyn. The throngs of suits coming home from their nine to five grinds in Manhattan would be emerging from the subway stairwells like ants from an anthill, rushing off down various streets towards their various homes and families and dinners. All except for the would-be protagonist who, as the crowd rushes past her, makes her way to the closed-for-the-night real-estate storefront opposite the subway station. Somewhere, “Moon River” might still be playing, as if it had never stopped. Disheveled, lugging her purse and gym bag, she pauses for a number of minutes to read listings she has already read, and which she committed to memory weeks ago: a studio on Pineapple Street; a loft on Gold Street; a townhouse on Argyle Street; a two-bedroom coop on First Place; a one-bedroom condo on Carlton Avenue; a brownstone on Henry Street. It’s fall and the leaves blow in eddies on the sidewalk. She gets cold and turns away from the window to walk off down the street just as dusk begins to arrive in earnest. The occasional “For Sale” sign swings on its hinges, and the story of the day ends only to begin again in the morning.
When I tell people what we are doing, they want to hear about the room where you produce. I tell them that there is a lot of paperwork. That they take your picture and look at your license. Then they walk you back to the room. You are handed a list of instructions and some stickers and a plastic cup. The cup has a forest-green lid. In the room is a VCR. I like to write down the names of the videos so I can share them with my wife and friends: Ass Angels #4, Original Black Queens of Porn (Afro-Centrix #113), and Chock Full of Asians. The latter features a woman with enlarged breasts so swollen they look luminous, like the sense apparatus of a recently discovered deep-sea fish.
A rare co-mingling between Hasidic Jews and their Crown Heights neighbors within Brooklyn’s ‘Basil Pizza & Wine Bar.’
The rise and fall of the Seven-Seven - stationed in the war zone of 1980’s Crown Heights, Brooklyn - and how an idealistic young recruit became part of cash-snatching, drug-reselling, renegade clique of cops
Vignettes of the residents of South Elliot Place.
In 2008, a Brooklyn cop grew gravely concerned about how the public was being served. So he began carrying a digital sound recorder, secretly recording his colleagues and superiors.