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26 articles

Brooklyn's Baddest

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.


Woo Cho Bang Bang

The gangs of Brooklyn’s Brownsville, an area with the higest concentration of public housing in America.


To Live and Die in America

The murder of an Iranian band in Brooklyn by one of their own.

Previously: Nancy Jo Sales on the Longform Podcast.


A Boy Grew In Brooklyn

Memories of the old neighborhood, before everything changed.


Brooklyn Brawler

A homegrown boxer sets his sights on the big time.


My Life As a Young Thug

Tyson on his childhood in Brooklyn and the man who changed his life. An excerpt from his upcoming memoir, Undisputed Truth.


Please Snort Me: An Oral History of Brooklyn's Most Notorious Bar

The story of Kokie’s, and its gentrifying Williamsburg neighborhood.


Meet The Kid In The Jackie Robinson Photo (Which Was Staged)

Why almost everything we think we know about the iconic photo from Robinson’s first game is wrong.


Our Band Could Be Your Band

How the Brooklynization of culture killed regional music scenes.


The Crime of His Childhood

Searching for answers 40 years after a Brooklyn man threw acid in the face of his 4-year-old neighbor.


Brooklyn: The Sane Alternative

How the borough bounced back.


Diary: In Brighton Beach

New York’s Russian community in Brooklyn.


The Plagiarist's Tale

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.


Soft Porn, Hardening Hearts

The dissolution of Brooklyn softcore skin-mag Jacques and the marriage of the couple that created it.


A Monster Among the 'Frum'

On the murder of a young Hasidic boy in Brooklyn.


Murder, Suicide And Mayhem In Brooklyn Heights (Yes, Brooklyn Heights!)

An abridged history of violence in "America's first suburb."

Note: Elon Green is a contributing editor to Longform.


Window Shopping

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.


The Age of Mechanical Reproduction

An essay on a pregnancy attempted:
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.

Bingo in the Blood

The addictive lure of Brooklyn’s last bingo parlors.


Keeping It Kosher

A rare co-mingling between Hasidic Jews and their Crown Heights neighbors within Brooklyn’s ‘Basil Pizza & Wine Bar.’


The Crack in the Shield

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


The Stories of One Brooklyn Block

Vignettes of the residents of South Elliot Place.


24-Hour Cycle

A day in the life of a Brooklyn laundromat.


The NYPD Tapes: Inside a Bed-Stuy Precinct

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.


Clash of the Bearded Ones

Hipsters vs. Hasids in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. A skirmish over a bike lane becomes a battle for a neighborhood.