During New York’s ’80s and ’90s crack epedemic, a flashy detective who “imagined himself a crusader who created his own rules” and his star witness, a crack addicted prostitute who seemed to constantly be at the scene of homicides, sent dozens of men to prison for life. Now, they are under investigation.
new york city
In the days following Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination, more than 100 cities experienced significant civil disturbance. In New York, everyone expected riots. What happened next.
The private life of a disgraced former congressman.
A profile of 23-year-old Leonardo DiCaprio (and his rowdy crew).
Trevell Coleman wasn’t sure whether he’d killed a man. But after 17 years, he needed to find out.
Behind the tabloid story of the “murder orphan” in Queens.
On Queens’ stubbornly unchanging Roosevelt Avenue, where immigrants pay $2 a song to grind against hired dancers and shuttered houses of prostitution have given way to rolling brothel-vans.
A profile of the legendary producer at the beginning of his career.
The former editor of the New York Observer, profiled.
A survey of sex on a Saturday night in New York City.
The author interviews her mother about life as a secretary at Playboy in 1960s New York City.
On the mid-sixties birth of America’s underground newspaper movement and the rise of The Realist, East Village Other, Berkeley Barb, and more.
A former colleague visits the ‘Fire Fiend’ in prison.
A log of the 32 shitless hours that the author spent in the Tombs prison after being arrested during an Occupy Wall Street protest.
Midtown Manhattan. The highest concentration of showbiz havens and hangouts in the whole entire world. The Chorus Girls. The Drunk Newsmen. The Jazz Hepsters. The Mob. They converge with the force of a fly against a windshield. This is where American popular culture is born. Its influence permeates the nation. Walk the streets and weave through the hustlers, the gangsters, the bookies, the rummies... and somewhere among that crowd - you'll walk past a nondescript artistic genius or twelve, indiscernible from the dregs, biding time until they transform the American landscape. And high-above the loud, syncopated beat of Midtown you can hear... The Comedians.
An interview with Rudy Giuliani’s fresh-out-of-college head speechwriter, who wrote the eulogies for every policeman and fireman who died on 9/11, giving him “the dark distinction of probably writing more eulogies than anyone else alive.”
Chains, knives, fists, and, of course, those crude and unreliable homemade affairs called zip guns were the staples in the more vicious gang wars in the 1940s and 1950s. Today there is scarcely a gang in the Bronx that cannot muster a factory-made piece for every member—at the very least, a .22-caliber pistol, but quite often heavier stuff: .32s, .38s, and .45s, shotguns, rifles, and—I have seen them myself—even machine guns, grenades, and gelignite, an explosive. One gang, the Royal Javelins, has acquired some walkie-talkie radios.
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 profile of the hard-living, cop-dodging artist Dash Snow, published two years before his death of an overdose.
Tom Wolfe on the development of ”New Journalism,” an unconventional reporting style which he helped to pioneer.
I had the feeling, rightly or wrongly, that I was doing things no one had ever done before in journalism. I used to try to imagine the feeling readers must have had upon finding all this carrying on and cutting up in a Sunday supplement. I liked that idea. I had no sense of being a part of any normal journalistic or literary environment.
A profile of the up-and-coming New York politician, who at the time was toying with a run for mayor.
A young Brooklyn man attempts a bank robbery to finance his lover’s sex change surgery; the story that inspired Sidney Lumet’s Dog Day Afternoon.
The juvenile ward on Rikers Island is a world of constant violence fueled by gangs and, allegedly, encouraged and overseen by the guards.