Cover Stories

Children of Darkness

Children of Darkness by Miru Kim

Photo: Miru Kim

“Urban Explorer” Miru Kim, naked amid the ruins of the Revere sugar refinery in Brooklyn. Urban explorers (most of whom explore fully clothed), are a group of young men and women obsessed with the city’s rotting and generally illicit infrastructure. What to most seems mere desolation takes on beauty in their eyes. “Don’t you just love this dump?” says Joe Anastasio, another urban explorer, of a filth-ridden tunnel 20 feet below the city’s streets. “About the only real thing left in NYC is the underground, the dirty, filthy underground.”

Read the cover story from the New York Times’ City section, Sunday July 29, 2007

See the accompanying audio slide show here.

Johnny Boy’s Excellent Adventure

Johnny Boy's Excellent Adventure by Ben Gibberd

Photo by Neal Slavin

Toneeeey!” “Saaaaaal!” Smiling for the camera at the 12th annual incarnation of “Have a Drink With Johnny Boy.” Bensonhurst hasn’t been an Italian stronghold for decades, but once a year a 51-year-old from the neighborhood named John “Johnny Boy” Mazzoni, summons up his scattered buddies and brings that world back to life. “I found the Bay 16th Street Boys that used to beat us up,” says Johnny Boy. “I found the Bay 11th Street Boys that were older than us and didn’t talk to us. I found the Bay 10th Street Boys that were doing all their marijuana and stuff. I found them all. And once I found them, I said, ‘Have a drink with me,’ and it went down the line. We formed an alliance of love.”

Read the Cover Story From The New York Times’ City Section, Sunday January 20, 2008

Writing The Myth Of Robert Moses

Writing The Myth Of Robert Moses by Ben Gibberd

Photo by Andrew Henderson

Author, poet, and last of New York’s genuine Bohemians, Arthur Nersersian in his East Village apartment. Nerserian’s new novel, “The Sacrificial Circumcision of the Bronx,” is the second in a planned five-volume fictionalized life of the city’s master builder, Robert Moses. “My poor girlfriend has had to suffer so much because of Robert Moses,” he says. “We’ll travel around the city and I’ll say, ‘Robert Moses built that,’ ‘Robert Moses built this,’ and it’ll reach the point where I’m about to speak and she’ll say, “Don’t say it!”

Read the Cover Story From The New York Times’ City Section, Sunday September 14, 2008

To The Ramparts (Gently)

To The Ramparts (Gently) by Ben Gibberd

photo by Michael Nagle

Brian Kelly, Pace University student and the new face of the radical political group Students for a Democratic Society. Unlike his fire-breathing campus forbearers of 40 years ago, Kelly’s tactics are decidedly calmer and involve “consciousness-raising” and radical websites. Nevertheless, revolution is in the air, he believes. “The empire that Karl Rove and Newt Gingrich and all those Republican strategists and pollsters and leaders built in the last 40 years is going to blow up in their faces, and they’re really scared,” he says. “I mean, I actually think that’s going to happen.”

Read the cover story from The New York Times’ City Section, Sunday March 23, 2008

Tilting at Lampposts

Tilting at Lampposts By Ben Gibberd

Photo: Richard Perry/The New York Times

Susan Harder, crusader against light pollution, in her heavily polluted East Village apartment. Forty hours a week for the past decade she has devoted her considerable energies to the fight against what she calls “our insane, just insane love of lighting absolutely everything up.” “The whole Czech Republic has a lighting law,” she points out. “Lombardy has a lighting law. Malta has a lighting law. Long Island’s done wonderful things. But there’s something about New York…”

Read the cover story from the New York Times’ City section, Sunday December 17, 2006

On the Waterfront

On the Waterfront by Ben Gibberd

Photo: Len Jenshel

Diane Cook and Len Jenshel, a husband-and-wife photography team, spent three years documenting the city’s 578 miles of shoreline. Like the waterfront itself, their photographs are disorienting and ever-changing; a Staten Island lake appears as hot and ripe as a Florida swamp, a creek in Manhattan as picturesque and cool as the grounds of an English manor.

Read the cover story from the New York Times’ City section, April 16, 2006

Browse Diane Cook and Len Jenshel’s photography.

After The Ballot, The Bash

After The Ballot, The Bash by Ben Gibberd

Illustration by Michael Witte

Election-night parties are a New York staple, and the recent Presidential election was imbued with a sense of history not felt in nearly half a decade. During the televised debates leading up to the final showdown, lawyer and ardent Republican Michael Leonard invited a bipartisan group of friends to huddle around his 48-inch Sony flat screen TV, swill Merlot, and handicap the runners. “Maybe I should make people wear blue or red shirts on the night,” he says. “I don’t think anyone will be undecided by then.”

Read the Cover story from the New York Times’ City Section, Sunday November 2nd, 2008

Thanks to Michael Witte for the illustration.