The Narrative Month: Taxis, Trains and the Spy Next Door


Let’s take a moment to take stock of just how much time we’ve all spent taking Buzzfeed quizzes this winter. Yikes. Now that we all know which NYC neighborhood we’re supposed to live in and what kind of dog we should own, how about we slow it down a bit? It’s time for our monthly look at the best longform stories, videos and other in-depth pieces of journalism from Brooklyn and beyond.

1. The Russian Spy Who Painted Brooklyn Red

(Illustration by Zach Worton for Narratively)

Illustration: Zach Worton for Narratively

The papers called him a master spy, an identity-shifting KGB colonel dispatched to mid-century America to lead a vast network of espionage. What happens when you find out your best friend is a Russian spy?

2. And Brooklyn’s Best Affordable Housing is In…

Starrett City. Couldn’t even find it on a map? Check out BKLYNR’s longform look at an enduring model of affordable housing in Brooklyn.

3. The Voice from the Mosque

(Photo by Pearl Gabel for Narratively)

(Photo by Pearl Gabel for Narratively)

Journalist Pearl Gabel was so taken with the call to prayer that echoes through Fulton Street in Bed-Stuy five times a day that she decided to track down the man behind the voice.

 4. Brooklyn Museum’s Untold Treasures

There are some 25,000 objects in Brooklyn Museum’s decorative arts collection–and one man is in charge of them all.

 5. The Subway’s No. 1 Charmer

(Photo by Oresti Tsonopoulos for Narratively)

Photo: Oresti Tsonopoulos for Narratively

Aboard the cramped 1 train, one conductor tries to brighten commuters’ days with original announcements. Have you heard NYC’s off-script subway announcer?

6. Skrillex Speaks

Last month, electronic musician Skrillex sold out five consecutive shows at Brooklyn BowlMusic HallSRBOutput, and a warehouse in East Williamsburg. Bedford and Bowery talked with Skrillex and four other dance-music heavyweights about how the scene is evolving.

7. Where the Cabs Won’t Go

Those green borough taxis not doing it for you? Gothamist offers some useful tips on how to stand up to cab drivers who refuse to go to Brooklyn.

8. New York’s Walking, Talking Encyclopedia

For a tour that is most definitely not for tourists, Mike Kabak shares his 72 years of NYC wisdom with anyone who will listen.

9. I Crashed a Wall Street Secret Society

This one’s from across the river, but well worth a read: A journalist crashes Wall Street’s Kappa Beta Phi fraternity, to see what the financiers really talk about behind closed doors.

10. Brooklyn Power Couples

A scene from "Turtle Hill, Brooklyn," which real-life couple Ricardo Valdez and Brian Seibert co-wrote and co-star. Photo: courtesy Brian Seibert

A scene from “Turtle Hill, Brooklyn,” which real-life couple Ricardo Valdez and Brian Seibert co-wrote and co-star. Photo: courtesy Brian Seibert

Lastly, even though Valentine’s has come and gone, it’s not too late to check out our profiles of Brooklyn alterna power couples.

One Response

  1. twolanes -

    I wouldnt take nicky digitals word on “best soundsystem in the world” maybe nyc… but not the world


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