"Street Life: Becoming part of the city" by Joseph Mitchell (2013)
As one of the magazine's most famous (and prolific) writers, Mitchell wrote for the magazine from 1938 until his death in 1996. He was best known for his portraits of odd and eccentric people, encountered during his obsessive exploration of New York City streets. In this vivid excerpt from his planned memoir, Mitchell explains just how he did it.
"Higher, Faster, Madder: Can you be a Guinness World Records addict?" by Alec Wilkinson (2011)
The longest continual clap: 50 hours. The farthest distance bounced on a pogo stick: 32 miles. In this profile of Ashrita Furman, who holds over 300 Guinness titles, Wilkinson dives into the oft-absurd lifestyle of a serial record-setter, and the mindset required to keep it.
"The Apostate: Paul Haggis. vs the Church of Scientology" by Lawrence Wright (2011)
What happens when a veteran Scientologist goes to war with the church that raised him? This deep-dive article takes a look at the the experiences and allegations of Paul Haggis, a screenwriter and Scientologist of 35 years who decided to split from the church, offering a rare glimpse into both its functions and flaws.
"The Pink Panthers: A tale of diamonds, thieves, and the Balkans" by David Samuels (2010)
One part character profile, one part detective novel, this piece documents the wild ride of a gang of Balkan jewel thieves, from their most impressive heists to their eventual, inevitable demise. Whether you're in it for the history, or just the curiosity, the truth doesn't get more thrilling than this.
"In the Bird Cage: Finding out what funny is" by Steve Martin (2007)
In this autobiographical essay, comic legend Steve Martin looks back to his humble beginnings: from the process of distilling his own brand of humor to the old, eccentric theater that made him who he is.
"Guy Walks Into a Bar" by Simon Rich (2013)
One of the best "Shouts & Murmurs" to ever reach print, this piece is a long-form punchline. The first sentence says it all: "So a guy walks into a bar one day and he can’t believe his eyes. There, in the corner, there’s this one-foot-tall man, in a little tuxedo, playing a tiny grand piano."