Ada Calhoun

St. Marks Is Dead Available for Pre-Order!

Posted in Ada, Writing by Ada Calhoun on March 3, 2015

St-Marks-Is-Dead-Ada-Calhoun

St. Marks Is Dead: The Many Lives of America’s Hippest Street. Coming November 2, 2015, from W.W. Norton & Co. Pre-order from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or iBookstore.

Three hallowed Manhattan blocks—the epicenter of American cool. This idiosyncratic work of reportage tells the many layered history of the street—from its beginnings as Colonial Dutch Director-General Peter Stuyvesant’s pear orchard to today’s hipster playground—organized around those pivotal moments when critics declared “St. Marks is dead.” In a narrative enriched by hundreds of interviews and dozens of rare images, St. Marks native Ada Calhoun argues that St. Marks has variously been an elite address, an immigrants’ haven, a mafia war zone, a hippie paradise, and a backdrop to the film Kids—and always a place outsiders call home.

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NYMag.com / The Cut: The Abortion Victory No One’s Talking About

Posted in Ada, Freelance by Ada Calhoun on June 16, 2015

12-abortion-pill-use.w529.h352.2xIdaho lawyer Richard Hearn just won a surprising and groundbreaking abortion-rights victory at the Ninth Circuit, and no one seemed to be saying anything much about it, so I called him up and asked him why. Here’s my interview with him for New York Magazine‘s The Cut.

Do you expect courts around the country will see more of these cases, because of the rise in home abortions using drugs purchased online?
I think DIY abortions are already exploding. They are usually done early in pregnancy, and very few people are being prosecuted for it, because few people know about it. The Georgia case [Kenlissia Jones] is an exception, because she told the social worker when she went to the hospital. Most women don’t go to the hospital and they don’t tell anyone. That’s why the number of official abortions is going down. Because it’s so easy. These Texas laws (they may close down the remaining abortion clinics in that state) will force women not to go to Planned Parenthood, because they can’t get there or can’t afford it. Read the rest here.

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Cosmopolitan.com: The Virginia Tech Murder

Posted in Ada, Freelance, Writing by Ada Calhoun on June 4, 2015

jessica-ewing

On June 1, 2015, I spent 8 hours at the Montgomery Circuit Courthouse in Christiansburg, Virginia, for the sentencing hearing of Jessica Ewing, who killed her friend Samanata Shrestha at Virginia Tech last year. I wrote a story about the case for Cosmopolitan online. Here’s an excerpt: “I think most people are probably scratching their heads,” Ewing’s lawyer, Tyson Daniel, told Cosmopolitan.com by phone before the hearing. “Because the only thing that has been presented all this time has been the commonwealth’s evidence.” And what the commonwealth described in its summary of facts was bleak: Shrestha had invited Ewing over for dinner. At the apartment, Ewing strangled Shrestha, then put the body in a sleeping bag and put it in the victim’s car. Her plans to burn the body were thwarted when a friend wouldn’t help her. She described this in a damning journal entry as: “Some friend. He fucking won’t even help me move a goddamn body … friendship test failed.” Read the rest here.

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NYTM: Adam Horovitz Remembers Eighth Street in the 1980s

Posted in Ada, Freelance, St. Marks Place by Ada Calhoun on April 29, 2015

“Dumpster-Diving for Croissants in the East Village”

Adam Horovitz (Ad-Rock), as told to Ada Calhoun for the New York Times Magazine‘s Walking Issue

We lived on Washington Street in the West Village Houses, which my mom called ‘‘a little bit of Queens in Manhattan.’’ I would walk and get my best friend, Arthur Africano, at 10th Street and Sixth Avenue. The plant shop there, next to Crazy Eddie, was there forever. There was a guy that me and my brother Matthew were obsessed with when we were little kids, ’cause he’d just stand on the corner and say, ‘‘Call ’em out today! I got pretty flowas!’’ When we saw him standing there, we’d start walking past real slow, waiting for him to say it, and then he would: “Call ’em out today! I got pretty flowas!” And me and my brother Matthew would look at each other like, Yes.

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NYMag / The Cut: The Secret to Staying Friends in Your 30s

Posted in Ada, Freelance, Writing by Ada Calhoun on April 21, 2015

17-friendship-week-1.w529.h352I wrote an ode to quickie friendships for New York magazine’s The Cut: …Twentysomething friendships involve long, late nights, all-day walks, and hours-long phone conversations. But having friends in your 30s is functionally impossible. There is no good time to see people, no friend equivalent of the candlelit dinner and rose-strewn canopy bed. To stay friends is to make do with the social equivalent of a taco truck and bathroom quickie. As the opposite of a sensualist, I actually prefer this. There’s something both efficient and exciting about having friends woven into the texture of daily life. It feels almost illicit when we manage to steal time together, like we are cheating on our grown-up lives… Read the whole thing here.

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FAQ – St. Marks Is Dead

Posted in Ada, St. Marks Place by Ada Calhoun on April 1, 2015

St-Marks-Is-Dead-Ada-Calhoun

St. Marks Is Dead: The Many Lives of America’s Hippest Street. Coming November 2, 2015 from W.W. Norton & Co. Pre-order from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or iBookstore. 

Why should we care about St. Marks Place?

St. Marks Place is the hippest street in America. It has always been a home for misfits, and there are still kids flocking here from all over the city, and the world. Girls and Broad City both prominently featured the street in 2015. For a century it has been where young people—revolutionaries in the teens, Beats in the fifties, punks in the seventies—have gone to feel free and find each other. In the 1960s, it was the east coast center for hippie culture. The East Village had The Electric Circus, The Dom, and The Fillmore East. American punk was born here: the NY Dolls, the Ramones, Blondie. The hardcore kids and Beastie Boys hung out here in the eighties. And now you can sing all those bands’ songs at the East Village’s many karaoke bars. (more…)

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Cosmopolitan.com: From Sexy Teen Witch to Socially Awkward Skeptic in One UT Austin Class

Posted in Ada, Freelance, Writing by Ada Calhoun on March 12, 2015

pseudoscience

“What’s your sign?” a woman asked me at a business meeting that would determine if I would be hired for a project involving a lot of time and a lot of money. She had my résumé and references; why look skyward? “Pisces,” I replied. “Ah, you’re emotional!” she responded. In fact, the very same day, someone who’s known me more than 20 years told me I was singularly unemotional. Whom to believe — the best friend or the stars? Read the rest here.

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NYCgo: East Village Video

Posted in Ada, St. Marks Place by Ada Calhoun on March 4, 2015

Ada-Callhoun-East-VillagePsyched to be in this NYCgo Neighborhood by Neighborhood video about the East Village—hanging out at St. Mark’s Bookshop, as I do in real life. The pub date for St. Marks Is Dead is November 2, 2015. Pre-order the book here. Watch the video here.

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Good Housekeeping: “Everyday Hero: I Survived a Secret Hell”

Posted in Freelance by Ada Calhoun on February 19, 2015

everyday-hero-tajuan-mccarty-orig_master_1In the March 2015 issue of Good Housekeeping, I have a story about Tajuan McCarty of Birmingham, Alabama. She escaped from drug addiction and a series of violent pimps to open a center for women trying to leave the life. What I wish could be captured here is the hyper-polite, southern-belle voice she uses even when talking about the most horrific suffering.

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Billboard Feature: Bobby Shmurda Says, “That Shit Is Bullshit”

Posted in Ada, Freelance by Ada Calhoun on February 13, 2015

bobby-shmurda-2014-justin-hogan-billboard-650Here’s a feature I wrote for Saturday’s Billboard magazine about Bobby Shmurda’s epic rise and fall. I spent some time in East Flatbush with Bobby’s mother and some of his friends. I also read through a lot of transcripts of the alleged gang’s recorded calls, attended their January hearing, and spoke with the mother of the young man they are accused of murdering. Finally, I spoke with Shmurda by phone from jail (a bit of the interview ran as a Q&A a few days ago). Here’s a sample of the story: Shmurda’s roller-coaster rise and fall has given the rap star’s rags-to-riches narrative a 2015 twist: Social media made him famous overnight, but it made him famous for a life he says he was trying to escape. Viral success gave him what he called a “big ticket” out of the hood, but also evidently helped increase the scrutiny of law enforcement. Today, he languishes in jail, unable to make bail — bail set at $2 million, the same amount as his Epic Records contract. Read it online here or download a PDF version here.

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