Our Favorite Runnin’ Scared Stories of the Year


In no particular order, here are some of our favorite Runnin’ Scared pieces of 2013.

100 Things a Teen Age Girl Wants to Know, According to a 1960s Faith-Healing Preacher Man by Alan Scherstuhl

A choice snippet from this flea market gem:

“Do not ever nag at him or complain too much about things. Why tell him his faults? Better to not say anything about his faults until he asks you. When you get mad, put a dipper of cold water in your mouth and hold it there till it boils.”

Cooper Union: Secret Transcript of Board of Trustee Meeting Reveals Talk of Shut Down by Sydney Brownstone

Revelations gleaned from the leaked documents:

Trustees have denied there was any ever real threat of closure. Two nights ago, the school hosted a forum with alumni and alumni trustees in the new academic building. When the alumni trustees were confronted with a question from alumnus Barry Drogin about the possibility of closure–specifically, language in a letter to the deans that cast doubt over whether the schools could be “sustained”–alumni trustee Peter Cafiero said a shutdown scenario was never taken seriously.

“There was never any serious support to close any of the schools,” Cafiero said. “We had to consider all these options.”

The transcript, however, suggests that closure of individual schools–at least in September–was a real option, not just a threat.

Who Is This Man and Why Is He Taking His Picture With So Many Citi Bikes? by Tessa Stuart

A unique New York mystery transpires online:

If you search the #CitiBike tag on Tumblr, this man’s face will haunt you for pages on end. He pops up over and over again–in different places around town, in different positions on different Citi Bikes, but the same steely-eyed gaze staring back at you.

Queens Man Sues Car Dealership Over an Escalating Series of Insane Events by Anna Merlan

This is just one highlight from this thoroughly crazy story:

Instead, Tuhin went back to the dealership and told them he was returning the car and revoking the contract. But when he tried to bring the car back onto the lot, Dewan and several other people wouldn’t let him onto the lot or take the car back. One salesperson, according to the suit, “threatened him that among the myriad papers he was pressured into signing without reading were divorce papers, and that they would file for divorce on his behalf if he bothered them again.”

Countering the Dumb Argument That Outrage Over Trayvon Martin’s Death Distracts From Black-on-Black Violence by Albert Samaha

Politely educating the narrow-minded:

In some neighborhood here in New York, there is an anti-violence march every time somebody gets shot and killed. In Jamaica, there was a march for D’aja Robinson. In Far Rockaway, there is an annual summer basketball tournament in memory of Rayquan Elliot. In the Bronx and Harlem, mothers who have lost a child to the streets hold anti-gun violence protests several times a year. In fact, there’s a rally in Crown Heights tonight.

Stagehands Striking at Carnegie Hall Average More Than $419,000 Per Year by Tessa Stuart

Discovering the surprisingly lucrative life of a Carnegie Hall stagehand:

Patrons found a note on Carnegie Hall’s website explaining the performance had been called off. “This concert has regrettably been cancelled due to a strike by Carnegie Hall’s stagehands, represented by IATSE / Local One (International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees).”

It was the first strike in Carnegie Hall’s history.

The non-profit’s five full-time stagehands are among its eight highest-paid employees. Each of them takes home more money than Carnegie Hall’s director of administration, development director, and director of finance.

Lenny Cooke: A Great New Documentary Reveals the End of Baskteball’s Post-Jordan Era by Albert Samaha

Speaking with the people behind one of this year’s best documentaries:

The narrative of Lenny Cooke didn’t take shape until years later. In 2010, Shopkorn linked up with his old friends, directors Josh and Benny Safdie, and asked them to help him finish the film. The story was no longer about a rise, but a fall. And from the hours and hours of raw footage, the Safdies hoped to discover how the best high school player in the world wound up never playing a single NBA game.

“Lenny’s story is not one that you’ve seen before because there was no one reason why he didn’t make it,” says Josh Safdie. “He didn’t get shot. He didn’t turn to drug dealing. He didn’t get injured. We knew we had to dig deeper.”

United Women Firefighters Say “Backhanded Hazing” and Unfair Testing Is Keeping Women from the FDNY by Anna Merlan

Raising questions about the FDNY’s relationship with their (few) female firefighters:

The New York City Fire Department is once again facing scrutiny over its low, low numbers of female firefighters. Those numbers could hardly be much worse: there are about 11,000 firefighters in the FDNY today, and just 37 of them are women, less than one half of one percent. The FDNY leadership says they’re doing everything they can to recruit more women. But an organization of female firefighters, along with American Civil Liberties Union, say the FDNY is still promoting unfair testing practices designed to keep women out, and that hazing and harassment of female firefighters is still common.

The Prototype for Citi Bike Was Invented By Monk Eastman, A Pigeon-Loving Gangster From Williamsburg by Anna Merlan

The surprising history behind New York’s first bike share:

Eastman ran a number of gangs; The Eastmans were first, named after him, and with a headquarters in a saloon on Chrystie Street. As he grew more powerful, he also started keeping pigeons, five hundred of them, by several estimates, as well as more than a hundred cats. He opened another pet shop on Broome Street, which doubled as a front for his less-lawful activities. Other gangs that answered to him during that time were the McCarthys, the Cherry Street Gang, the Fourteenth Street Gang, the Lolly Meyers, the Red Onions, and the Yakey Yakes. But most importantly, for our purposes, there were the Squab Wheelmen, run by a gentleman named Crazy Butch.

At some point, Eastman acquired a bike shop too; according to Herbert Asbury’s 1928 Gangs of New York (from whence the movie came), the Squab Wheelmen were all required to rent a bike from there once a week. They rented the bike, Asbury writes, “whether they knew how to ride or not.”

Banksy Unveils New Work in New York, Promising Month-Long “Residency” by Raillan Brooks

The calm before the storm, when we found Banksy’s first October stencil. For the rest of the month, we were on the artist’s tail, and even landed a rare interview.

Anthony Weiner’s Law & Order: SVU Episode, Headline by Headline by Tessa Stuart

To think, in an alternate universe, Anthony Weiner is the incoming Mayor of New York. We envy our alternate universe counterparts who get to cover his tenure.