6 Narratively Stories Proving the American Dream Is Still Alive and Well

From sea to shining sea, citizens of this great country continue to pursue happiness however they see fit, founding cutting-edge companies while staying connected with their own historic culture and family values.

1. The Liberty Factory

By Rebecca Davis

Still from “The Liberty Factory” by Rebecca Davis

Ovidiu Colea’s company, based in Long Island City, Queens, employs mostly immigrant workers. In recent years the pressure to relocate production abroad has been strong, but the Romanian immigrant has insisted on keeping his company in New York, hoping to pass the business, born out of a love for liberty, on to his son.

2. Kung Fu Noodles

By Yihuan Wu & Xiaoran Liu

Still from “Kung Fu Noodles” by Yihuan Wu & Xiaoran Liu

Peter Song is a Chinese immigrant and noodle maker in a Flushing, Queens food court, where he puts his artistic talent and dramatic flair to delicious use. With his kung-fu-loving friend at his side, Song heads back to his homeland with hopes of filming the definitive martial-arts-meets-ramen-master comedy to fulfill his childhood dream of becoming a movie star – not to mention a big-time American noodle entrepreneur.

3. The Father-Son Feud that Built an Empire of Food

By Jaclyn Einis

Photo by Amy Osborne

For decades, a son’s wayward wanderings clashed with his father’s vision for the family business. But when they finally see eye to eye, one of San Francisco’s great culinary institutions is born.

4. On This Reservation, Cannabis is the New Casino

By Amber Cortes

Photo by Tracy Rector

For an increasing number of Americans, the dream is now painted green. And in Washington State, an enterprising Native American tribe is betting big on bud.

5. Dog Days

By Christopher Maag

Photo by Emon Hassan

A third-generation hot dog vendor must modify the old family business plan to continue to turn a profit in a markedly changed Manhattan.

6. How to Succeed in a Most Puzzling Business

By Michael Stahl

Photo by Alexis Lambrou

When an artist, an architect and a rocket scientist team up to create the next great puzzle craze, they learn that conquering the toy market is far from child’s play.