Stories By Garrett McGrath

A Seven-Foot Phenom’s Long Fall Down

After overcoming a gruesome childhood injury that left him blind in one eye, this tenacious Texan was steps from the NBA when his greatest athletic gift revealed his Achilles heel—but Isaiah Austin wasn’t built for quitting.

The Shining

Digging Up Dirt in NYC

For these inquisitive urban archaeologists, unearthing eighteenth-century gun locks, deteriorated douches and other ancient oddities is all in a day’s work.

Secret Life of a Manhattan Doorman

A college student is stoked to land a summer gig as a union-wage doorman—until he learns the job description includes everything from hauling out hoarders to discovering dead bodies.

The Negro Leagues’ Forgotten Cathedral

As a once-great stadium rots among the urban decay of Paterson, New Jersey, one dedicated fan seeks to restore its former glory.

The Theater Came Crashing Down

In the dodgy Greenwich Village of the early ’70s, the groundbreaking Mercer Arts Center brought Shakespeare and punk together under one roof—until tragedy struck.

American Wakes

A Narratively contributor learns a little about his family's drinking history and his homeland's traditions.

Drinking with the Dead

In a rollicking pub on the edge of the Bronx, an Irish-American enclave clings tight to the tradition of celebrating, rather than mourning, their dead.

The Tontine Coffee House

The birthplace of the New York Stock Exchange.

Freedomland Forever!

On the swampland where the towers of Co-op City now stand, a writer pieces together the corrupt and convoluted backstory of the Bronx’s once and only amusement park.