The Last Abalone Feast
San Francisco, August 2018
Long before I first sank my teeth into some perfectly tender abalone sautéed in butter and sprinkled with toasted pine nuts—even before I was born—there was the Ab Feed. Started in the late ’80s by a troupe of twenty- and thirtysomething divers, the Ab Feed (“Ab” in this case being short for abalone) was a three-day bacchanal celebrating the end of California’s recreational abalone-diving season.
The Business of Making a Baby
San Francisco, April 2018
After spending her 20s as an aid worker in Africa and India, Helena moved to the Bay Area in 2012, when she was 31. She wanted to apply her public health background to the startup world, so she worked for one health-tech company and then another. She quickly adjusted to life in the city and formed a group of single female friends whose ambitions closely matched her own. To Helena, these young women epitomized the freedom and boundless potential of Silicon Valley: They had worked hard, mapped out paths to promotions, and risen in their fields. They lived as mistresses of their own destinies. But as their early 30s melted into their mid-30s, a question loomed like storm clouds on the horizon: How and when would any of them have children?
The Burning Season
The Big Roundtable, December 2017
A wildfire, like any fire, needs only three things to exist: fuel, heat and oxygen. Eliminate any one element and the fire dies, but provide them in ample supply and it can send 160-foot flames to the tops of trees. Wilderness is the best fuel, with no concrete or metal to get in the way, no sidewalks and pavement and bricks. Just dead grass, shrubs, sapling trees, moss like a candle’s wick, a tinderbox of withered foliage. With these raw materials, a fire can get creative.
One City, Under the Syringe
An in-depth special report for San Francisco, October 2017
“Nobody wants to be stuck in a park dropping their drawers and injecting in their groin. That’s not an ambition when people begin to use drugs,” says Paul Harkin, HIV services manager for Glide. But as condos encroach on SoMa alleys and SROs are cleared out in favor of hotels, shooting up in public has become a necessary evil for many people who inject drugs. That might soon change, as San Francisco is poised to become the first U.S. city to open supervised injection facilities.
To Make This Land Home Again
Pacific Standard, December 2016
Sue Hoberg could hear the wildfire’s roar grow louder as she moved frantically about her house, throwing armloads of clothing and keepsakes into a bag. Wind had carried burning debris from a nearby and swiftly growing wildfire to the forest behind their home; she could smell the smoke thickening inside, see spot fires flare up in the trees as she grabbed any last mementos.
San Francisco Chronicle: "Booking campsites on Recreation.gov is a mess. Here’s the solution"
Metro Silicon Valley: "Department of Corrections"
San Francisco Chronicle: "One Day, One Place: The coastal nook of Mendocino"
San Francisco: "Tax the Land, Save the People"
Metro Silicon Valley: "Elephant in the Valley: Silicon Valley Study Exposes Tech Misogyny"
Everything Under the sun
Metro Silicon Valley / San Jose Inside