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When Arsalan Pourmand, an aspiring architect, turned his San Francisco-based cold-brew company into a specialty coffee shop based in Farmingdale, New York, last February, he had barely $70 in his bank account. Eleven months later, the urban-industrial shop’s transformative atmosphere attracts a loyal and diverse customer base.

On April 27, 2016, Omid Masoumali, a 23-year-old man in a wet grey t-shirt, stood in a gravel clearing on an 8.1 square mile island. He was surrounded by people, then by jungle, then by ocean. He yelled out, throwing his arms towards the ground, his voice strained and ragged. He turned, and he set himself on fire. Sahar, a 17-year-old girl, has a picture of Omid and her older brother at a Halloween party together one year before. She was at the small hospital that Omid was taken to. She could hear his screams. She saw him being taken to an ambulance for transfer to another hospital. She said there was no soul in his eyes. She couldn’t sleep for three days after this, and she was sent to check in with a psychiatrist. The first thing he asked her was, “Do you ever think about killing yourself?” Sahar…

Once the grounds of a Chinese-Italian gang affair, the storefronts and doors of Bowery are crammed together in a wall of reds and greens. Jerry Wong first turns toward a storefront. He buys grapes, greets the grocer as he weighs them and makes a turn into a sliver of the wall that only the trained eye can see. This next turn is through a door. Then it’s up the sunken stairs to the third floor where the grandmaster is waiting. He passes the bag to the grandmaster, Eng Tak Wah, one of the last inheritors of Lower East Side history. There are some things that will never be seen in gluten-free New York again, or at least seen running open in the streets: death contracts between martial artists trying to open their schools, Little Italy’s men calling “Hey buddy!” from their perches by Columbus Park, the meager women distributing their…

The dark room bathed in pools of blue, green and red lights adds an ambience that can be instantly related to an indie music venue; posters of past performances line one side of the mirrored walls, with an unclaimed section reflecting a marble topped bar; the random selection of couches and small square tables are placed haphazardly, facing a dimly lit black stage. Over 10 years of live music, beer and dancing is coming to an end this year as the University Cafe is set to shut down, along with the entire Stony Brook Union. “I love being in the Union in general and this space has a lot of memories,” Shari Cummings, secretary and public relations directors for WUSB said. Cummings also works as an audio engineer for the Graduate Student Organization (GSO), which runs the UCafe. One of Cummings’ favorite events is jazz night, where students…

There is a circle of 10 empty chairs in the center of the room. Rows of fluorescent lights glow brightly from the ceiling, waiting for something to move beneath them. A few minutes before 4 p.m., a woman and a man enter. For the woman, the walk from the doorway to the chairs is easy: the mind says walk and a chemical reaction in the brain tells the muscles to move, a process so dependable it is thoughtless. For the man it is not so simple, as his legs are less willing to cooperate. The walk requires the arm of his spouse, a patient source of support to help him see the journey through. When he gets to his chair, he looks tired. Two more people enter the room. The seated man sees the newcomers and, with a surge of newfound energy, immediately takes hold of the chair’s arms, pushes…