The idea for this project started in the summer of 2016. My friends and I had careers going in finance, healthcare, academia and law. But we all had our lives outside work and those were the things I really wanted to talk to them about. I decided, initially, to start a forum where I could interview my friends about their passions outside of their careers. I wanted to write about their lives as well as create short ethnographic essays on the various communities that make New York everything that it is. I wanted to write about the places and events that make this state a unique and thrilling place to live.
As I was shopping this idea around, I realized that my friends also wanted an outlet. They wanted an outlet to express themselves, to create and to share their lives, interests, and stories.
This is how the idea of Empire Souls came about.
In addition to my writing, a group of writers will also be contributing to this site to share their perspectives on life in New York. As they are diverse in thought and background, their contributions will span topics of art, politics, culture, neighborhoods, community and food.
We find ourselves, after a difficult year, at the precipice of a new era—at the dawn of a new form of American leadership. As with all politics, for some this is thrilling and for others this is terrifying.
As such, Empire Souls will be a space with an unshakable commitment to free thought, speech and expression.
Empire Souls will be a record of the Indivisible Resistance. It will be a record of the individuals and communities who defended New York, its values and its people.