Staff writer at The Atlantic. I focus on ways people and cities are adapting to the new economy. Former LAT reporter. Boston native. alana@theatlantic.com.

A Better Nursing Home Exists

theatlantic.com — CHELSEA, Ma.-The woman Barry Berman saw sitting in the dining room of the nursing home was not his mother. Or, at least, she was his mother, but didn't look anything like her. His mother was vivacious, or she had been until she was felled by a massive stroke and then pneumonia, so he'd moved her into a nursing home so she could recuperate.

Goldman Sachs' Plan to Save Struggling Small Businesses

nationaljournal.com — Cromona, Ky.-There's nothing easy about being a tiny print shop and newspaper publisher located in the mountains in rural eastern Kentucky, near the Virginia border. The delivery truck only comes once a month to drop off new supplies, it can be hard to find qualified employees, and you have to face all kinds of biases from outsiders who have pre-conceived notions about Appalachia.

When Tax Credits Are About More Than Money

theatlantic.com — BOSTON-For many Americans, tax season means sorting through reams of paperwork and receipts, only to find out you owe money to Uncle Sam. But for the dozens of people crowded into chairs lining the hallway of this tax-preparation office, tax season means something else entirely: a rare time when they may have a few extra thousand dollars in their pocket, alongside the emotional lift that can accompany a financial windfall.

Where the White People Live

theatlantic.com — Last summer, the Michigan town of Grosse Pointe Park erected a farmer's market in the middle of one of the few remaining streets that allowed cars to pass between the tony suburb and the urban Detroit neighborhoods at its border.

Can Business School Save a Company?

theatlantic.com — Cromona, KY-There's nothing easy about being a tiny print shop and newspaper publisher located in the mountains in rural eastern Kentucky, near the Virginia border. The delivery truck only comes once a month to drop off new supplies, it can be hard to find qualified employees, and you have to face all kinds of biases from outsiders who have pre-conceived notions about Appalachia.

Mad Men and Southern Writers: The Week in Pop-Culture Writing

theatlantic.com — Going Up? Elevator Scenes on Mad Men John Jurgensen | The Wall Street Journal " Mad Men is about rises and falls, professional and existential. " Why I Became a Southern Writer James Hannaham | Buzzfeed "Through the South, I tried to make sense of what seemed similarly wrong with the North."

The City That Believed in Desegregation

theatlantic.com — Hawthorne Elementary in Louisville, Kentucky, looks like what you might imagine a typical American suburban elementary school to be, with students' art projects displayed in the hallways and brightly colored rugs and kid-sized tables and chairs in the classrooms. It's located in a predominantly white neighborhood.

HOW I MADE IT: Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

articles.latimes.com — Timing was right for the creators of the snarky celebrity fashion blog Go Fug Yourself. (They translate 'fug' as 'fantastically ugly.') The gig: Heather Cocks, 33, and Jessica Morgan, 36, aka The Fug Girls, creators of the popular snarkoblog Go Fug Yourself.

Manual Labor, All Night Long: The Reality of Paying for College

theatlantic.com — LOUISVILLE, Ky.-Most college students are busy. But Alexis McLin's schedule is even more jam-packed than the average student's. One day last week, for instance, she attended a lab from 3 p.m. to 6:45, went to dinner with her mother, and then at midnight went in to work at UPS, where she sorts packages from midnight to 4:30 a.m.

How to Buy Things in the Future

theatlantic.com — Humans have been trying to figure out the easiest way to pay for things for a very long time. First, they traded goats and shells, then gold and coins, then they got fancy and upgraded to cardboard Diners Club cards-followed, eventually, by plastic ones.
More Articles →
Apr 22, 2015

Nursing homes are (perhaps unfairly) maligned. I look at an effort to re-imagine them. cc: @RWJF @GreenHouse_Proj theatlantic.com/business/archi…

Apr 21, 2015

A Boston group is trying to transform a traditional nursing home into something better. But can it work? theatlantic.com/business/archi…

Apr 20, 2015

Aging is unfair, too: "Social inequalities. . determine who lives to grow old and who dies before having the chance." theatlantic.com/business/archi…

Apr 20, 2015

Ah, sad. The actor who played Gilbert Blythe died this weekend. My first love! newyorker.com/culture/sarah-… via @asarahlarson

Apr 17, 2015

"The monthly maintenance charge for the penthouse, which has about 7,000 square feet of living space, is $17,912.85." nyti.ms/1On31Rn

Apr 17, 2015

Wow - Richardson family pens an Op-Ed asking state to drop the death penalty for #Tsarnaev, end anguish of trials. bostonglobe.com/metro/2015/04/…

Apr 17, 2015

Ben Bernanke is going to work at one of the country's largest hedge funds. Is the revolving door problematic? theatlantic.com/business/archi…

Apr 15, 2015

Also, "Republicans are significantly more likely than Democrats to agree that taxpaying is a moral responsibility" theatlantic.com/politics/archi…

Apr 15, 2015

Interesting nuggets in this story about taxes: i.e. the US has highest rate of tax compliance in the developed world theatlantic.com/politics/archi…

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