Steeped in History

Dim sum at Nom Wah Nom Wah Tea Parlor is New York Chinatown’s oldest dim sum restaurant. For decades, it served Cantonese dumplings and rolls in the traditional way, from trolleys pushed around the restaurant. When Wilson Tang took over Nom Wah in 2011, he switched[…]

Solo Act

Illustration by Nate Otto Bruce Roper never planned to start a business. As a teenager, he wanted to be a Beatle. As an adult, he moved to Chicago after a brief stint running a music store and began fixing guitars. Over the next quarter century, Bruce[…]

Quitting

How do you know when it’s time to quit? We all know people all over the spectrum. Someone who’s been working on something forever that’s never going to work out. And someone who quits every project they start before giving it a fair chance. Then we[…]

The Myth of the Overnight Sensation

https://medium.com/media/06cff448f275dc01ba155f019baeb145/href Before the viral unicorn poop video, before the appearances on Shark Tank and Dr. Oz and Howard Stern — Bobby Edwards was showing his invention at conventions and sending it to alternative health bloggers in hopes of getting coverage. The invention? Squatty Potty, a plastic stool[…]

Neighborhood Fixture

Illustration by Nate Otto The Distance is back from our holiday hiatus with new episodes every other Tuesday! Our new story is about a kind of business you might have thought was pretty much extinct: the neighborhood appliance and furniture store. Kevin Krasney’s grandfather opened Cole’s[…]

Peaked?

A writer had a rough go of getting a book published. Even after he’d written plenty of short stories for magazine publications, he started his hand at writing books. But nothing hit. His fourth attempt at a novel really gave him some fits. He finally finished[…]