New York is the city that never sleeps. But this renowned insomnia would not be possible without the more than 200,000 men and women who work the nightshift – the fry cooks and coffee jockeys, train conductors and cab hacks, cops, docs, and fishmongers selling cod by the crate. Inverting the natural rhythm of life, they keep the city running as it slows but never stops.

In our book, NIGHTSHIFT NYC, we tell the stories of New York City nightshift workers. This ethnography of the night investigates familiar sites, such as diners, delis and taxis, as well as some unexpected corners of the night, such as a walking tour of homelessness in Manhattan and a fishing boat out of Brooklyn. We show how the nightshift is more than simply out of phase, it is another social space altogether, highly structured, inherently subversive, and shot through with inequalities of power. NIGHTSHIFT NYC presents the narratives of those who sleep too little and work too much, revealing the soul of a city hidden in the graveyard shift of 24-hour commerce when the sun goes down and the lights come up.

But there is more to the story than found its way into the pages of the book. Here you'll find more stories of the night in New York City and around the country. And we hope you will add your own stories and comments in the months to come. Stay tuned and check back often...

Monday, May 11, 2009


It is May, 2009. We've come full circle with the blog, a year of posts on all things nightshift. If you're just stumbling upon us, wander through the archive to find information and stories that did not make it into the book, and some that did, a few guest blogs, some thoughtful essays, and a few pictures. We're ending our year of blogging on the nightshift on a high note, the American Society of Journalists and Authors just gave us one of their Outstanding Book Awards. For those of you who've been following along, thanks for taking the journey with us. For those of you who've just found us, follow the link to the right and pick up a copy of NIGHTSHIFT NYC. You'll never experience the night the same way again.