NYU Alumni 

behind the scenes

Each semester, we editors start with a tidy outline of story ideas and briefly fantasize that all will run smoothly. Reality hits quickly and often. A key source may be on sabbatical in Papua, New Guinea, or so enthralled in a book tour that she can only offer a five-minute interview. Sometimes the stories themselves just aren’t ripe for telling. Inevitably, we’re sent scrambling to rescue or replace articles, big and small.

Such proved to be common on the Spring 2013 issue. But serendipity came calling in the form of new pitches and ideas—even better than those with which we started.

In one feature, we set loose a photographer on our New York City campus. The resulting visual essay (“All-Nighter”) is a paean to the work/play rituals that continue around Washington Square throughout the witching hours.

Another feature sounds trippy, but we assure you that it’s cutting-edge research. Scientists at NYU are examining how psilocybin, a psychedelic chemical found in more than 200 varieties of mushrooms, may be used to decrease anxiety among cancer patients (Trip to the Doctor”). Early results from the study show great promise.

“The Art of Television” should have been the most difficult, but up really was down on this issue. Three of the most renowned TV showrunners in the business—the brains behind Boardwalk Empire, The Walking Dead, and Breaking Bad—quickly and happily paused from their hectic lives to grant us in-depth interviews. We hope you enjoy our conversations with them as much as we did.

Every issue holds surprises. This round, our editorial juggling reminded us of a line from Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle: “Peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God.” Bon voyage.

—The NYU Alumni Magazine Team