(Photo: Tod Seelie)

What is Hell Gate?

Hell Gate is a website owned and run by journalists covering New York City, featuring a mixture of blog posts, features, columns, and investigations. We want the site to be trenchant, playful, outraged, irreverent, and useful to our readers; deeply skeptical of power but stubbornly idealistic. Never a chore to read. There used to be a few publications like this about New York, but now, not so much. We’ll be publishing for at least a month, and hopefully much longer.

Our name comes from the city’s sturdiest (and handsomest) bridge over its most treacherous currents. Our logo was made by Brooklyn artist Olive Panter.

Ultimately, our goal is to start a subscription-funded, worker-owned company, kind of like Defector Media or Discourse Blog, or Racket, or the Colorado Sun.

We'll have a lot more to say about this soon. For now, enjoy the free blog posts.

I love Hell Gate! Hm, maybe "love" is strong, but I like reading it! How can I help keep it alive?

Give us your email address. Email subscribers get exclusive newsletters and blog posts and whatever other goodies we want to share with our conspirators.

Your email address is also your way of letting us know that at the end of the month, there's a decent chance we can ask you to commit to spending a few bucks each month to create a permanent Hell Gate.

That is to say: By giving us your email address, you are helping to usher in the birth of the rare New York City newsroom that is owned by the journalists who make it, like some kind of brilliant local journalism doula.

Where does your money come from?

At the moment, Hell Gate is completely self-funded. The vast majority of our budget is used to pay journalists and writers, but there are of course other costs, like libel insurance and website hosting.

If you'd like to help defray these expenses, you can tip us here. One hundred percent of the money in the tip jar goes toward paying journalists so we can publish more work.

Can I pitch Hell Gate?

Please! We are interested in essays, photography, reported stories, and features. We welcome journalists and writers of all levels of experience to pitch us at tips@hellgatenyc.com. Be sure to put "PITCH" in the subject line.

A few tips for a successful pitch:

-Be as specific as you can about what your story/essay/feature is about. The more specific (and hopefully unique), the better.

-Keep your pitch to a few sentences. If we're interested, you can always give us more detail later.

-Read the stories on the website to get a feel for the kind of work we're looking for.

Our rates are, roughly: $200+ for an essay/blog post (~700 words), $250+ for a photo assignment, $300+ for a reported story, and $400+ for a longer (1,200+ words) feature.

Hell Gate pays upon receipt of a first draft, and we have a unilateral agreement with the Freelance Solidarity Project of the National Writers Union, where you can get more details on our rates and your rights under our contract.

You can also send us photos of weird stuff happening on the street, reasonably informed rumors, story ideas, and complaints to tips@hellgatenyc.com.