A staff writer for New York magazine, Ariel Levy has covered everything the naked city dishes out, from nightclubs for the obese to the rise and fall of the orchid market. Still, Levy says, she learned a thing or two from her interview with ex–NYPD blue boy Steve Yerchik for this month’s cover story. “Meeting Steve made me reevaluate my thinking. In college, I wrote a very p.c. thesis about representations of race and the police on cop shows, and suffered badly from my assumption that all cops are racist and brutal,” says Levy, who also contributes to Detour and the New York Post. “But Steve is genuine and well-intentioned—a cop driven by the belief that he has something to give to society, not something to take out on it.”

POZ editor-at-large David Drake is a longtime fan of this month’s portfolio subject, 71-year-old Where the Wild Things Are author/illustrator—and GMHC decorator—Maurice Sendak. “As a writer, I share Sendak’s goal of telling stories to tackle social demons,” says Drake, who wrote and starred in the play The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me. “Sendak feels no need to censor himself. He speaks his mind without worrying about stepping on anybody’s toes.” A contributor to The Advocate and Details, Drake recently completed an independent feature film of his Obie Award–winning play.

“Have camera, will travel,” thought David Drebin when he moved from Canada to the Big Apple to pursue a career in photography six years ago. Today the electrifying work of the 28-year-old can be seen throughout the city, in a new ad for Salem cigarettes; additional sightings have been reported in Paper, Marie Claire and other mags. He still welcomed the chance to diversify his portfolio with this moody cover shoot of former cop.

“Disease is caused by more than just germs, and healing is accomplished through more than just pills,” says San Francisco health psychologist Jeff Leiphart, PhD. “Science suggests that managing the psychological and physical aspects of stress actually boosts immunity.” In September’s addition to the Countdown Y2K series, the current director of client services at San Francisco’s Shanti offers psychosocial solutions for
people with HIV.

Alisa Solomon has a full dance card, thank you. A theater critic for the Village Voice and a professor of journalism at Baruch College in New York City, Solomon also writes for the New York Times, Newsday, Ms. and Mirabella. But she found time to file her first piece for POZ. In her gripping “Locked Up in Limbo,” about the current crackdown on HIV positive immigrants by the INS, Solomon explains that appeals to the agency for humanitarian release of immigrants with HIV are “oxymoronic.” She quips: “There’s nothing human-itarian in the INS to appeal to.”