The New York Times has long shown an unusual affection for Seattle, considering our damp corner of the universe to be a national bellwether of sorts for all things hip and progressive. Normally, this infatuation plays out in one of the NYT's quarterly glossy mags, whether they be devoted to style, design, or travel. But today, the main Magazine has two long features with notable Seattle ties. On the cover is 71-year-old Booth Gardner, the subject of a marvelously textured piece by Daniel Bergner on the former governor's crusade to legalize assisted suicide in the state of Washington. Painting the issue in shades far more morally nuanced than black and white, the piece also resonates as a commentary on the missteps in Gardner's personal life -- in particular, his ongoing failure to connect with his son, Doug, who opposes his father's Kervorkian-esque crusade. It's a must-read not only for those interested in assisted suicide and Gardner, but for anyone needing a reminder of the sort of public service long-form journalism provides. Christian Sinderman, Margarita Prentice, and others play supporting roles in Bergner's narrative, which is broken up by a welcome shot of well-reported levity by former Weekly contributor Bruce Barcott, who probes a watershed incident in Galveston, Texas that touched off a bird-lover v. cat-lover shitstorm like no other.