If you read only one thing, make it this 2011 piece by Calvin Trillin on the Freedom Riders. Calling it "powerful writing" doesn't even begin to do it justice... Give the first paragraph a try and judge for yourself. If someone bothered publishing a best-of of the New Yorker articles every so often, it would be in it.
California Screaming, a 2014 article by Nathan Heller, describes the complicated relationship between the tech industry and the Bay Area, and the very real but not necessarily positive impact the tech boom has had on San Francisco residents (condo companies that exploit loopholes, landlords who evict tenants, and the like).
Alex Ross reports on the Budapest Festival Orchestra and Ivan Fisher in Notes of Dissent (2014). Fisher attempts to make classical music more approachable and interesting to younger audiences by, for instance, having concerts at midnight where members of the audience sit between the musicians. This may seem like a gimmick, but in those days of peer learning in the classroom and audience participation just about everywhere (to various degrees), one-directional events from the stage to the audience may be quickly becoming hopelessly outdated. When I attended an open rehearsal of the NSO in April, the musicians wore their everyday clothes instead of black dresses or tuxedos, and for some reason I found this a lot more inviting than a group of people clad in black in the middle of the stage. In fact, I found it more powerful because people's differences in personalities were, to some extent, illustrated by their choice in clothes, but they all worked together to produce extraordinary music. The Seattle Symphony Orchestra has also started having some (shorter) performances where musicians don't wear tuxedos. It remains to be seen whether it will attract new audiences or simply puzzle parts of the audiences orchestras already have.
Finally, Moment to Moment (2014) also by Nathan Heller, is a portrait of Richard Linklater, to whom we owe the amazing movie landmark Boyhood - a movie he shot over a span of 12 years to follow his main character growing up.
Those four articles help explain why I am such a proud reader of The New Yorker. There just isn't any journalism like that, on that scale, elsewhere. One of my sort-of dreams would be to have a New Yorker reading group like the one described here. (If anyone likes the magazine enough to participate in a reading group, it is probably someone I'd enjoy knowing.) Maybe next year?