Ira talks with producer Blue Chevigny about how a prank caller taught her that when it comes to pursuing happiness, Carole King, the world of independent cinema and the New York City Police Department have a lot more in common than she ever imagined. He also talks with MIT Professor Pauline Maier, author of the book American Scripture: Making the Declaration of Independence.
David Rakoff tells a story about an actual pursuit—a scavenger hunt—that takes hundreds of hours to create ... done for the sheer pleasure of it.
All those people you see in the middle of the workday, in coffee shops and bookstores? Who are they? Why aren't they at work? Reporter George Gurley tackled these tough questions. On four separate days, he interviewed these loafers in New York.
Stories about rats in the city, from Kate Aurthur (former rat columnist for New York magazine), and from a Mark Lewis documentary called Rat. When rats arrive in our homes, we remember why we as a species wanted to tame nature in the first place.
Unlike Reykjavik, some cities don't coddle citizens in their idiosyncratic beliefs about nature. We hear New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani react (with vehemence) to a man who believes New Yorkers should have the right to keep ferrets in their homes.
Writer/Comedian Amanda Marks shares the story of a couple that didn't fall in love, didn't get together, didn't form a future. Then coincidence and fate kick in...confusingly.
Because of a shortage of math and science teachers, New York City decided to import instructors from Austria. Then the Austrians started to see things about this country that few Americans ever get to see.
Ralph Gentles and five other people spent each summer creating a map of every crack, every depression, every protrusion, every pothole in the sidewalks of New York City. We hear why, and we hear all the things their map does not include.
Manny Howard talks with Paul Tough about why he loved fighting in bars and on the street, and about how hard it is to quit. Manny is the author of My Empire of Dirt: How One Man Turned His Big-City Backyard into a Farm.
Meema Spadola follows Maritza, a New Yorker who loves to box and has the skill to go pro, but who's not going pro.
Geoffrey Canada, author of the book Fist Stick Knife Gun: A Personal History of Violence in America, talks about what it's like to carry a gun. He also talks about what poor neighborhoods in New York were like before the proliferation of handguns among young people. When he grew up in the South Bronx, kids had fistfights in a very formal arrangement with formal rules that everyone lived by. He reads from his book and talks with Ira.
New York writer Sarah Miller talks about two men she knows.
Jerry Capeci, dean of the New York reporters who cover organized crime, on the decline of the mob in recent years. And Alec Wilkinson of the New Yorker magazine, who discusses a photo his wife took of his old neighbors, the Gambino crime family.
Brett Leveridge was standing on the subway. A guy comes walking down the platform, stopping in front of each passenger and delivering a quiet verdict: "You're in.
New York City locksmith Joel Kostman tells the story of an act of kindness he committed, hoping for a small reward. From his book: Keys to the City: Tales of a New York City Locksmith.
How two next-door neighbors start treating each other badly, and how, once they start, they become obsessed with each other. Paul Tough reports.
An odd occurrence at 124 East Fourth Street in Manhattan's East Village. For the last five weeks, a singer named Nick Drakides has stood on the stoop singing Sinatra songs late at night to the delight of his neighbors.
David Rakoff on how he tried to pass as a local once he moved from Toronto to New York. He claims that there must be a chip in his head — or something like it — that automatically tells him when someone or something famous is Canadian.