Going Deep (E5, S8) – 12/04/19

On the last Audio Files episode of the decade, we’re going deep.

1. Harsha Nahata and Jaime Longoria explore the intersection between legal weed and immigration.
2. Ethan Stark-Miller digs into the MTA’s long-delayed efforts to make subway station design more useful to people with disabilities.
3. Maria Robins-Somerville talks to a woman about finding god…in her leg.
4. Natalia Keogan asks, who controls music, the musician or their label?
5. Dig Nitty plays live in the studio.

Producer: Jacob Kaye
Assistant Producer: Ethan Stark-Miller
Host: Shira Feder
Reporters: Harsha Nahata, Jaime Longoria, Ethan Stark-Miller, Maria Robins-Somerville and Natalia Keogan.
Editors: Curtis Fox and Maggie Freleng
Engineers: Amber Watson and Chad Bernhardt
Music: Blue Dot Sessions

Episode 4 – Fear Itself

Dying without dignity, a creepy sexual encounter, the fear of using your home. These are the things we fear.

In this episode:

1. Shira Feder investigates a neglectful nursing home
2. Chris Polansky explores how cyclists use technology to stay safe from reckless drivers.
3. Former public defender Rebecca Kavanagh joins us in studio to discuss increased police presence in the subways.
4. Jacob Kaye reports on the opposition to a homeless shelter in Glendale Queens
5. A woman has a creepy encounter in the sex shop where she works.
6. Elise Okusami of Oceanator is our musical guest.

Host: Jacob Kaye
Producer: Maria Robins-Somerville
Assistant Producer: Ethan Stark-Miller
Reporting: Shira Feder, Chris Polansky, Natalia Keogan, Harsha Nahata, Ethan Stark-Miller,
Editors: Curtis Fox and Maggie Freleng
Audio Engineers: Chad Bernhard and Amber Watson

Episode 3 – App-y Hour

In this episode:
1. Jacob Kaye asks people for their best and worst app ideas.
2. Harsha Nahata and Maria Robins-Somerville test out an app that tells you when to go to the bathroom during a movie.
3. Benjamin Powers introduces us to Prick, an insta-famous hedgehog
4. Ethan Stark-Miller explores an app working to make the subway more accessible.
5. Aagya Martha joins us in the studio to tell us about the app that she created that reminds you to take your birth control.
6. Benjamin Powers jumps into the world of some…unconventional online dating practices.
7. Musical guest ELIANA and Cairo Marquez-Neto

Producer: Benjamin Powers
Host: Harsha Nahata
Assistant Producer: Ethan Stark-Miller
Music Producer: Natalia Keogan
Stories by: Harsha Nahata, Jacob Kaye, Benjamin Powers
Engineers: Chad Bernhardt and Amber Watson
Editors: Maggie Freeleng and Curtis Fox
Music by: Blue Dot Sessions and Ketso

Episode 2 – The Ghosts of New York

In this spooky episode –
1. Jacob Kaye visits a haunted house and gets scared for you.
2. Chris Polansky finds out if New Yorkers believe in ghosts.
3. Harsha Nahata and Natalia Keogan explore ghosting and a break-up funeral.
4. Shira Feder takes us into the mind of the woman who ran one of New York’s most well-known death cafes.
5. Jacob Kaye talks with a young mortician in training.
6. Maria Robins-Somervile tours Brooklyn’s beautiful Green-Wood Cemetery.
7. Jacob Kaye hunts down the ghost that haunts him.
8. Music by Castle Black.

Producer: Maria Robins-Somervile
Host: Jacob Kaye
Assistant Producer: Ethan Stark-Miller
Music Producer: Natalia Keogan
Stories by: Natalia Keogan, Harsha Nahata, Maria Robins-Somervile, Chris Polansky, Shira Feder and Jacob Kaye.
Engineers: Chad Bernhardt and Amber Watson
Editors: Maggie Freeleng and Curtis Fox
Music by: Blue Dot Sessions, Loyalty Freak Music, Zapslpat.com

Episode 1 – How We Get Around – Or Don’t

1. Shira Feder explores the crackdown on fare beaters in the MTA and speaks to activists who are pushing back.

2. A young man recounts his memory of the beginning of a cross-country road trip.

3. Host Shira Feder interviews Quemuel Arroyo, head of accessibility for the DOT.

4. A visually impaired woman describes her strategies for navigating inaccessibility in the subway and bus systems.

5. Chris Polansky reports on how those with wheelchairs have trouble navigating the streetscape because of illegal parking and lack of accessible curb cuts.

6. The Rizzos play music.

Producers: Ben Powers & Maria Robins-Somerville
Host: Shira Feder
Assistant Producer: Ethan Stark-Miller
Music Producer: Natalia Keogan
Stories: Shira Feder, Chris Polansky, Jacob Kaye and Ethan Stark-Miller

Episode 6 – Not in My Backyard!

Air Date: Dec. 12, 2018
Episode: Not in My Backyard


1. Ariama Long talks to residents in Flatbush, Brooklyn who are clashing with developers over a hotel that houses homeless people.

2. Max Zahn shares his reporting on a city council bill that would legalize many types of electric bikes and scooters, renewing a battle over the road between traditional bicyclists and food delivery workers.

3. Lea Ceasrine goes to a protest against the demolition of Little Italy’s Elizabeth Street Garden.

Special Guests…

Environmental reporter Karen Savage

Eve Essex

Producer: Joshua Christensen
Host: Avichai Scher
Assistant Producer: Rob Dozier
Music Producer: Matt Cutler
Digital Producer: Allie Weintraub
Stories by Ariama Long, Lea Ceasrine and Max Zahn

Read more

Episode 5 – Cut Off

Air Date: Nov. 28, 2018
Episode: Cut Off



AudioFiles: Cut Off


1. Living in a super-populated city can still make people feel socially isolated. Here’s how some New Yorkers confront their experiences with urban loneliness.

2. Sleep paralysis is a condition where someone wakes up from a dream, but can’t move their body. It’s a common experience for many –– we explore how and why it happens.

With special guests…
Newmark Graduate School of Journalism’s very own library manager, Tinamarie Vella. 
Brooklyn-based electronic musician Keke Hunt performs live.

Producer: Allie Weintraub
Host: Rob Dozier
Assistant Producer: Matt Cutler
Music Producer: Ariama Long
Digital Producer: Lea Ceasrine
Stories by Michael Rosenthal and Josh Christensen


Urban Loneliness

By Michael Rosenthal

Sleep Paralysis 

By Josh Christensen

Episode 4 – You Know You Need Unique New York

Air Date: Nov. 14, 2018
Episode: You Know You Need Unique New York


1. Much of the Mexican population in NYC hails from the state of Puebla, and the names of their shops and restaurants often reference their hometowns. 

2. How a couple from the Bronx made New York Salsa something danced across the world.

3. The first WNBA game was played in 1997. But more than 20 years earlier, women played basketball for the first time at Madison Square Garden to a crowd of over ten thousand fans.

4. We talk to a long-time MTA train operator about some of the hardest and most tragic parts of his job.

With special guests…
Documentary filmmaker Heather Quinlan joins us in the studio to talk about New York accents.
Brooklyn-based DJ Voices (aka Kristin Malossi) performs live.

Producer: Camille Smith
Host: Comice Johnson
Assistant Producer: Matt Cutler
Music Producer: Rob Dozier
Digital Producer: Allie Weintraub
Stories by Avi Scher, Max Zahn and Comice Johnson

Music by Foodman, Frank Guerrero and Helen Reddy


These Women Brought Their Hometown Mole Recipe to NYC
By Comice Johnson

The International Salsa Sensation Born in the Bronx
By Avi Scher

Life of an MTA Train Operator 
By Comice Johnson

The First Women’s Basketball Game at Madison Square Garden
By Max Zahn

Episode 3 – T.L.C.

Air Date: Nov. 7, 2018
Episode: T.L.C.

On today’s show we’re delving into the world of self care.
First we’ll take a look at a new internet stress relief craze.
Then we’ll hear about a new Day of the Dead tradition.
We’ll also hear how today’s politics are weighing on people’s mentality.

Julian Klepper joins us for an interview. He directs and stars in his own films, such as Free Therapy, a comedic take on how unaffordable mental health care can be.

Singer-songwriter Jane Bruce serenades us with a live performance and Q&A.

Producer: Lea Ceasrine
Host: Josh Christensen
Assistant Producer: Matt Cutler
Music Producer: Rob Dozier
Digital Producer: Allie Weintraub
Stories by Rob Dozier, Lea Ceasrine and Michael Rosenthal

Weekend in Tattoine by Unicorn Heads

Inspiration by Force Majeure

Rororo by Foodman


Will This Internet Trend Catch On As a Treatment for Anxiety and Insomnia?
By Rob Dozier

What do you do when you’re stressed out? As it turns out, a large portion of people of people turn to the internet to help them out. Rob Dozier reports on ASMR—Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response—which researchers are beginning to take seriously as a treatment for things like anxiety and insomnia.

Honoring the Dead Through Tradition 
By Lea Ceasrine

Día de Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a 3-day Mexican celebration that many here in the US might recognize – but this year, at the American Museum of Natural History, they were honoring a different kind of dead. 

Mental Health in the Age of Trump
By Michael Rosenthal

If you’ve felt more anxious since the 2016 election, you’re not alone. Across the world, nationalist and authoritarian power has been growing. Here in the U.S. the daily grind of this administration has been negatively affecting the stress levels of millions of more liberal Americans. Democrats were able to take control of the House last night, no doubt providing some relief to many, but the effects of the Trump administration on the country’s mental well-being may be lasting.

Episode 2 – Food of the Future

Air Date: Oct. 24, 2018
Episode: Food of the Future

On today’s show we’re talking about the future of food. In recent decades, globalization has dramatically changed the way we eat. Shipping food all around the world contributes to climate change, and so does meat produced on factory farms. As the earth warms, cycles of drought and flood will threaten the grain supply. On top of all that, the number of stomachs to fill, is only growing.


1. About 30 percent of the world’s population eat insects as part of their everyday diet. Now bugs are having a moment in the NYC culinary scene.
2. Inside FoodBytes, an annual pitch competition that introduces new technology to the food sector
3. Scenes from a bratwurst eating contest
4. A conversation about fair scheduling laws

NYC “Freegan” David Emanuel talks about food waste and “dumpster diving” in the city.

Singer-songwriter Kelly Quigley performs live.

Producer: Avi Scher
Host: Comice Johnson
Assistant Producer: Matt Cutler
Music Producer: Rob Dozier
Digital Producer: Allie Weintraub
Stories by: Ariama Long, Comice Johnson, Camille Smith and Max Zahn

Bass Culture Players
Rod Hamilton & Tiffany Seal

‘Salty Scorpions’: Insects Are Having a Culinary Moment
By Ariama Long

About 30 percent of the world’s population eat bugs as part of their everyday diet. They have more flavor than you might think. Crickets are nutty and scorpions are uncharacteristically salty. But Americans still haven’t gotten on board. Maybe, all it takes is some culinary creativity.

Inventors Pitch New Food Tech at NYC Competition
By Camille Smith

Last week, people from all over the world gathered in New York City for FoodBytes, a pitch competition that started three years ago to introduce new technology to the food industry. Nineteen start-ups took to the stage to showcase their inventions.

Scenes From a Bratwurst Eating Competition 
By Comice Johnson

Comice Johnson stops by a bratwurst eating contest at a bar in midtown called Bierhaus. Semi-professional eaters and amateurs battled for a $700 prize. The bar was packed with rowdy drinkers, who cheered enthusiastically.