In the sixth episode and series finale of season 10, the AudioFiles shows off their great reporting and show production abilities.

First, Airport travelers have adjusted to COVID-19 after a year and a half of restrictions. Next, local researchers say dolphins are on the rise around New York City. Some are turning to whale watching boats to learn more about what dolphins are up to in the Big Apple. Later, reporter Emily Nadal speaks with prison reform advocates who are focused on rethinking the corrections system for women. We also look at the lack of conversation surrounding infertility in the Black community.

Producer: Angela Palumbo
Host: Syed Haq
Associate producer: Clark Adomaitis
Reporters: Harry Parker, Rachael Robertson, Vanessa Ague, Aaron Tremper, Emily Nadal, Jared Wright.
Guests: Emani King Mack and Regan Elyse Murray

Engineer: Chad Bernhard
Editors: Kalli Anderson and Maggie Freleng

Airport Travel Amid New Wave

Travelers at JFK airport are concerned about trips during the new Omicron wave of COVID-19. Tourists and commuters alike say they have adjusted to the pandemic restrictions.

Reported by Harry Parker

Queer Soup Night!

Queer gatherings often involve hanging out at a bar or nightclub. But, for one event series in Brooklyn, it’s all about soup, not cocktails. In early October, a monthly potluck event called Queer Soup Night had their first event in almost two years. Fort Greene Park in Brooklyn filled with hundreds of people hungry for soup and for a queer gathering not centered around the bar scene. Reporter Rachael Robertson was there to talk with organizers and attendees about queerness, community, and soup.

Reported by Rachael Robertson

A sneak peek of Sugar Vendil’s first premiere at the Brooklyn Public Library

Sugar Vendil is a pianist and interdisciplinary artist living in Brooklyn. She’s known for founding Nouveau Classical Project, a group that mixes fashion with music. On December 11, she presents a world premiere with them at the Brooklyn Public Library. Here’s Sugar talking about her work, and a snippet of the piece ahead of its premiere. This story was reported by Vanessa Ague.

Reported by Vanessa Ague

Dolphin Researchers Look to NYC Whale Watching To Understand Rising Numbers

Local researchers are saying more bottlenose dolphins are migrating to New York City—and gathering in groups larger than previously thought. Many are turning to whale watching ventures to understand what dolphins are up to in the Big Apple.

Reported by Aaron Tremper
Photo By Celia Ackerman

When a Woman Goes to Jail

The United States holds 30% of the world’s incarcerated women and the laws protecting their specific needs while in the prison system differ by state. Some prison reform activists here in New York say that the state and city need to be doing more to help incarcerated women in the system.

Reported by Emily Nadal

Music by Clark Adomaitis

Materials for the Arts Reopens for Business

During the COVID-19 pandemic, artists weren’t able to collaborate or share materials anywhere near as much as they had before. In Queens, Materials for the Arts had long been a home for this work. The Long Island City warehouse houses donated fabrics, papers, furniture and more that artists can find for free. They brought their work on the road during the pandemic, but it wasn’t the same. Now, they’ve finally been able to reopen their doors. Reporter Vanessa Ague recently visited the warehouse to talk to some of the people who use it.

Reported by Vanessa Ague

Infertility Struggle

Reporter Jared Wright takes us through his (and his wife Erica’s) story as they navigate the waters throughout infertility and their struggle to start a family.  Most notably, their journey has found them noting few resources and dialogue for Black men in Jared’s similar position as well as a deficiency across sperm banks throughout the country in Black donors.

Reported by Jared Wright

Music by Clark Adomaitis

A Home Away From Home: Inside A Dominican Hair Salon

Going to the hair salon can feel like a chore. Your time in the chair can take hours, or maybe small talk with your hairstylist is awkward. But if you’re lucky, getting your hair done can be like going over a friend’s house for drinks, friendly gossip AND some pampering. We go inside Lennyn’s Beauty Salon in Valley Stream, Long Island to find out what sets Dominican hair salons apart from the rest. 

Reported by Amanda Rozon

Keeping New York Healthy: Recycling, Clean Water, Supporting Local Businesses, and Preparing For Life After Death

In season 10, episode 5, we have an environmentally conscious Audio Files ready to go as we visit a recycling facility to discuss what happens to our plastic waste, how a local environmental group in Queens is taking steps to preserve the ecosystem around Flushing Creek, and visit residents in Brooklyn who are protesting the expansion of the North Brooklyn Pipeline and new vaporizers in their community.

Also in this episode:

  • We speak with Joanna Lee and Caroline Smith, two Columbia University PhD students who are currently striking with the Student Workers of Columbia union.
  • Aaron Tremper reports on how local researchers attempt to protect the turtles in Jamaica Bay.
  • Yessenia Moreno examines the importance of healthcare proxies in the LGBTQ+ community, as a death of a prominent member of the queer community in Brooklyn spurred awareness to the issue.
  • Our reporters Hannah Fullmer and Denny Jacob explore avenues to support local businesses in the forms of street vendors and bodegas.
  • Fellow Newmark J student Sara Herschander discusses her group capstone project focusing on trans sex workers of color and sex work decriminalization in New York.

Host: Denny Jacob

Producer: K. Jared Wright

Associate Producers: Sarah Molano and Aaron Tremper

Reporters: Olivia Bensimon, Aaron Tremper, Syed Haq, Clark Adomaitis, Yessenia Moreno, Hannah Fullmer and Denny Jacob

Guests: Caroline Smith, Joanna Lee and Sara Herschander

Engineer: Chad Bernhard

Editors: Maggie Freleng and Kalli Anderson

Music by Clark Adomaitis, Aaron Tremper and Komiku