Change In The Air – Season Finale


(S10, E6)
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

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

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

A Kayak Paddle to Save the Ecosystem

The Special Flushing Waterfront District in northern Queens is a battleground for environmental activists and politicians. For decades there has been fighting over what to do with the area that overlooks Flushing Creek. Reporter Olivia Bensimon spoke to members of the Guardians of Flushing Bay about their efforts to change people’s perception of the space, in the efforts of convincing them to maintain the creek’s ecosystem and not build more on the waterfront. 

Reported by Olivia Bensimon

Photo credit: Olivia Bensimon

Music credit: A good bass for gambling by Komiku on

The Future of North Brooklyn Depends on an Air Permit

Environmentalists and other residents of North Brooklyn are withholding money from their gas bill as a sign of protest. They are protesting the expansion of the North Brooklyn Pipeline and two new vaporizers,  which they say are destroying their community.

Reported by Syed Haq

Photo credit: @nonbkpipeline on Instagram

Music credits: Aaron Tremper and Clark Adomaitis

Recycling in NY Needs Fixing

Only 18% of trash from New York City homes is actually recycled. Some of it is just too small to be separated, and some types of plastics are not recyclable at all. A lot of the plastic we throw in the blue bin ends up getting diverted to landfills where it takes hundreds of years to break down. On top of this, we are the ones footing the bill. The Department of Sanitation estimates the cost of collection of recyclables at $686 per ton, and NYC taxpayers are the ones paying for it. 

A bill is on the New York State Senate floor for 2022 that is designed to shift the financial burden of waste and recycling recovery from taxpayers to the producers. 

Reported by Clark Adomaitis

Photo and music credits: Clark Adomaitis

Health Care Proxies in the Time of COVID

Caption: Tania Cross and friend, Nicco Beretta, embrace at Larry Sparkman’s memorial. (Photo by Yessenia Moreno)

More than 55,000 people have died of COVID in the state of New York since the beginning of the pandemic nearly 2 years ago. For the queer community, this time of death and mourning has highlighted how complicated things can get at the end of someone’s life. This is the story of one New York woman’s fight for the right to become her best friend’s health care proxy after he was hospitalized for COVID-19. 

Reported by Yessenia Moreno 

Audio Credits: 

Music: Aaron Tremper 

Memorial Speech Audio: Barry Marino Youtube Channel

Bushwig Speech Audio: Sickening DRAG Performances Youtube Channel

Bodegas Move Online

Caption: New Green Earth Deli owner Francisco Marte says My Bodega Online isn’t helping the business much just yet because many people don’t know about it yet. (Photo by Denny Jacob)

Like every other business in the city, bodegas were hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. As their customers stayed home and began getting what they needed online rather than in-person, many started to realize they needed to integrate technology into their business.

Reported by Denny Jacob

Music credit: Clark Adomaitis

Is New York Back?: The Fight For Fair Housing, COVID Relief Funds And Reliable Commutes

In the fourth episode of season 10, we take a trip around New York to see what’s going on with renters, restaurant owners and the arts in the city that never sleeps. 

First, we hear about some supply and demand issues Citi Bike users are facing. Then, we travel to Brooklyn, and hear from restaurants in Bay Ridge that still haven’t received their pandemic aid. We also hear about how New Yorkers going on rent strikes in response to the lack of necessary repairs in their homes. Finally, we’ll check out a new show at the Flea Theater that you cannot see. Instead, the story is told through smells and sounds.

Producer: Syed Haq

Host: Clark Adomaitis

Associate producer: Angela Palumbo

Reporters: Emily Nadal, Vanessa Ague, Harry Parker, Sarah Molano and Cailley LaPara

Guests: Caroline Galderisi and Ramona Ferreyra

Engineer: Chad Bernhard

Editors: Kalli Anderson and Maggie Freleng

Photo by Daryan Shamkhali on Unsplash

A new production called Odd Man Out is a play you can’t see

Theater is back in New York this fall, and theater lovers across the city are excited to be able to go to shows again. At the Flea Theater, Odd Man Out is a new production that you can’t see. Instead, the story is told through sounds and smells. Audience members hear the story of a blind man while wearing headphones and an eye mask the entire evening. Reporter Vanessa Ague goes behind the scenes to learn how the play was made. 

Reporter: Vanessa Ague

A Rent Strike in Crown Heights

Photo credits: Sarah Molano

Tenants at an Eastern Crown Heights building say they’ve lived with horrible building conditions and landlord abuse for years. This month, the tenants have decided to stop paying rent until their repairs are made. 

Reported by: Sarah Molano

Oysters in the Gowanus Canal are dying, but not for the reason you think

Once a month, waterfront volunteers check up on a box of oysters in the Gowanus Canal. As the canal undergoes dredging by the EPA, the canal’s inhabitants — including the oysters — have to contend with a changing habitat. Cailley LaPara reports from a recent oyster health checkup. 

Reporter: Cailey LaPara

Photo by Ben Stern on Unsplash 

Cool Roofs

Anitza Bermudez, 33, had been thinking about next steps since she stopped working at the onset of the pandemic to help her 7-year-old son with remote school. When she came across the HOPE Program, she knew this was the right thing for her. Not only would she learn all the necessary skills she’d need to enter the workforce as an electrician, but she would also be able to make an environmental difference in the South Bronx neighborhood she grew up in. For 10 weeks, Anitza painted the roofs of buildings in a reflective white paint which is supposed to help reduce the buildings heat and energy consumption during the summer and when in concentrated areas, generally lower the ambient heat of a neighborhood.

Music by: Clark Adomaitis
Reported by: Olivia Bensimon

Don’t Touch That Dial: Full Episode

Our program starts with timely news and flows to related stories about climate and transportation. We start off with a story about NYCHA’s response to water damage from Hurricane Ida. Then we hear about activists at East River Park, and our first guest is a 19-year-old Brooklyn Pipeline Activist. Also in the mix is a transportation story about bridge carpooling to save tolls.

We have a dedicated 15 minute arts and culture segment featuring music from an avant-garde, city-funded orchestra and a story reported at this year’s ComicCon.

Lastly, we end with a story about an Algerian-American Muslim who shares his experience regarding prejudice against him after 9/11, and our second guest discusses a man detained at Guantanamo Bay.

Producer: Clark Adomaitis
Host: Angela Palumbo
Assistant Producer: Syed Haq
Stories by Harry Parker, Clark Adomaitis, Emily Nadal, Vanessa Ague, Aaron Tremper, Paige Perez, and Syed Haq.
Guests: Aderinsola Babawale and Latif Nasser
Music by Clark Adomaitis, Aaron Tremper, and the Moving Orchestra.

Don’t Touch That Dial: The Moving Orchestra

Many music groups are returning to the stage this fall with help from New York’s City Artist Corps grants. The Moving Orchestra was one of them. They’re a group of musicians, dancers and visual artists led by pianist Joey Chang and violinist Katherine Kyu Hyeon Lim. They gave their first in-person concert after a year of Zoom events on October 9

Reported by Vanessa Ague
Photo Credit – The Moving Orchestra Instagram

Fall Means Community

This episode marks the 10th season of AudioFiles! In our first episode, we hear the latest on small businesses and community projects coming out of the pandemic. We’re joined later on by food policy specialists to help us understand the historic increase in SNAP benefits, and a community gardening expert on “activist gardening.”

Also in this episode:

  • 1. Reporter Hannah Fullmer follows DeVaughn as she uses her newly renovated bookmobile to serve her community—bringing books and better representation to her neighborhood.

  • 2. Denny Jacob reports on how the market is attracting vendors from the Bronx and beyond.

  • 3. Reporter Olivia Bensimon spoke to drivers outside City Hall on their second week of a 24/7 picket about their debt and what would happen if the City doesn’t find a way to support them.

  • 4. Reporter Hannah Fullmer talks with 45th St. Composter Victoria Costa about the future of the group.

  • 5. Yessenia Moreno covers the 4th annual Brooklyn Brujeria Festival, an event honoring diasporic music, dance and spirituality in Latinx culture.

  • 6. Angela Palumbo reports on how some NYC students have opted to commute to classes to avoid living in the most expensive city.

Host: Jared Wright

Lead Producer: Sarah Molano

Associate Producer: Aaron Tremper

Reporting by Denny Jacob, Hannah Fullmer, Vanessa Ague, Angela Palumbo, Olivia Bensimon, and Yessenia Moreno

Engineer: Chad Bernhard

Guest: Gil Lopez, Alexina Cather, and Dr. Charles Platkin

Editors: Kalli Anderson and Maggie Freleng

Music by Aaron Tremper, Victor Guerrero and Clark Adomaitus

Photo by Yessenia Moreno

Check out our reporting on Soundcloud:

NYC Students Commuting As City Rent Soars

According to a recent report by rental assistance company Zumper, New York City is officially the most expensive place to live in the country. Due to consistently high living costs, some NYC students have opted to commute to classes to avoid living in the most expensive city. These commutes are long and expensive, but these students are saving money in the long run. Angela Palumbo reports.

Reporting by Angela Palumbo
Photo by David Klein

Bronx Bound Books Hits the Road

LaTanya DeVaughn says, “Every neighborhood deserves a bookstore, even for just one day.” That’s why she created Bronx Bound Books, a bookstore on wheels. Reporter Hannah Fullmer follows DeVaughn as she uses her newly renovated bookmobile to serve her community—bringing books and better representation to her neighborhood.

Music by Clark Adomaitus

Reporting and Photo by Hannah Fullmer

Queens Composters Worry for their Future

When the city suspended its curbside composting program, local groups across the city stepped up to pick up the slack. The 45th Street Composters in Queens started collecting compost at an empty lot in their neighborhood that they lease from the landowner for just $1. With curbside composting returning, the group is worried about what happens next. Reporter Hannah Fullmer talks with 45th St. Composter Victoria Costa about the future of the group.

Reporting and Photo by Hannah Fullmer

The Bronx Welcomes a New Pop Up Market

The Riverdale POP-UP Market started as a way to help small businesses in the Bronx recover and grow despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Things have improved in the borough since last year, but there’s still a long way to go. One bright spot has been the number of entrepreneurs that have started new businesses since then. Denny Jacob reports on how the market is attracting vendors from the Bronx and beyond.

Music by Aaron Tremper and Victor Guerrero

Reporting and Photo by Denny Jacob

Taxi Drivers Plead With City For Medallion Debt Relief

Yellow cab drivers led by the New York City Taxi Workers Alliance have been protesting outside City Hall for over two weeks, demanding Mayor Bill de Blasio adopt their alternative plan for medallion debt relief. Drivers say the city artificially inflated the price of the medallion over the years, and by allowing ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft to flood the streets, effectively left them to drown in their debt. Reporter Olivia Bensimon spoke to drivers outside City Hall on their second week of a 24/7 picket about their debt and what would happen if the City doesn’t find a way to support them.

Music Credits: “Where’s Me Breesh” by Victor Guerrero

Reported by Olivia Bensimon