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Politics and Policy

Episode 302: Vincent Sapienza

He leads New York City’s Department of Environmental Protection, managing the finest municipal water system in America, despite much of it flowing through century-old cast-iron pipes. He told the Municipal Archives, “The pipe under 42nd Street goes back to the time when John Wilkes Booth’s brother was acting as Hamlet on Broadway.” Yes, he dates infrastructure … Continue reading »

Architecture & Design

Episode 300: Gene Kohn

He is a co-founder of KPF, architects of buildings worldwide, including One Vanderbilt, rising near Grand Central. “It’s very tall at over 1,400 feet, but it’s not the tallest building in New York, and we weren’t trying to make it the tallest,” he told the Center for Architecture. “We didn’t want to get into a … Continue reading »

Art

Episode 299: Sarah Boxer

This cartoonist and her cousin, our featured musical guest Jill Sobule, were raised in Colorado, with ties to a disastrous nineteenth-century scheme that sent Jewish immigrants westward from the slums of the Lower East Side. Great story. Great song. (Somehow the words “disastrous scheme” evoke the White House. I can’t imagine why.) Continue reading »

Food

Episode 297: Roy Steiner

Working on the food initiative at the Rockefeller Foundation convinced him that, “You can’t shift people’s diets if you can’t make it delicious. Food is not just fuel.” A conversation at the New York Baha’i Center about health, hedonism, and social justice. Music: Stephanie Jenkins Continue reading »

Music

Episode 291: Meredith Monk

This composer and musician admires the Dalai Lama but got a little anxious when asked to sing for him: “They locked me in my dressing room…then there was a monk that was sitting next to me kind of glaring.” A conversation at the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Music: Anna Roberts-Gevalt and Carmen Rockwell. Continue reading »