Radio and Audio Features and Documentaries

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“The Goddess in the USA”

This is one of the first long-form documentaries I ever did for NPR’s “Horizons” program. It explores the deep feminine through the eyes of several “witches” and priestesses who honor and worship female power and divinity through the myths, rituals and symbols associated with goddesses past, present and future. Features Starhawk, Z. Budapest, Francesco Dubie. […]

Lubavitcher Rebbe Still Mourned

Tens of thousands of Hasidic devotees from around the world converged this week at the grave of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, also known as the “Lubavitcher Rebbe,” in Queens, New York. They came to pray, to celebrate, mourn and to ask for blessings from the man many in the Chabad-Lubavitch sect believe to be the […]

Christopher Columbus: America’s Rorschach

Explorer. Hero. Genocidal Conqueror. Genius. Inventor. Adventurer. Fool. Prophet. All these names have been used to describe the “discoverer” of America. But what do we really know about the man who sailed the ocean blue in 14 hundred and ninety two? This long form doc, explores the many faces of Columbus as he has come […]

Saint Thomas Church (Boys) Choir School

New York’s Saint Thomas Church is one of the only boarding schools in America where talented young boys can go to learn to perform top notch liturgical chorale music and get a good secular education at the same time. Once puberty and the change of voice hit, their sweet sopranos are gone. In the meanwhile […]

Provincetown’s Vanishing Portuguese Community

Provincetown, Massachusetts, at the tip of Cape Cod was once home to one of the thriving Portugese communities anywhere in the world outside Portugal (and the Azore Islands, where most of those “Portagees” come from). Fishing was their livelihood (once mixed with whaling) was their livelihood. But with the near decimation of the North Atlantic […]

Young Broadway Hopefuls

Every year, hundreds, or even thousands of talented young people come to New York to study, audition and do their damnedest to make it big on the stage whose ultimate Holy Grail is Broadway. In this story, I speak to some of these starry-eyed youth as they prepare for the Big Time in Musical Theater […]

Radical Acceptance: The Buddhism of Tara Brach

In our culture, self-denigration and unease with ourselves and others is a common theme. Our internal dialogs can mesmerize us, making us unhappy, and our lives unproductive and robotic. Being at peace in the moment, whatever arises, in a compassionate mode is a Buddhist way. In this piece, I discussed Radical Acceptance with Dharma teacher […]

American Profile: Poet Naomi Shihab Nye

Perhaps no one has done more to spread the spirit and craft of poetry more than Naomi Shihab Nye, a Palestinian American whose award winning books for both adults and children explore themes of loss and exile, the pace of modern life, family ties and spirituality – often with humor. I spoke with her while […]

Spiral In/Spiral Out: Walking the Sacred Labyrinth

Across cultures, the labyrinth is an ancient symbol of the journey through life, as well as archetypal patters seen in everything from the structure of galaxies, the whorls of seashells and the DNA molecule itself. Walking the labyrinth was a popular spiritual custom in medieval Europe; examples can be seen in many of Europe’s great […]

“Wildman” Steve Brill – NYC’s wild edible plant forager extraordinaire

For years, a pith helmet, nearly comic determination, and astounding know-how have combined to fashion Steve Brill’s persona, as he leads expeditions through Central Park and New York’s other semi-wild places in search of edible plants and flowers.  Adventurers get a dose of accomplishment and renewed respect for the bounty of nature, right here in […]

Zabar’s Appetizing: America’s Premier Deli

What New Yorker does not get misty-eyed at the sound of Zabar’s tastings, especially the nova counter, and all that goes with it? Instead of just idly asking, I went there, and talked to people about it. I got a lot wiser, and more than a mite fatter from the experience.

Yiddish in Mainstream American Speech

Oy! There are so many Yiddish words Americans (and Noo Yawkuz especially) use in everyday talking that it is really gevalt. This is a VOA Wordmaster segment where I explore what some of those words are and what they mean. Originally tailored for broadcast to places where Yiddish has never never been heard.

Small’s “Old School” Jazz Club in the Village

From the mid-1930s until the early 1960s, jazz was one of the nation’s most popular styles of music. Rock and roll and other genres ultimately eclipsed jazz’s mainstream appeal. But there is a place in New York City where one can still experience the spirit, the inventiveness and the community that was jazz in its […]

“Black Gotham” 19th Century African American New York

(Credit: Museum of African American History)

While many Americans are familiar with black slavery in the South, and its role in igniting one of the 19th century’s most brutal wars, less attention has been paid to the black experience in Northern cities like New York where many ex-slaves and “freedmen” lived. A new book, Black Gotham by Carla Peterson, sheds some […]

Greenwich Village Chess Culture

It may have been even more true in the beatnik era, but chess continues to be the national sport of Greenwich Village. This is a feature about one of the last remaining late night chess parlors in the city, and its habitues.

The American Search for Spirituality

Americans are searches, pioneers, restless, and often lonely for spiritual refreshment and a path. This 20 minute mini-doc explores some various faces of these urges.

Carl Jung’s “Red Book”

Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung created the psychological theory of archetypes and the collective unconscious. He advocated the scientific exploration of dreams, mythology, religion and art to understand the mind. Yet, unknown to millions of the people who have followed Jung’s work over the decades, Jung developed most of those ideas during a period of intense […]

The Loopy English Art of Changeringing

The English are one of the most endearingly eccentric group of people in earth. This story, which I collected in Country Somerset, looks at changeringing, a world that combines math, music, churchgoing, village fellowship and the elusive “other dimension.” Lots of fun! NPR