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Downtown

The Brian Lehrer Show

What Makes Your Downtown Great?

Monday, April 20, 2015

Vibrant downtowns don't just magically appear -- they're the result of deliberate, careful planning through the years. What makes your downtown so great, and how did it get that way?

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WNYC News

Late, Overbudget and Awe-Inspiring: Downtown Transit Hub Takes Shape

Monday, November 24, 2014

The final steel element is added to the downtown PATH hub, now under construction.

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New Sounds

RIP Elodie Lauten, 1950-2014

Friday, June 06, 2014

For this New Sounds program, we’ll look back at the music and career of the underrated and often overlooked French-born, New York-based composer and keyboardist Elodie Lauten, who died earlier this week, at the age of 63.  Listen to Lauten in many settings: interviews and performances in our studio and onstage from New Sounds Live, and her other commercial and unreleased recordings.  Hear some of the first work John Schaefer heard by Lauten in 1983, “Cat Counterpoint” for piano, concrete sounds and synthesizer, along with portions of a 1989 interview.  There’s also a performance at our piano from November of 1985, as well as a 1994 electronic performance in our studio, direct to the board with Lauten’s giant Proteus keyboard –– so as to better enable alternate tunings.  That work, Elodie Lauten’s “The Gaia Cycle” (1993) was created using universal modes, based on the Earth’s day/night cycle, which are not Western tunings, and avoid equal temperament, but “don’t hit you over the head,” with their alternate tuning.

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WNYC News

Lower Manhattan Has Bounced Back from Sandy, Study Says

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Four months after Sandy, downtown Manhattan has largely recovered, according to a study from the Downtown Alliance.

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WNYC News

Electricity Restored, Downtown Office Buildings Work to Rebuild Confidence

Monday, February 04, 2013

The biggest office building in New York City – actually, the biggest office building anywhere east of the Mississippi River – is a structure you’ve probably never heard of: It’s 55 Water Street. It's a 1970s-era skyscraper just steps from the East River.

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WNYC News

Downtown Businesses Still Struggle After the Storm

Thursday, November 29, 2012

One month after Sandy, business is still very much disrupted in downtown Manhattan.

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New Sounds

“What's Opera, (Doc)?”

Saturday, September 15, 2012

If the central idea of opera is people singing, then why are these pieces still called operas?  We’ll hear music from Laurie Anderson ’s “United States,” Robert Ashley’s “Perfect Lives,” and Philip Glass’s “Einstein On The Beach.”

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Spinning on Air

Shelley Hirsch - Where Were You Then?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

 

Vocalist/composer Shelley Hirsch has been opening ears in the downtown New York scene for decades. As an improviser she’s brought her lightning reflexes, wild imagination, and vocal virtuosity to projects with John Zorn, Christian Marclay, and many others. Hirsch has become increasingly interested in exploring a unique, musical approach to autobiographical storytelling. Her new recording, created in collaboration with Swiss composer and multi-instrumentalist Simon Ho, is “Where Were You Then?” In it, Hirsch tells stories about online dating, living in California, loft-squatting in Amsterdam, hitchhiking through Germany, experiencing 9/11 in New York City, and her mother's death.
Shelley Hirsch joins David Garland to talk about and play selections from “Where Were You Then?”

 

Vocalist/composer Shelley Hirsch has become increasingly interested in exploring a unique, musical approach to autobiographical storytelling. Her new recording, created in collaboration with Swiss composer and multi-instrumentalist Simon Ho, is “Where Were You Then?” In it, Hirsch tells stories about online dating, living in California, loft-squatting in Amsterdam, hitchhiking through Germany, experiencing 9/11 in New York City, and her mother's death. Shelley Hirsch joins David Garland to talk about and play selections from “Where Were You Then?”

 

 

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Transportation Nation

Houston to Get Free Downtown Shuttle After Six-Year Gap

Thursday, October 13, 2011

(Photo courtesy of Houston Downtown Management District)

Many cities offer free shuttles to help people move around their downtown areas.  Fort Worth, Texas has "Molly the Trolley" which takes visitors between hotels and various attractions.  Denver has its free "MallRide" bus which transports riders near its 16th Street Mall.  Smaller cities like Des Moines, Iowa and Savannah, Georgia also have free shuttles.  But in Houston,  a trip through downtown will cost you.  There's a $6.00 flat fare for cabs, and a ride of any distance on the bus or rail costs $1.25.  The only option for getting around cheap is to walk or bike.
But starting next year,  locals and visitors will be able to get around for free on the new Greenlink Route.   Seven buses powered by compressed natural gas will ferry riders along a 2.5 mile route, stopping at destinations like City Hall and the Theatre District.  City officials hope the route will help revitalize downtown retail business,  because  office workers can get to  stores that may be too far away for a lunch-hour walk.  Like a lot of older downtown areas, many people don't see it as a shopping destination and parking is one of the big reasons.

Officials also say it will make the nation's fourth-largest city a more attractive destination for conventions and tourism.   Thousands of people attend events each year at the city's huge George R. Brown Convention Center, and officials say the free shuttle will be a selling point as they try to lure more conventions and trade shows.  Right now, many organizations run their own free shuttles during conventions.

Houston has been without a free shuttle downtown since the Metropolitan Transit Authority stopped operating its trolley buses several years ago. Ridership fell on the trolleys after Metro imposed a 50-cent fare in 2004. The shuttle ceased operating the next year.

The new Greenlink buses will be operated through a public-private partnership. Involved in the effort are the Houston Downtown Management District, the Houston First Corporation, which manages city-owned venues, and the energy company BG Group, which just opened a downtown office. Startup costs for the Greenlink line amount to $3.7 million, with the bulk of the money coming from two Federal Transit Administration grants.  The buses will cost about a million dollars a year to operate.

Mayor Annise Parker says along with helping people get around downtown quicker, the natural gas buses are also part of the city's commitment to clean energy. "Being more sustainable, being more environmentally conscious, is also often, in fact most often, good for the bottom line."

The 28-seat buses will be manufactured in the US by Gillig LLC, and officials are touting  amenities such as  "high-quality air conditioning." That will no doubt be a relief to riders when the buses start running next May. Parker says the Greenlink line should create about 30 new jobs.

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New Sounds

“What's Opera, (Doc)?”

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

If the central idea of opera is people singing, then why are these pieces still called operas?  We’ll hear music from Laurie Anderson ’s “United States,” Robert Ashley’s “Perfect Lives,” and Philip Glass’s “Einstein On The Beach.”

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Features

Residents Pick up on New Directional Signs in Brooklyn

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Out-of-towners in Downtown Brooklyn can now use 78 new directional signs to keep from getting lost in the borough. The signs are complete with colorful maps, points of interest and quotes paying homage to Brooklyn residents. The last one was installed a few weeks ago.

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New Sounds

“What's Opera, (Doc)?”

Thursday, May 27, 2010

If the central idea of opera is people singing, then why are these pieces still called operas?  We’ll hear music from Laurie Anderson ’s “United States,” Robert Ashley’s “Perfect Lives,” and Philip Glass’s “Einstein On The Beach.”

Comments [2]

WNYC News

Downtown: World in a Word

Friday, May 01, 2009

For decades, the term 'downtown' described the experimentalism of music, art and culture in lower Manhattan. On Wednesday, WNYC's Soundcheck explored how that shorthand definition is changing in a live broadcast from The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space. Guests included rocker Lou Reed, indie new-wave artist Santigold and string quartet ...

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WNYC News

Building Collapse Closes Streets in Lower Manhattan

Thursday, April 30, 2009

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There's a street closure in lower Manhattan as emergency personnel clears the site of this morning's three-alarm building collapse.

A five-story building at 69 Reade Street has suffered a partial collapse of the front of the building. A car was ...

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WNYC News

Main Street NYC: The Bowery, Manhattan

Friday, March 20, 2009

WNYC's Brigid Bergin takes us to a five-block stretch of the Bowery, from Houston to Delancey streets. The street is still home some century-old institutions like the Bowery Mission and specialized retail districts for restaurant supplies. But in recent years, an influx of new businesses along with cultural destinations are reshaping the neighborhood's economy and streetscape.
A New Life for the Bowery? by Brigid Bergin

The Bowery Mission was founded in 1879 and has been at this location since 1909.

The red doors open to a chapel where services are held daily. When the temperature dips below 40 degrees, the Mission staff opens the space for homeless men to sleep. The black doors lead to the Fellowship Hall, a cafeteria and kitchen that serves hot meals 365 days of the year. The Mission is privately funded and owns its buildings.

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Alejandro Romero, 39, came to the Bowery Mission in July. He is a student in what they call their fellowship program. It's a six month substance abuse rehabilitation program for men. The students live on the upper floors and are required to work full time, doing everything from unloading the food trucks to taking out the garbage.

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Herb Curruthers, 56, cooks meals at the Mission. He first came to the Bowery as a client 16 years ago after spending 8 years in jail. He's since gone to culinary school and has become a chef.

Here's Herb's story

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