Podcasts are a powerful resource for those interested in learning about the singular, unimaginable tragedy of September 11, 2001, as they offer heightened levels of intimacy, emotion, and realism. A number of illuminating programs dedicated to the subject have appeared over the past two decades—including Ep. 118 of our At a Distance podcast, out today, which features architect Daniel Libeskind, whose studio designed the original master plan of the new World Trade Center site—bringing the stories of those who were impacted to life.
First-person accounts dominate these oral histories. Particularly moving is The Untypical Podcast’s interview with New York City firefighter Joe Torrillo, who was buried alive twice on 9/11 and delivers a calm, dispassionate play-by-play of the harrowing day when slabs of concrete and steel pinned him to the ground. Participants in StoryCorps’s September 11th Initiative, an ongoing effort to produce one recording for each life lost that day, include Constance Labetti, who explains how her former boss, Ron Fazio, helped her flee from the South Tower but did not survive himself, and Rana and Harjit Sodhi, who remember their brother, Balbir Singh Sodi, the first person to be murdered in a hate crime in the aftermath of 9/11.
Other Manhattan residents, including journalist Katie Couric and actor and director Robert De Niro, reflect on what it means to be a New Yorker through the prism of the attack on Our City. Our Story, a two-season series created by the 9/11 Memorial Museum. One installment profiles Helaina Horvitz, who was on the way to her middle school near the World Trade Center that fateful morning. She discusses how writing helped her heal from the event and its subsequent “trauma triggers,” such as subway noises she often mistook for bombs. In an interview on the podcast Centennial Sounds, composer Julia Wolfe describes watching the attack unfold with her family in their Lower Manhattan home. In response, she wrote the piano piece “Compassion,” which plays at the end of the segment. The song starts out quietly and erupts into a startling whack, after which the piece, like the city it references, is never the same.
Elsewhere, voices convey a sense of ongoing processing. Those profiled on Ten Years In, a September 2011 episode of This American Life, reject the notion that anniversary commemorations offer catharsis. Lynn Simpson, who escaped from the 89th floor and made it out of the towers with about a minute to spare, admits that she still keeps the clothes she wore that day, saturated with acrid-smelling dust, tightly wrapped in a plastic bag at the back of her closet.
Equally significant are the programs that consider the attacks through the lens of hope. The workers, engineers, and artists who helped restore the World Trade Center explain how the site serves as an inspirational symbol on Tales From The Towers, a touching episode of the WNYC podcast The Takeaway. “It’s so rich with patriotism and the goodness of humankind,” Steve Plate, the deputy chief of capital planning and the director of the World Trade Center construction department at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, says of the area, whose revival he managed. “You look at the site and where it was and where it stands today—it shows the world’s ability and peoples’ ability to rebuild, to be resilient, remember, and just come back better than ever.”
While each individual’s recollection is distinct, there’s a recurring question in nearly every conversation about 9/11: How did that day change you? In the responses, listeners can discover the remarkable efforts by which people have emerged from this world-shaping, life-altering event.
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The anticipation of hearing and chasing down an ice cream truck is a nostalgic American pastime, bringing joy to kids onColumbia Records even released a recorded version of the song, written by actor Harry C. Browne, titled, “N*gger Love A Watermelon Ha! Ha! Ha!,” a disturbing slice of American histoTikTok-er Vanessa Blackwell resurfaced earlier this summer in a viral post. Offering a sorely needed replacement, Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA recently partnered with the ice cream maker Good Humor to crRZA said in a video announcing the project. “I assure you that this one is made with love.” Good Humor released the track for free, urging all ice-cream truck dri
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A love of theater and drama drives the work of architect and designer David Rockwell, who grew up in a theater-going famRockwell Group, has designed numerous hospitality, entertainment, and cultural spaces—from Nobu to NeueHouse to The Shed—plus dozens oKinky Boots and Hairspray. While theaters are officially closed for the rest of the year, here Rockwell brings the spirit of the stage home to us with a playlist of some of his favorite musical numbers. (For more from Rockwell, listen to Spencer interview him on Ep. 1 of The Workspace of Tomorrow podcast.)
This time of year usually signals rest and recharging for many, with relaxation and summer travels in store. All of thatNature Ecology & Evolution, scientists have coined a term for this particular window of time—the “anthropause”—and have set out to quantify its efbiologist Christian Rutz, one of the paper’s lead authors, told Wired. “And we acknowledge that in the article. But it’s one which we, as a scientific community, really can’t afford to missone scientist, volcanologist Jan Lindsay, said. “The ‘2020 seismic noise quiet period’ will likely become something that Earth science students of the future will lea
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Festivals are canceled for the year, and online dance parties now a bit played out, several months into the pandemic—resHouse Party, a digital performance and semiweekly publication series from The Poetry Project (not to be confused with the social meCenter for Fiction, book talks with authors, such as one taking place on July 31 titled “The Long View: New Fiction from Edmund White and City Arts & Lectures, home to a trove of previously recorded conversations and upcoming talks that will be webcast and later available to ththis recent webcast between author Rebecca Solnit and actor and screenwriter Brit Marling (pictured above).
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Live music is the lifeblood for the Woodstock, New York–based musician Amy Helm, who grew up with two musical parents, The Band’s drummer Levon Helm and singer Libby Titus. When the Covid-19 pandemicConnor Kennedy to take their show on the road, and to doorsteps around the Hudson Valley. We caught up with Helm just as New York was Curbside Pickup Band.
The Los Angeles–based industrial designer Jonathan Olivares produces works with a profound understanding and observation of how the human body sits and moves through space. But hiGo Skateboarding Day tomorrow, here he shares a playlist of his favorite skateboarding songs, and the legendary video parts that feature them. “This is a selection of songs that have been paired with some of my f
Layered compositions, calligraphic abstractions, and public spaces often factor into the works of Brooklyn-based Cuban-AmericanJosé Parlá, who has exhibited worldwide and installed large-scale murals in spaces ranging from inside the lobby of One World Trad“José Parlá: It’s Yours,” is currently on view at the Bronx Museum, through Jan. 10, 2021, though the museum is temporarily closed at the moment a playlist of some of his favorite Cuban songs to move to.
In an era where music streaming algorithms and data-driven suggestions can throw you for a loop, somehow leading you to Radiooooo—spelled with, count ’em, five O’s—around the idea of creating a crowdsourced time machine of music. While popular platfRadio Garden, which lets you tune into more than 8,000 radio stations from all over the world, each plotted onto a Google Earth–like
With #StayHome campaigns driving home the importance of social distancing while the race to find a vaccine continues, prThe Body Keeps Score (currently No. 1 on The New York Times paperback nonfiction best-seller list), said on Ep. 2 of our At a Distance podcast, now is as good a time as any to start a meditation practice or new exercise routine to calm your autonomic nervous sysa virtual conference he’s hosting with the Trauma Research Foundation—a healthy reminder that learning about self-care is a lifelong journey.
Helen Molesworth, the longtime art curator behind major shows such as “Leap Before You Look: Black Mountain College, 193Recording Artists podcast. Here, we chat with her about the trailblazing female artists featured in the series.
As concerts, festivals, and group gatherings remain on hold worldwide, more or less steadily finding a place online, we a more accessible series of flat-packed speaker-building kits for fellow audiophiles to assemble at home. While Turnbull’s custom analog speakers are known for their utilitarian aes
One upside to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis: a renaissance of podcasts and audio content to take in. These days, we’re tunCurio.io app for a curated selection of the best narrated and audio journalism being produced today. The helpful, easy-to-navigaFinancial Times, The Guardian, The Washington Post, and The Economist—and we’re chuffed to have The Slowdown in such great company, with our very own At a Distance podcast now available on
The prolific Polish-American architect and artist Daniel Libeskind—renowned for his bold-faced projects, such as the Jewish Museum in Berlin and the Denver Art Museum—finds great inspiraa playlist of classical pieces that are helping him navigate this tumultuous time.
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Artist and musician Billy Martin, drummer of the band Medeski Martin & Wood and a sometime collaborator with The Slowdown (he composed the jingle of oura playlist of songs that are helping him get through the current coronavirus quarantine. While chatting with him about his selection, Martin invoked the words of Samuel Beckett: “You must go on. I can’t go o
Matthew Yokobosky, senior curator of fashion and material culture at the Brooklyn Museum, shares a playlist of disco tracks from “Studio 54: Night Magic,” an exhibition on the history, social politics, and aesthetics of the legendary New York nightclub. The show will be on view through July 5, but due to the coronavirus, the museum is currently closed until further notice.
After nearly 20 years in the fashion business, 15 of those spent running his eponymous label, Phillip Lim is taking an ia statement on why he was pausing from the runway, citing “sustainability in all its forms” as a top concern: “I’d like to take a m
Stefan Sagmeister has designed a lot of album covers in his day—among them, David Byrne’s Feelings (1997) and Talking Heads’s 2003 box set Once in a Lifetime. Here, the notoriously cheeky graphic designer (interviewed by Spencer on Ep. 8 of our Time Sensitive podcast), shares a playlist of some of his favorite Byrne cover songs. Byrne himself wraps his Broadway tour of American Utopia tomorrow, Feb. 16, after a four-month run.
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