A Child Moves From 'She' to 'He' With Confidence

Q Daily, a third grader who attends a Brooklyn public school, describes himself as silly, curious and nice — all of the qualities that he likes about people. He is a lover of Michael Jackson, a wearer of trendy hats and isn’t shy about dancing in front of a crowd.

And, now that he identifies as a boy, he feels more alive than before.

“It feels like, instead of a dead flower, a growing flower,” he said of his transition from girl to boy.

Read more.


Oh man, incredibly excited to be asked to contribute to NPR’s annual calendar this year. It took a few years after moving here, but for awhile now I have become a WNYC/NPR junkie. Like many New Yorkers, I turn to the radio more and more not just for news, but to learn interesting stuff and, in some ways, find comfort; it always seems to be the voice of reason when you most need it. There is something timeless and magical about listening to the radio and frankly no one does it better than WNYC.

Thoughts printed in the calendar: “NPR is a reliable companion. By nature, radio has a sense of nostalgic romance. Listening late into the night to the unique voices, thought-provoking programming and music gives us knowledge. Many times, public radio has made me think differently, or given me an idea. It nurtures free thinking and innovative dreams.”

“Rolf, the mandolin-playing terrier, was regularly featured on Art Nudnick’s Musical Menagerie. The Sunday afternoon variety program was a hit for the better part of 1925.”

Photo ‘discovered’ by the NYPR Archives Dept. on April 1, 2004 and used in the WNYC History Notes e-newsletter. Thanks to former Senior Archivist Cara McCormick.


Crissle West, co-host of The Read, gave an excellence response to a white man who directed his comments at only her when he was defending Blackface. Everyone else on the panel disregarded it as racist just like her but he decided to force his points on her and only her.

Her response to his points were very much NEEDED.

After she READ into the man the host Arun Venugopal said, “This is getting pretty heated,” and Crissle responded, “It didn’t have to. I only went there because I was provoked. I’m not always the Angry Black Woman [audience laughs]”  
Guy Branum stood by Crissle’s rightful actions by saying, “Well you went there and we love you for it”.

We do love you for it crissle​ thank you so much for providing your voice on this Panel and on the Read, I personally really appreciate it! Also thanks to chescaleigh​ for bringing this panel to my attention via her tumblr.

Full Video here

New York City’s Lost Subways: A Ghost System Beneath the Streets

The New York City subway system has 842 miles of track, but WNYC reveals “there’s even more to it than riders see: dozens of tunnels and platforms that were either abandoned or were built but never used."  This ghost system beneath the streets "reveals how the city’s transit ambitions have been both realized and thwarted.”

Solitude is one of our great superpowers… Solitude is the key to being able to make effective decisions and then having the courage of convictions to stand behind those decisions.

Fantastic conversation with Susan Cain, who champions of the power of introverts, on WNYC’s Note to Self podcast. 

Lest we forget, Wendell Berry put it best in his timeless meditation on what solitude does for the soul: “One’s inner voices become audible… In consequence, one responds more clearly to other lives.”

Complement with a wonderful read on how to be alone in a culture of compulsive sociality

Both of Chun Zheng’s children — 7-year-old Joyce and 5-year-old Jay — were born in Boston. But for the first years of their lives, they stayed with relatives in Fujian, a southeastern province of China. Joyce spent more than four years with her aunt, whom she still calls “ma.” (She calls Chun Zheng “mommy.”)

At the time, Chun Zheng and her husband were living in a cramped room in Boston’s Chinatown, sharing a kitchen and bathroom with strangers. She says they worked long hours at restaurants to save enough money to eventually bring their kids home.

“Anytime you eat at a Chinese restaurant in Chinatown, it’s likely that somebody in that restaurant has a child who is in China at the moment,” says Cindy Liu, a psychologist at Harvard University. She points out that no one knows exactly how many Chinese immigrant families send their babies to be raised by family in China.

That’s partly why she helped start a research project focusing on Chinese immigrants in the Boston area who are raising what some psychologists call “satellite babies.” Like satellites in space, these children leave from and return to the same spot.

Born In The U.S., Raised In China: ‘Satellite Babies’ Have A Hard Time Coming Home

Illustration: Nicole Xu for NPR

The Cicadas are Coming (to the Northeast)

When I think childhood summers, I remember long days, sno-cones, playing outside, and that the ever-present hum of cicadas. Their wing-beating buzz was, and is, the ambient soundtrack to warmer months. 

The northeastern US is about to get a visit from a very special bunch of these sporadic summer visitors. Certain groups of cicadas only rise to the surface to breed every 17 years, littering the ground with their exoskeletons and bodies, and the air with their constant call.

When the soil temperature begins to steady in the mid-60’s, “Brood II” magicicada nymphs will hatch underground and crawl to the surface by the billions, and the air from Georgia to Connecticut will start to come to life. While not every cicada species hatches in 17-year patterns, these particular “broods” may follow the pattern to avoid predators predicting their arrival or to keep from going extinct during long periods of cold weather. For many of you, this may be the first time in your life that this group has hatched.

Most of all, get out there this summer and just stop. Listen, look and take a moment to appreciate just how much life is lurking under and above us at any moment. 

And watch where you step. Crunch.

Via @wnyc: An Icon of the Wild West Becomes a Secret New Yorker

An animal long associated with wilderness is thriving as a city-dweller: coyotes.

The canids showed up in New York state around 1940, and moved into the Bronx just 10 years ago. Slightly larger than their western cousins, northeastern coyotes, or “coywolves,” are thought to have descended from western coyotes who bred with wolves as they expanded their range eastward to avoid hunters in the West.  

For the past five years, the Gotham Coyote Project has been using camera traps triggered by motion and heat, to capture images of the elusive animal in the wild. The team has been able to document coyotes in the Bronx, where several family groups have been established, and a single coyote haunting part of Queens. (There have also been sightings in Manhattan.)

“Very rarely as a wildlife biologist do you ever get to study something happening in real time,” project co-founder Mark Weckel said. “My colleagues and I have the opportunity to look at this emerging story year after year.”

So far one major mystery remains unsolved: how the coyotes get from one borough to another. In other parts of the country, coyotes have been observed using railroad tracks. But Weckel, who’s also the manager of the science research mentoring program at the American Museum of Natural History, says it’s not clear what transportation infrastructure, if any, are being used by the coyotes here. He says they’re pretty strong swimmers, but more likely to cross a bridge if the opportunity avails itself.  

Listen to the interview with Mark Weckel. 

Every bite is a precious resource so enjoy it, says Dan Pashman, host of the WNYC podcast The Sporkful and author of the new book Eat More Better: How to Make Every Bite More Delicious. Pashman believes that even the most mediocre of foods, the limp lunch sandwich, the unflavored airplane snack, can be made more delicious.

He offered NPR’s Rachel Martin on Morning Edition some tricks on assembling more delightful lunches and dinners.

Friction Can Save Your Sandwich, And Other Tips For Better Bites

Illustration: Courtesy of Alex Eben Meyer, Simon & Schuster


David Foster Wallace on Ambition

“If your fidelity to perfectionism is too high, you never do anything.” - David Foster Wallace.

It’s Episode #3 from our new series with PBS Digital Studios

Interview originally aired on the Leonard Lopate Show WNYC | 1996

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