Full Episode Nov. 21: East Midtown, O+ Festival, Making Masterpiece

November 20, 2013 at 11:59 am

This edition of MetroFocus features a look at one of the most contested rezoning projects facing New York City.  Mayor Michael Bloomberg withdrew his proposals for the densely packed East Midtown neighborhood and now Mayor-Elect Bill de Blasio will have to decide whether or not to tackle the controversial plans.

Laura Kusisto, a reporter for The Wall Street Journal tells host Rafael Pi Roman “The real estate community did pretty well under Bloomberg, he pushed through a lot of re-zonings that had opposition in the community but were good at generating real estate development, economic activity and I think there was sort of a message that we the community, we the city council are going to drive a harder bargain in the future.”

The upstate New York town of Kingston has created a unique way to provide health care for artists.   Albany Public TV’s Innovation Trail reporter Jenna Flanagan reports on the  O+ Festival where artists trade their talents and artwork for medical care.

The New York Times video reporter Erik Olsen heads out to sea with scientists from  Rutgers University who are launching a worldwide ocean research project using underwater drones. The drones are already sending back new data about temperatures and currents that could help predict and understand violent storms like typhoon Haiyan.

How do you make a masterpiece? Rebecca Eaton, executive producer of the long-running hit series Masterpiece on PBS tells Pi Roman the inside story just as  Downton Abbey is about to begin its fourth hit season. Among other stories from her new memoir, “Making Masterpiece”, Eaton admits she initially turned down Downton Abbey but tells Pi Roman, “I must be the luckiest woman in show business because it went around the circle of other American television executives to co-produce and nobody picked it up.”

And for the first time ever New Jersey evergreen trees will grace the White House this Christmas season.  The Star-Ledger video reporter Andre Malok introduces us to seventh-generation New Jersey growers at the Wyckoff’s Christmas Tree Farm as White House officials make the visit to select this year’s winners.



Watch the individual MetroFocus segments below and stay up to date on MetroFocus news from the New York region on Twitter.

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MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Judy and Josh Weston, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Rosalind P. Walter, Jody and John Arnhold and the Metropolitan Media Fund. Corporate funding is provided by Mutual of America, your retirement company.

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