On this edition of MetroFocus, Hilary Ballon, New York University Professor of Urban Studies and Architecture, talks to host Rafael Pi Roman about the past, present and future of Penn Station. When Penn Station opened in 1910 it was a monumental marvel. But New York City’s original transportation hub was demolished after only 53 years. The station’s grand past and tragic destruction are the subject of The Rise and Fall of Penn Station, a documentary from PBS’ American Experience now available online.
From the 1970s through the 1990s, Toms River, New Jersey was hit with an extraordinary number of childhood cancers with seemingly no apparent cause. After years of investigation the New Jersey Department of Health found that nearby chemical companies had been dumping toxic waste into the town’s river for years, contaminating the town’s water supply. Environmental journalist Dan Fagin, an Associate Professor and Director of the Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program at New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute, recounts the dramatic tale in his Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation in an interview with anchor Jack Ford.
After many years hosting NBC’s Today, Dateline and her own talk show, TV legend Jane Pauley is helping people over fifty reimagine their lives. Recently named a contributor to CBS’ Sunday Morning, Pauley talks to host Pi Roman about her new book, Your Life Calling: Reimagining the Rest of Your Life.
And producer Marisa Wong shows us the wonderful world of little free libraries. Wong takes us to the Two Bridges neighborhood on Manhattan’s Lower East Side to see community leaders, children and architects bring one of the little libraries back from a winter break. Architectural designer Chat Travieso designed the library for a spot outside a mixed-income affordable housing tower in the neighborhood as part of a project by The Architectural League of New York and the PEN World Voices Festival.