Episode
March 08, 2016 at 5:00 am

New Jersey Transit and rail workers are back at the bargaining table this week in hopes of reaching a deal. If not, employees threaten to strike as soon as March 13, and officials are scrambling to secure a contingency plan for the more than 100,000 commuters. Former Deputy Executive Director of NJ Transit Martin Robins joins us to explain what’s driving the dispute and how a possible strike would impact you. Famed novelist Jerome Charyn returns home in his latest work, “In Bitter Bronx: Thirteen Stories. Charyn’s new novel depicts a world before and after urban renewal destroyed the borough’s gritty sanctity made famous by Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Joltin’ Joe. Charyn joins us to discuss why it was so difficult to make the journey home. You probably know him from his long-running eponymous television show: Dick Cavett joins us to discuss his most recent book “Brief Encounters,” a collection of his columns for the New York Times. While he’s here, we reminisce about his talk show days and all the big names in entertainment he’s rubbed elbows with over the years. Dame Maggie Smith is a critically acclaimed and award-winning actress best known for her roles from “Harry Potter” to Masterpiece Classics “Downton Abbey.” Although the Grantham family and the doors of Downton have closed for the last time, we sit down with Maggie Smith’s biographer, author Michael Coveney, to see what a post-Downton world holds for Smith.

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March 07, 2016 at 6:30 pm

New Jersey Transit and rail workers are back at the bargaining table this week in hopes of reaching a deal. If not, employees threaten to strike as soon as March 13, and officials are scrambling to secure a contingency plan for the more than 100,000 commuters. Former Deputy Executive Director of NJ Transit Martin Robins joins us to explain what’s driving the dispute and how a possible strike would impact you.

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March 07, 2016 at 6:29 pm

In the event of a stoppage, no rail service will be provided on the Northeast Corridor (including the Princeton Branch/Dinky), North Jersey Coast, Morris & Essex (including Gladstone), Main/Bergen County, Montclair-Boonton, Raritan Valley, Pascack Valley, Atlantic City, and Port Jervis lines. The contingency plan includes adding capacity to existing New York commuter bus routes in close proximity to rail stations, […]

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Episode
March 05, 2016 at 9:00 am

Compared to this time last year, transit crime is up 25 percent and assault is up by 14 percent. In this year alone, there have been 15 slashings in the subway. Curtis Sliwa, an American anti-crime activist and founder and CEO of Guardian Angels, joins us to comment on why the group is back in the subways for the first time in more than 20 years. Managing Editor of “New York NOW” Matt Ryan joins us to give us a round-up of the biggest topics coming out of Albany. The final season of Downton Abbey is currently airing on PBS. As the show counts down to the final episode, we look back with senior culture editor and writer for The Daily Beast Tim Teeman. He explains why Downton and the Grantham family captured the hearts of so many viewers. The stretch of 8th Street between Third Avenue and Avenue A is known as St. Marks Place, which has served as the backdrop to music videos and artworks throughout the decades. Ada Calhoun, author of ‘St. Marks is Dead,’ examines the history of this iconic area and why its days–as it is–may be numbered.

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March 04, 2016 at 6:29 pm

Compared to this time last year, transit crime is up 25 percent and assault is up by 14 percent. In this year alone, there have been 15 slashings in the subway. Curtis Sliwa, an American anti-crime activist and founder and CEO of Guardian Angels, joins us to comment on why the group is back in the subways for the first time in more than 20 years.

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Episode
March 02, 2016 at 8:26 am

FiveThirtyEight’s Harry Enten joins us to explain what’s at stake as voters in more than a dozen states prepare to make their pick for each party’s presidential nominee. The senior political writer will tell us what a good night would look like for the major players from both parties and predict who from the GOP field will be the next candidate to drop out of the race. Does Super Tuesday’s impact on the presidential election really hold up to the hype? American Presidential Historian and American University History Professor Allan Lichtman walks us through the event’s past and explains how much it matters when it comes to deciding the eventual nominees. Outer Space has been the final frontier for some time now, but Scott Kelly is about to end a historic year-long stint in that frontier. Former NASA Astronaut and Columbia University’s Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Michael Massimino, stops by to tell us about Kelly’s historic mission. Find out what challenges Kelly will face upon his return and what this mission means for space exploration and discovery. The story of Dead Horse Bay is a little known chapter in the history of New York City’s development, and a lesser-known portion of Robert Moses involvement in changing the area’s landscape. ABC News Digital Producer Evan Simon joins us to discuss why this bay is considered trash to some but a treasure to others.

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Episode
February 17, 2016 at 3:55 am

On July 23rd, 2007, two ex-convicts entered the Connecticut home of Dr. William Petit and killed and tortured his wife and two young daughters. Petit was nearly bludgeoned to death but managed to escape. Eight years later, Ryan D’Agostino captures Petit’s story of tragedy and survival in his new book, “The Rising: Murder, Heartbreak, and the Power of Human Resilience in an American Town.” The author joins us tonight. Travel was often perilous and unwelcoming for African Americans prior to 1964, but that’s where the “The Negro Motorist Green Book,” became vital, with suggestions for places to eat, stay and refuel that would be safe and welcoming for black travelers. To preserve this important piece of history, the New York Public Library is making 30 years of the travel guide available for free digitally on its website. MetroFocus Host Jenna Flanagan takes us within the archives to learn about the origin of the Green Book and its journey to the web. Curious about the grid that New York City was built on in the 19th century? Historian and author of “City on a Grid: How New York Became New York,” Gerard Koeppel walks us through the origin’s of our city’s road network and the debate over whether it was effective. Russell Simmons, co-Founder of Def Jam Records, activist and author, joins us for the first of a two-part interview to talk about his new book, ‘The Happy Vegan,’ which serves as a guide to conscious eating, veganism and the benefits of healthy living.

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February 16, 2016 at 6:32 pm

Travel was often perilous and unwelcoming for African Americans prior to 1964, but that’s where the “The Negro Motorist Green Book,” became vital, with suggestions for places to eat, stay and refuel that would be safe and welcoming for black travelers. To preserve this important piece of history, the New York Public Library is making 30 years of the travel guide available for free digitally on its website. MetroFocus Host Jenna Flanagan takes us within the archives to learn about the origin of the Green Book and its journey to the web.

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Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, the Anderson Family Fund, Judy and Josh Weston, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, The Dorothy Schiff Endowment for News and Public Affairs Programming, Jody and John Arnhold, Rosalind P. Walter, the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation, Laura and Jim Ross, and Shailaja and Umesh Nagarkatte.

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