• 50 Years - A Million Thanks
NEW YORK VOICES
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Junot Diaz
Junot Diaz was born in the Dominican Republic and came to this country when he was seven years old not knowing a word of English. In 1996, at the age of 26, he became a literary star with the publication of DROWN, a collection of spare but powerful short stories. Eleven years later, Diaz published his second book, THE BRIEF WONDEROUS LIFE OF OSCAR WAO. This novel, which has already won wide critical and popular acclaim, tells the tragicomic story of the love sick overweight nerd, Oscar De Leon, and of his family, torn from their home and their past glories in the Dominican Republic by the brutal regime of Rafael Trujillo.

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Paul Auster
Paul Auster's work includes four screenplays and fourteen novels, several of which are set in Brooklyn where he has lived for 27 years. His most recent movie is called "The Inner Life of Martin Frost," which Auster both wrote and directed. Rafael Pi Roman sat down with Auster for a conversation about with drew him to filmmaking, the major themes in his work, and the Brooklyn neighborhood where he lives with his wife and daughter.

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Paul Auster
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Joan Didion
After losing her husband to a heart attack, Joan Didion chronicled the devastating effects of her loss in the Pulitzer-Prize winning memoir, THE YEAR OF MAGICAL THINKING. Soon after the book was published, her daughter, Quintana, also passed away following an extended illness. Didion updated and transformed her story into a one-woman play, also called THE YEAR OF MAGICAL THINKING. Rafael Pi Roman interviewed Didion on the stage at the Booth Theater in New York City, where the play is being performed.

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Joan Didion
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Richard Serra
MOMA recently mounted a massive forty-year retrospective of Richard Serra's sculpture - from his earliest creations in rubber and lead to his latest in steel. Once considered a bad boy in the art world, Serra is now one of its favorite sons. Rafael Pi Roman sat down with the world-renowned sculptor talks about his art, his career, and a new retrospective of his work at the Museum of Modern Art.

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Richard Serra
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African-American Voices
In honor of black history month, NEW YORK VOICES features three interviews with New Yorkers at the top of their respective fields: playwright George C. Wolfe, choreographer Judith Jamison, and astrophysicist Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson. Read more (First Aired, Feb. 2006)

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Michael Imperioli
As most of us know, Christopher Moltisanti is a drug addicted thief, murderer and sociopath who set up his girlfriend for a whacking and punched out Lauren Bacall. Michael Imperioli, on the other hand, is a thoughtful and soft-spoken man with a dislike for violence on the screen. As a New York actor, he is part of the tradition established by Brando, Cassavetes, Di nero and Pacino. Rafael Pi Roman speaks with Imperioli about the Sopranos, acting, and living in New York, among other things, at Studio Dante, his small theater in Chelsea.

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michael imperioli
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Christo and Jean-Claude
When Christo and Jeanne-Claude first moved to New York in 1964, they were so poor that they had to sell Christo's artwork to pay their hotel bill. Four decades later, this now world-famous husband and wife team have returned to erect their first installation in the city, "The Gates for Central Park." Read more

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Christo and Jean-Claude
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Chuck Close
Early on in his career, the photorealist painter Chuck Close stood out in the art world. While Andy Warhol painted celebrities and socialites, Close depicted what one curator called "T-shirt proletariat nobodies." And forget about flattery. Close's portraits show every wrinkle, pore, and nose hair ... jumbo size. Read more

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Chuck Close
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Nat Hentoff
Nat Hentoff was born in Boston, but New Yorkers have always considered him to be one of their own. His outspoken views on journalistic responsibility and the rights of Americans to think and speak freely have been a staple of his VILLAGE VOICE columns for over four decades. In this extended interview, Nat Hentoff provides his insights on the continuing struggle to protect freedom and civil liberties in America today.

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Nat Hentoff
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Dennis Rivera
In 1989, Dennis Rivera was elected president of Local 1199, the health care worker's union, and he has been at the center of labor and politics in New York City ever since. Under Rivera's leadership, Local 1199 became the largest union in the city, and also the state's biggest lobbyist, spending millions annually to leverage political influence and gain the best possible wages, benefits, and working conditions for its members.

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Dennis Rivera
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