Full Episode: Oct. 20, 2015

In the first of a two-part interview, former New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey talks about prison reform and the challenges inmates face upon their release.

Also, Cynthia Lopez of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment joins us in her last TV interview as commissioner to discuss the economic impact of the film and TV industry here.

Plus, MetroFocus host Jenna Flanagan hears from urban history blogger Michelle Young about her new book that traces the lesser-known past of Broadway Street through vintage photographs.

And we’ll walk you through the colorful history of an uninhabited New York island that you may have never even noticed.

TRANSCRIPT

> TONIGHT ON 'METROFOCUS,' FORMER NEW JERSEY GOVERNOR JIM McGREEVEY OPENS UP AFTER LIFE ABOUT POLITICS, PRISON REFORM AND HOW FAITH HAS CARRIED HIM THROUGH THE MOST DIFFICULT TIMES.

THEY'RE CALLING NEW YORK CITY AND LONG ISLAND HOLLYWOOD ON THE HUDSON AS THE FILM AND TELEVISION INDUSTRY FINDS BIG LOCATIONS HERE IN THE BIG APPLE.

AHEAD, AN EXCLUSIVE WITH THE WOMAN WHO HAS BEEN THE DRIVING FORCE IN BRINGING THE BRIGHT LIGHTS TO THE BIG CITY.

THEY ALL KNOW THE LULLABY OF BROADWAY, BUT WHAT DO YOU REALLY KNOW ABOUT THE GREAT WHITE WAY?

IT'S A FASCINATING LOOK AT ONE OF NEW YORK'S MOST FAMOUS STREETS, AND A PLACE YOU MAY HAVE SEEN AND WONDERED ABOUT, BUT HAVE NEVER VISITED.

NORTH BROTHER ISLAND IS JUST A STONE'S THROW AWAY FROM THE CITY AND WE'LL TAKE YOU THERE.

'METRO FOCUS' STARTS RIGHT NOW.

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> THIS IS 'METROFOCUS' WITH RAFAEL PI ROMAN, JACK FORD AND JENNA FLANNIGAN.

FUNDING FOR THIS PROGRAM WAS PROVIDED BY -- ♪♪ ♪♪

SO YOU LOOK AT THE PRISON POPULATION IN OUR COUNTRY AND THE STATISTICS ARE STAGGERING.

ACROSS THE COUNTRY, INCARCERATION RATES HAVE BEEN ON THE RISE FOR THE PAST 30 YEARS.

IN 2014, THE NUMBER OF INMATES AND FEDERAL PRISONS WAS 214,149, THAT'S AN INCREASE OF OVER 5,000 INMATES IN JUST FIVE YEARS.

HERE LOCALLY, NEW JERSEY ALONE HAS APPROXIMATELY 15,000 DETAINEES AND THE STATE SYSTEMS AND AN ADDITIONAL 2,740 COUNTY PRISONERS AND PRIVATELY OWNED AND OPERATED AND RESIDENTIAL CENTERS.

CURRENTLY, ACCORDING TO THE BUREAU OF STATISTICS, ON A FEDERAL LEVEL, 70.7% OF RE-RELEASED PRISONERS ARE ARRESTED AND 49.6 OF THOSE ARE RECONVICTED AND 27.3% OF THEM ARE REIMPRISONED AFTER ONLY THREE YEARS.

IT'S BEHIND THESE PRISON WALLS WHERE FORMER NEW JERSEY GOVERNOR JIM McGREEVEY HAS FOUND A NEW CALLING.

11 YEARS AFTER THE RESIGNATION OF THE TOP OFFICE, GOVERNOR McGREEVEY AN EPISCOPAL SEMINARIAN CAN BE FOUND SPENDING TIME IN PRISONS, COUNSELING THEM AND PREPARING THEM FOR WHEN THEY LEAVE JAIL.

THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.

GOOD TO SEE YOU.

LIKEWISE, GOOD TO BE WITH YOU.

WHAT TOOK YOU -- AND I KNOW YOUR FAITH HAS ALWAYS BEEN IMPORTANT TO YOU, WHAT TOOK YOU FROM THE WORLD OF POLITICS WHERE YOU WERE IMMERSED IN FOR YEARS --

RECOVERING.

RECOVERING LAWYER, AS A MATTER OF FACT.

RECOVERING POLITICIAN.

WE HAVE A CERTAIN SYMMETRY TO IT.

WHAT GOT YOU THERE?

I WAS IN SEMINARY, AND THE DEAN OF THE SEMINARY SUGGESTED THAT I GO UP TO PRISON RANCH UP IN HARLEM.

JACK, I WENT UP THERE THINKING TO MYSELF, WELL, YOU KNOW, AT THE TIME I WAS STILL WITH THE EMBARRASSMENT OF LEAVING AND THE RESIGNATION AND THE CIRCUMSTANCES, BUT I THOUGHT TO MYSELF, THESE GUYS CAN'T LOOK DOWN ON ME.

THEY'VE COMMITTED ALL SORTS OF HORRIBLE CRIMES.

I MEAN, I'M GOING TO BE THE MORAL ASCENDANCY, AND I WENT UP THERE AND SPENT SOME TIME IN FIELD EDUCATION AND THESE ARE GUYS WHO WOULD COME OUT OF SING SING.

THESE ARE GUYS WHO HAD COMMITTED SOME OF THE WORST CRIMES THAT WERE TRYING TO RECLAIM THEIR LIVES AND SHOULDER TO SHOULDER, WHETHER IT'S HAVING PANCAKES IN THE MORNING OR HOT DOGS, I REALIZED THAT MANY OF THEM WANTED THE SAME THINGS I WANTED IN LIFE.

THEY WANTED A HOME.

THEY WANTED TO DO BETTER FOR THEIR CHILDREN.

THEY WANTED TO DO SOMETHING VALUABLE FOR THE COMMUNITY, AND THEY HAD MADE SOME BAD DECISIONS.

I WOULD ALSO ADD, THEY DIDN'T START FROM THE SAME PLACE I STARTED THE RACE OF LIFE.

THEY STARTED IN VERY DIFFERENT CIRCUMSTANCES, AND I JUST -- I THINK SORT OF SURVIVING OR WRESTLING WITH MY OWN DEMONS AND THE IMPORTANCE OF SECOND CHANCES AND THE IMPORTANCE OF TRYING TO DO THE RIGHT THING.

WHAT I FOUND IS IT WAS SO MUCH MORE DIFFICULT FOR THESE MEN COMING OUT OF STATE PRISON.

I WANT TO TALK TO YOU IN JUST A MOMENT ABOUT THE SPECIFICS THAT YOU'RE DOING HERE, BUT LET'S TALK ABOUT BIGGER PICTURE QUESTIONS, WHAT IS IT ABOUT A PRISON ENVIRONMENT WHICH THEORETICALLY IS SUPPOSED TO BE SO FRIGHTENING AND DISTRESSING THAT IT WOULD MAKE PEOPLE SAY I NEVER WANT TO GET BACK HERE AGAIN.

WHAT IS ABOUT A PRISON ENVIRONMENT THAT LENDS ITSELF TO THE STATISTICS AND THESE STAGGERING STATISTICS ABOUT RECIDIVISM.

WHAT MAKES SOMEONE SAY I'LL DO SOMETHING AND GO BACK AGAIN.

YOU ARE SO RIGHT AND OVERWHELMINGLY, PEOPLE DON'T WANT TO GO BACK.

WE'RE SPENDING $74 BILLION A YEAR AND A STAGGERING AMOUNT OF MONEY AND YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT INFRASTRUCTURE NEEDS AND EDUCATION NEEDS AND THE PROBLEM IS WHAT DO WE DO IN PRISON?

BASICALLY, WE TAKE PEOPLE AND 70% OF THE PEOPLE BEHIND BARS ARE ADDICTS AND WE TAKE PEOPLE, AN OVERWHELMING PERCENTAGE THAT ARE ADDICTS AND WE PUT THEM IN POPULATIONS WITH SOME OF THE WORST HUMAN BEINGS ON GOD'S EARTH HAVE A PREEMINENT POSITION BECAUSE OF THEIR POSITION IN GANGS.

THEIR POSITION IN DEALING WITH CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS, AND SO THAT IF WE REALLY WERE SERIOUS ABOUT CHANGING LIVES, WE'D BE FOCUSING ON BEHAVIOR, CHANGING THE BEHAVIOR OF THE CHAOS OF THE STREETS TO RATIONAL, CONSISTENT BEHAVIOR THAT EMPHASIZED THE IMPORTANCE OF SOBRIETY AND THE IMPORTANCE OF WORK, THE IMPORTANCE OF HONESTY, BUT WHAT DO WE DO?

WE TAKE FIRST-TIME, SECOND-TIME DRUG OFFENDERS AND WE PUT THEM IN HELL AND THEN WE HAVE THEM THERE FOR AN EXTENDED PERIOD OF TIME WHERE THEY'RE LEARNING ALL OF THE WORST LESSONS, AND I MEAN, YOU CAN -- PROFESSORS AT NYU AND COLUMBIA, MICHIGAN WHO WILL ATTEST TO THIS AND THEN THEY COME OUT AND THERE'S NO HOUSING.

THERE'S NO JOB, AND THERE'S NO CONTINUED ADDICTION TREATMENT.

I'VE HAD SO MANY GUYS SAY TO ME, JIM, I'LL GIVE FOUR PROGRAM 45 DAYS TO WORK AND IF IT DOESN'T WORK I'M BACK RUNNING, GUNNING AND DOPING BECAUSE AT THE END OF THE NIGHT I NEED TO PUT MY HEAD DOWN ON A BED, AND I NEED TO SURVIVE.

SO I WOULD MAKE WHAT I THINK IS AN INCREDIBLY SIMPLE ARGUMENT THAT THE SYSTEM IS IRREVOCABLY DESIGNED TO FAIL BECAUSE WE'RE TAKING PEOPLE, PARTICULARLY THOSE ADDICTED PERSONS AND PUTTING THEM IN A BEHAVIOR WITH PEOPLE WHOSE BEHAVIOR IS NOT ONLY ONEROUS OR HEINOUS AND AT THE TIME OF RELEASE NOT GIVING ANYONE TOOLS FOR RELEASE, SO PEOPLE REVERT BACK TO THE BEHAVIOR THAT THEY ENGAGED IN BEFORE PRISON AND JACK, IT'S STUPID.

TO PEOPLE WHO ARE WATCHING AND LISTENING TO OUR CONVERSATION HERE NOW AND THEY'LL SAY, YOU KNOW WHAT?

I APPRECIATE WHAT GOVERNOR McGREEVEY IS DOING AND HIS HEART IS IN THE RIGHT PLACE.

THEY WENT TO PRISON BECAUSE THEY BROKE THE LAW AND THEY'RE THERE TO BE PUNISHED AND NOT FOR MY TAX DOLLARS TO HELP THEM WITH AN EDUCATION AND THEY'RE THERE TO BE PUNISHED AND GET THE MESSAGE ACROSS.

HOW DO YOU RESPOND TO THAT?

WHAT I WOULD ARGUE IS FROM A FINANCIAL PERSPECTIVE.

THIS 1% OF THE POPULATION IS HAVING SUCH A DELETERIOUS IMPACT ON THE ENTIRE COMMUNITY AND SO IF THEY DON'T GET THESE PEOPLE RIGHT AND THEY GO BACK OUT AND YOU CITED THE RECIDIVISM NUMBERS, THEY'RE GOING GO BACK AND DESTRUCTION OF CRIMINAL PROPERTY AND PERSONAL PROPERTY AND THE COST OF INCARCERATION AT $74 BILLION A YEAR ANNUALLY FOR ALL PRISONS AND $45,000 PER PERSON AND THERE IS A HUGE, FINANCIAL COST FOR NOT GETTING THESE PEOPLE RIGHT, AND I WOULD ARGUE THE MORAL AND THE BEHAVIORAL ARGUMENT IS TO TAKE SOMEBODY WHO IS IN THE MIDST OF WHETHER IT WAS AN URBAN AND NOW INCREASINGLY A SUBURBAN DRUG CULTURE BECAUSE OF OPIATE ADDICTION AND DOPE AND NOT TREAT THEM IS TO IGNORE THE REALITY THAT ADDICTION IS PROFOUNDLY A DISEASE AND IF PEOPLE WOULD COURSE THEIR WAY IN PRISON AND THEY DID A STUDY AT COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY AND ONLY 11% OF ADDICTS IN PRISON RECEIVE TREATMENT.

SO 07% OF THE PEOPLE IN PRISON ARE ADDICTS AND ONLY 11% OF THOSE 70 GET TREATMENT AND THAT MEANS 89% OF THE ADDICTS WHO ARE IN THE PRISON'S WALLS ARE ENGAGING IN THE WORST BEHAVIOR BECAUSE OF THE CULTURE OF PRISON AND NOT BEING TREATED FOR THE SYSTEMIC CAUSE OF THE CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR AND NOT ADDRESSING THEIR ADDICTION.

SO THAT'S NUTS.

R BECAUSE THEY'RE GOING TO GO BACK, JACK, AND REVERT TO THE SAME BEHAVIOR BECAUSE WE CLINICALLY ADDRESSED WITH BEST PRACTICES AND MEDICALLY ASSISTED TREATMENT AND WHETHER IT'S AA OR NA OUT IN THE COMMUNITY AND WHETHER IT'S JOB TRAINING OR SOBER HOUSING OUR NUMBERS IN JERSEY CITY, --

THERE IS A PROGRAM IN JERSEY CITY AND BASICALLY THE PROGRAM IS WHAT ARE YOU DOING THERE AND IS IT WORKING?

IT ISN'T A DEMOCRATIC ISSUE.

I'VE SAT NEXT TO SO MANY MOTHERS WHOSE SONS AND DAUGHTERS HAVE DIED OF OVERDOSE, FRANKLY, JACK, THEY COULD GIVE A DAMN WHETHER SOMEONE IS A REPUBLICAN OR DEMOCRAT AND WHAT THEY WANTED TO DO IN THE LAST WEEK WAS TO GET THEIR KID INTO A TREATMENT FACILITY AND WHAT THEY DON'T UNDERSTAND IS THAT THEY DIDN'T RAISE THEIR KID RIGHT AND HE OR SHE WENT A SKEW AND IN A YEAR'S TIME OR TWO YEARS' TIME THEIR SON OR DAUGHTER IS NOW DECEASED AND SO I BELIEVE -- AND I WANT TO GIVE CREDIT TO THE GOVERNOR BECAUSE GOVERNOR CHRISTIE SAID JIM, YOU AND I AGREE ONLY ON ONE ISSUE, AND I SAID THAT'S ENOUGH, AND THAT IS TREATMENT HAS TO BE THE PREFERRED DEFAULT AS OPPOSED TO INCARCERATION, AND WHAT WE'VE DONE IN JERSEY CITY WITH THE LEADERSHIP OF MAYOR FULLER AND AGAIN, ON A BIPARTISAN BASIS THAT WE HAVE DRUG TREATMENT BEHIND BARS AND THEN WHEN PEOPLE COME OUT FROM BEHIND JAIL THEY CONTINUE AN INTENSIVE OUTPATIENT TREATMENT IN THE COMMUNITY AND SOBER HOUSING, THE URINE IS TESTED AND THEY'RE MONITORED FROM 8:30 IN THE MORNING UNTIL NIGHT AND EVERYBODY EITHER WORKS OR GOES TO SCHOOL.

SO I SAY TO ALL OF MY REPUBLICAN FRIENDS, MY DAD WAS A MARINE CORPS DRILL INSTRUCTOR, YOU SHOULD LOVE THIS PROGRAM.

IT'S REGIMENTED AND CONSISTENT AND IT'S CONSTANT AND MONITORING AND ACCORDING TO THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE THEY'VE SAID THAT WE'RE ONE OF SEVEN MODEL PROGRAMS AND THAT THE RECIDIVISM RATE IS 32%. SO YOU LOOK AT THE NATIONAL NORM OF 68% AND YOU COMPARE OUR AVERAGE WHICH IS 22% AND THAT'S BECAUSE WE'RE GIVING ADDICTION TREATMENT, SOBER, STRUCTURED HOUSING AND WE'RE TESTING -- PEOPLE ARE GOING TO WORK.

PEOPLE ARE GOING TO SCHOOL WHERE WE'RE GIVING THEM THEIR HEALTHCARE THROUGH THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT AND ALSO WE'RE HELPING TO ADDRESS SOME OF THEIR OWN LEGAL CHALLENGES SO IT CAN BE DONE.

IT'S MESSY AND YOU HAVE TO DEAL WITH PEOPLE ONE TO ONE.

YOU HAVE TO DEAL WITH WARRANTS THAT HAVE EXISTED TEN MONTHS AGO OR TEN YEARS AGO, BUT IT CAN BE DONE, BUT DOING WHAT WE DO, WHEN YOU HAVE A 22% RECIDIVISM RATE, AND I'VE SEEN PEOPLE, WOMEN WITH 18 FELONIES ON THEIR JACKETS AND THEY'VE GOT THEIR OWN APARTMENT NOW AND THEY'VE GOT THEIR OWN CAR AND WORKING.

IT'S MORE WORK, IT'S LESS MONEY, BUT IT'S SO MUCH BETTER FOR SOCIETY THAN FRANKLY, JUST SHIPPING THEM BACK TO A JAIL BEHIND THE HIGH CONCRETE WALL WHERE THEIR BEHAVIOR IS ONLY GOING TO WORSEN AND THE PROBABILITY THAT THEY'LL ENGAGE ON CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR UPON RELEASE.

IT SOUNDS LIKE THE GOOD NEWS IS AT LEAST SOCIETY'S STARTING TO RECOGNIZE US AND DO SOMETHING.

GOVERNOR, ALWAYS GOOD TO TALK WITH YOU.

YOU AND I HAVE GOOD THINGS TO TALK ABOUT.

FORTUNATELY FOR US, GOVERNOR McGREEVEY WILL JOIN US TOMORROW TO CONTINUE OUR CONVERSATION.

> IF YOU LIVE IN NEW YORK CITY CHANCES ARE YOU'VE SEEN THE LIGHT, THE CAMERAS AND THE ACTION OF LOCAL FILM AND TELEVISION PRODUCTIONS RIGHT IN YOUR OWN BACKYARD.

BUT THE CITY'S ICONIC CITY SCAPES AND LASTING LEGACY ON THE BIG SCREEN AREN'T THE ONLY THINGS LURING FILMMAKERS TO THE BIG APPLE.

IT ALSO MAKES ECONOMIC SENSE.

SINCE 2004 THE NEW YORK TAX CREDIT PROGRAM HAS PROVIDED AN ANNUAL $420 MILLION IN TAX CREDITS TO MOVIES AND TV SHOWS FILMED IN THE STATE.

HERE IN THE FIVE BOROUGHS, IT'S MAKING THE CITY AN ATTRACTIVE PLACE TO FILM.

CYNTHIA, FROM THE GOVERNOR'S OFFICE OF MEDIA AND ENTERTAINING IS LEAVING HER POST IN THE NEXT MONTH.

HERE, I ASKED HER ABOUT THE ECONOMIC IMPACT OF TV AND FILM ON THE CITY.

THE PRODUCTION INDUSTRY, THE MEDIA AND ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY CONTRIBUTE $7.1 BILLION TO THE CITY'S ECONOMY.

BASICALLY, THERE ARE ABOUT 130,000 JOBS THAT ARE CREATED AS PART OF THIS INDUSTRY.

THOSE ARE MIDDLE-CLASS JOB, RIGHT?

ABSOLUTELY.

THEY'RE MIDDLE-CLASS POSITIONS ON PRODUCTIONS THROUGHOUT AND THEY SUSTAIN FAMILIES AND OFTEN I SAY WHEN YOU SEE A MADE IN NEW YORK TRUCK ON THE STREET THINK ABOUT THE 130,000 PEOPLE THAT THIS INDUSTRY EMPLOYS.

AND PRODUCTION KEEPS GROWING IN NEW YORK CITY, IT SEEMS.

I WAS IN THE INDUSTRY 20 YEARS AGO, AND IT WAS NOTHING LIKE THIS.

WHAT IS FUELING THE GROWTH OF PRODUCTION IN NEW YORK CITY?

WILL, JUST TO TALK A LITTLE ABOUT WHERE THE GROWTH IS.

WHAT WE SEE FROM THE MAYOR'S OFFICE OF MEDIA AND ENTERTAINMENT IS THE PROLIFERATION SPECIFICALLY IN TELEVISION.

IN 2013 THERE WERE 29 EPISODIC SERIES SHOOTING IN NEW YORK.

IN 2014-15, 46 PRIMETIME EPISODIC SERIES SHOOTING IN NEW YORK.

WE SEE THAT WITH DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION THERE IS AN INCREASE IN CONTENT DEMAND AND AS A CONSEQUENCE WHEN YOU LOOK AT WHAT NETFLIX IS DOING AND HULU AND AMAZON WITH THEIR ORIGINAL PROGRAMMING YOU SEE THAT NEW YORK CITY IS A PLACE THAT IS BENEFITING FROM THE PRODUCTION THAT IS NEEDED TO FUEL THE CONTENT, THE ORIGINAL CONTENT DEMANDS THAT THE INDUSTRY HAS.

THE INFRASTRUCTURE FOR PRODUCTION IS GROWING, TOO.

STUDIOS ARE NOW BEING BUILT IN THE BRONX AND SOME IN STATEN ISLAND, RIGHT?

EXACTLY.

WE HAVE SEEN AN EXPANSION IN A VARIETY OF STUDIOS.

IN THE BRONX, SILVER CUP STUDIO NORTH IS EXPANDING AND YORK STUDIOS IS CURRENTLY BEING DEVELOPED.

I WANT TO GET TO THIS BECAUSE TIME IS SHORT.

NEW YORK STATE HAS BEEN PROVIDING $420 MILLION IN ANNUAL TAX CREDITS TO MOVIES AND TV SHOWS IN THE STATE.

BY ALL ACCOUNTS THAT'S A LOT OF PRODUCTION, AND EMPLOYMENT AND REVENUE TO THE STATE.

IS THE CITY DOING THE SAME THING?

DOES IT HAVE SIMILAR PROGRAMS?

WE HAVE A VARIETY OF EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS, MARKETING PROGRAMS THAT SUPPLEMENT WHAT PRODUCTIONS NEED TO COMPLETE THE PRODUCTION.

WHEN I THINK ABOUT WHAT PRODUCTION, THE REASONS FOR PEOPLE COMING TO PRODUCTION STUDIOS AND TELEVISION NETWORKS WANTING TO SHOOT IN NEW YORK, DEFINITELY THE TAX CREDIT IS ONE OF THOSE REASONS, BUT THERE ARE FOUR OTHER REASONS AND ONE IS WHEN WE LOOK AT THE EXTRAORDINARY TALENT THAT'S HERE IN NEW YORK CITY AND, TWO, WHEN WE LOOK AT THE ICONIC LOCATIONS.

IN YOUR INTRODUCTION YOU REFER TO THEM.

THREE, INFRASTRUCTURE.

WE HAVE THE STUDIO SPACE AND WE HAVE THE TALENT AND THE CREW BASE, THE UNIONS THAT WORK IN THIS INDUSTRY AS WELL AS IF YOU LOOK AT THE MAYOR'S OFFICE OF MEDIA AND ENTERTAINMENT, IT WAS FOUNDED IN 1966, AND IT IS THE OLDEST FILM COMMISSION IN THE COUNTRY.

THE TEAM HAS --

AND EVERYBODY IMITATES IT.

WE ONLY HAVE 30 SECONDS LEFT.

QUICKLY, BESIDES REVENUE AND JOB, ANYTHING ELSE YOU WANT TO THE ACCOMPLISH, NON-ECONOMIC GOAL THAT YOU WANT TO ACCOMPLISH IN 30 SECONDS?

WE HAVE SEVERAL MAJOR INITIATIVES THAT WE'RE WORKING ON.

WE'RE WORKING IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE WRITERS' GUILD OF AMERICA AND WITH THE EDITORS GUILD OF AMERICA TO DEVELOP PROGRAMS THAT WILL BE ANNOUNCED.

WE ALSO ARE ONE OF THE MAJOR INITIATIVES THAT WE'VE BEEN WORKING ON IN THE LAST YEAR IS THE CINEMA SCHOOL.

IT'S THE FIRST PUBLIC GRADUATE SCHOOL ON A WORKING FILM LOT IN AT THE STUDIOS AND WE'LL BE ABLE TO SEE THE BENEFITS OF WHAT IT'S LIKE TO HAVE A CINEMA SCHOOL LOCATED ON THE WORKING FILM LOT AND SO THE MAYOR, MYSELF, THE DEPUTY MAYOR HAS MADE SURE THAT THERE WERE RESOURCES FOR SCHOLARSHIPS TO ENSURE DIVERSITY LONG TERM IN TERMS OF THE INDUSTRY SO THAT'S ONE OF THE THINGS WE'VE BEEN WORKING ON.

COMMISSIONER, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US.

BY THE WAY, IT'S NOT JUST NEW YORK CITY IN UPSTATE NEW YORK THAT HAS SEEN ECONOMIC GAINS FROM FILM PRODUCTION.

THE ENTERTAINMENT BUSINESS IS BOOMING, AS WELL.

NASSAU COUNTY REPORTING $100 MILLION FROM TV AND FILM PRODUCTION IN 2013.

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> HERE'S A QUESTION FOR YOU, WHAT ARE THE FLAT IRON BUILDING, CITY HALL, UNION SQUARE AND ALL LINCOLN CENTER ALL HAVE IN COMMON?

THEY LINE ONE OF THE LONGEST STREETS IN THE WORLD, A STORIED CITY YOU'LL IN ITSELF, BROADWAY.

BEYOND THE BRIGHT LIGHTS OF THOSE FAMOUS BUILDINGS, THERE'S MUCH TO BE DISCOVERED ABOUT THE GREAT WHITE WAY.

TRACING MORE THAN 13 MILES FROM LOWER MANHATTAN, BOWLING GREEN TO THE BRONX, A NEW STORY TELLS THE STORY OF BROADWAY THROUGH 200 VINTAGE PHOTOGRAPHERS AND JOINING ME NOW TO DISCUSS THE PAST AND PRESENT OF THE ICONIC STREET IS MICHELLE YOUNG, AUTHOR OF BROADWAY.

SO BROADWAY'S HAD ITS HISTORY BEGINNING IN THE TIP OF LOWER MANHATTAN WHEN IT USED TO BE A DUTCH COLONY, NEW AMSTERDAM, BUT WHAT WAS THE ORIGINAL PURPOSE OF THE STREET?

TO LOOK AT BROADWAY, WE HAVE TO GO WAY BACK TO THE NATIVE AMERICAN ERA WHEN IT WAS CALLED THE TRAIL, AND IT RAN THE ENTIRE LENGTH OF MANHATTAN FOLLOWING A VERY NATURAL RIDGE OF LAND THAT BELONGED TO THE ORIGINAL LANDSCAPE OF MANHATTAN AND SOMETHING WE DON'T THINK ABOUT TODAY AND THEN LATER UNDER THE DUTCH IT WAS ONE OF THE TWO MAIN STREETS OF THAT SETTLEMENT AND AT THAT TIME IT WAS CALLED THE GENTLEMAN STREETS AND IT WAS ALSO KNOWN AS -- WHICH TRANSLATES VERY DIRECTLY TO BROADWAY OR BROAD ROAD.

SO THAT'S HOW IT GOT ITS NAME OF BROADWAY.

EXACTLY.

WHEN YOU LOOK AT OLD MAPS IT WILL SAY BROAD WAY IN TWO WORDS AND EVENTUALLY IT WAS COMBINED.

THERE ARE ICONIC BUILDINGS THAT LINE BROADWAY UP AND DOWN, SOME HAVE COME AND SOME HAVE GONE.

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE ONES THAT HAVE STOOD THE TEST OF TIME AND WHAT CAN WE NO LONGER SEE IN NEW YORK?

ONE THING THAT I NOTED WHEN RESEARCHING FOR THIS BOOK IS THE LANDMARK LAW THAT WAS 60 YEARS AGO AND STRIKING IMPORTANT BUILDINGS THAT HAVE BEEN SAVED TODAY OR LOST IN THE RAPID DEVELOPMENT OF NEW YORK CITY.

AND THEY INCLUDE THE ORIGINAL TO MADISON SQUARE GARDENS AND THE SINGER BUILDING WHICH IS ONCE THE TALLEST BUILDING IN NEW YORK CITY AND THE TALLEST WOULD ABOUTING TO EVER COME DOWN AND AS WELL AS THE AMAZING TIP OF CITY HALL WHICH WAS THE ORIGINAL POST OFFICE AND IT WAS THE LARGEST POST OFFICE IN THE WORLD WHEN IT WAS BUILT AND IT WAS UNIVERSALLY HATED, BUT I THINK -- I THINK TODAY IF YOU WERE TO SEE PHOTOS OF IT WE WOULD ALL AGREE THAT THE ARCHITECT AND PEOPLE DISLIKED HIS PERSONALITY AND THE BUILDING HAD MULLETS, AND I THINK TODAY IT'S A REMINDER HOW PUBLIC OPINION CAN SWAY PRESERVATION I THINK EVEN TODAY.

IT'S ALSO NICE TO KNOW THAT NEW YORKERS HAVE ALWAYS BEEN NEW YORKERS.

SO A LOT OF THE BOOK'S MATERIAL THAT YOU HAVE ACTUALLY CAME FROM A BLOG THAT YOU HAD CALLED UNTAPPED CITIES.

CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THE BLOG THAT YOU'VE BEEN WRITING?

YES.

SO I FOUNDED IT AS A WAY TO HELP MYSELF AND OTHER NEW YORKERS REALLY DISCOVER THE CITIES THAT THEY LIVE IN OR THE CITIES THAT THEY WERE BORN IN WHEN WE GO FROM A TO B IN OUR DAILY ROUTINE FROM HOME TO WORK WE REALLY MISS A LOT OF WHAT NEW YORK HAS TO OFFER AND JUST BY VARYING YOUR PATH SLIGHTLY, NEW YORK IS A PLACE WHERE YOU CAN REALLY COME ACROSS SOMETHING VERY MIRACULOUS BY ACCIDENT.

THE IDEA OF THE WEBSITE IS ABOUT THIS URBAN REDISCOVERY AND SEEING THE CITY IN A NEW WAY WHETHER IT'S THROUGH HISTORY OR SOMETHING QUIRKY THAT A RESIDENT IS DOING AND SO WE WERE LOOKING AT THE HISTORY OF BROADWAY AND ALSO AT BROADWAY'S ARCHITECTURE IN A SERIES CALLED 'DON'T FORGET TO LOOK UP.'

WHAT WOULD YOU MISS WITH YOUR HEADS DOWN WALKING THE LENGTH OF BROADWAY, SO THIS IS KIND OF WHERE THE IMPETUS BEGAN FOR THIS BOOK WHICH WE TRACE THE LENGTH OF BROADWAY IN THE PHOTOGRAPHS.

THAT'S IRONIC CONSIDERING THE DIGITAL AGE THAT WE LIVE IN NOW.

THANK YOU SO MUCH, MICHELLE YOUNG, AND IF YOU'RE LOOKING FOR MORE UNDISCOVERED STORIES FROM BROADWAY, CHECK OUT METROFOCUS.ORG FOR AN EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK.

YOU CAN ALSO SHARE YOUR OWN BROADWAY PHOTOS ON OUR FACEBOOK PAGE AND WE MAY SHARE SOME OF THEM ON THE NEXT BROADCAST.

♪♪ ♪♪ FINALLY TONIGHT, IF YOU THINK EVERY SQUARE INCH OF NEW YORK IS OCCUPIED, WELL, WE HAVE NEWS FOR YOU.

THERE IS AN UNINHABITED ISLAND IN THE EAST RIVER.

PHOTOGRAPHER CHRISTOPHER PAYNE GOT A LOOK FROM THE PARKS DEPARTMENT, AND THE STORY BECAME PAYNE'S BOOK OF PHOTOGRAPHS, NORTH BROTHER ISLAND, THE LAST, UNKNOWN PLACE IN NEW YORK CITY.

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THERE'S REALLY NOTHING LIKE NORTH BROTHER ISLAND IN NEW YORK CITY, IT'S A SECRET HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT.

IT'S AN UNINHABITED ISLAND, THE LAST THING THAT YOU WOULD EXPECT TO SEE.

NORTH BROTHER ISLAND HAS NOT BEEN INHABITED SINCE 1963, FOR OVER 50 YEARS, THERE ARE 25 OR 26 STRUCTURES IN VARIOUS STATES OF DECAY AND FOR MUCH OF THE YEAR THE ISLAND IS COMPLETELY OVERGROWN BY VEGETATION.

IN 2008 I SUBMITTED A PROPOSAL THAT I WOULD DOCUMENT ALL OF THE BUILDINGS, CREATE KIND OF AN ARCHIVAL RECORD AND IN RETURN FOR THIS BODY OF WORK I WAS ALLOWED FREE ACCESS.

WHEN YOU FIRST STEP ON THE ISLAND YOU REALIZE THAT YOU ARE COMPLETELY ALONE.

IT'S ACTUALLY A VERY TRANSFORM TIFF EXPERIENCE BECAUSE ONE MINUTE YOU'RE IN THE CITY.

YOU'RE AMONGST PEOPLE, YOU HEAR THE SIGHTS AND THE SOUNDS OF THE CITY AND THEN YOU GET ON A BOAT AND JUST BEING ON THE WATER, BEING IN A SMALL ROWBOAT IS A VERY TRANSFORMATIVE, MEDITATIVE EXPERIENCE, AND YOU SEE THIS ISLAND GETTING CLOSER AND CLOSER, AND IT BECOMES LESS AND LESS OF A MIRAGE AND IT BEGINS TO BECOME MORE REAL AND SUDDENLY YOU'RE ON IT, AND YOU'RE SURROUNDED BY ALL OF THESE ABANDONED BUILDINGS AND YOU WALK A FEW FEET AND YOU COME INSIDE A FOREST OF TREES, A WONDERFUL CANOPY OF TREES AND YOU SEE THESE ANCIENT BUILDINGS KIND OF FALLING IN ON EACH OTHER.

THIS LANDSCAPE HAS GROWN UP AND IT'S LUSH AND OVERGROWN AND IT'S LIKE A JUNGLE AND YOU BEGIN TO WONDER ABOUT WHAT THIS PLACE WAS LIKE.

FROM THE 1880s UNTIL THE 1960s, 1963 THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE CALLED THIS PLACE HOME, AND IT WENT FOR MANY USEES AND IT WAS USED PRIMARILY AS A QUARANTINE HOSPITAL FROM THE 1780s UP UNTIL WORLD WAR II AND IT BECAME A HOUSING FOR G.I.s AND THEIR FAMILIES AND FROM THE 1950s TO 1963 IT WAS A DRUG TREATMENT CENTER FOR JUVENILE DELINQUENTS.

WHEN THEY WALKED AWAY FROM IT THEY LITERALLY TURNED OFF THE LIGHTS AND SHUT OFF THE POWER PROBABLY THINKING THAT THEY WOULD USE IT AGAIN LIKE THEY HAD SO MANY OTHER TIMES.

IN MY RESEARCH I FOUND ALL OF THESE HISTORIC PHOTOS AND THEY SHOWED A TIDY CAMPUS WITH SIDEWALKS AND MANICURED LAWNS AND OVER TIME I BEGAN TO FIND THE PLACES AND YOU BEGIN TO NOTICE THE STREETLAMPS AND FIRE HYDRANTS POKING IN THROUGH THE I'VY AND IF YOU DRUG AROUND THROUGH YOUR FOOT AND YOU PEEL AWAY THE IVY AND THE DIRT AND RIGHT BENEATH YOUR FEET WAS A ROAD.

THIS WHOLE FOREST THAT WAS SO ENCHANTING WAS ACTUALLY BUILT ON JUST A FEW INCHES OF DIRT.

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IT'S NOT A PLACE WHERE YOU WANT TO RUN AROUND AND TAKE A MILLION SNAPSHOTS.

IT'S THE KIND OF PLACE YOU WALK AROUND AND THINK AND RETURN TO OVER MANY SEASONS.

I WOULD SEE SOMETHING ONE SEASON AND THINK ABOUT IT FOR THE ENTIRE YEAR AND RETURN THE NEXT SEASON AND TAKE THAT SHOT, AND SO A LOT OF THE WORK GOES ON IN YOUR HEAD MONTHS BEFORE YOU EVEN TAKE THAT SHEET OF FILM.

IT IS AS IT IS, AND I HOPE IT WILL REMAIN THAT, AND IT'S JUST NICE TO KNOW THAT IN A CITY WHERE EVERYTHING IS ALWAYS CHANGING, NORTH BROTHER ISLAND IS KIND OF MOVING ALONG AT ITS OWN PACE, ITS OWN NATURAL PACE AND REVERTING TO WHAT IT ONCE WAS.

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IT SEEMS SIMILAR TO WHEN A FLASHBULB GOES OFF IN YOUR EYES AND YOU'RE JUST STUNNED.

I COULD BE THE LUCKIEST PERSON IN THE WORLD, THE FIRST AMBULANCE THAT CAME WAS NEW YORK PRESBYTERIAN.

EVERYBODY AT THE HOSPITAL, DR.

STIG, HIS STAFF, THE CUTE RESIDENT, AND LIFE IS GOOD, AND THEY MADE IT EVEN LONGER AND BETTER FOR ME.

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Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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