TONIGHT ON METROFOCUS

Sam Nunberg was President Trump’s adviser who has since been subpoenaed by Special Council Robert Mueller. In a MetroFocus exclusive, Nunberg reacts to the latest developments from the White House. As the United Nations General Assembly gathers in New York, we’ll take you behind the U.N.’s exterior to expose its true inner beauty. When the Bronx literary scene found itself in a bookstore desert, one Bronxite stepped up to the plate by establishing “The Lit Bar.” Tonight we’ll take you inside. We go in search of Alice as we peer into the looking glass of literature.

Aired on September 18, 2018. 

TRANSCRIPT

> TONIGHT ON METRO FOCUS.

HE WAS ONE OF THE PRESIDENT'S MEN, A TOP POLITICAL ADVISER TO THE TRUMP 2016 CAMPAIGN MUCH AND A PERSON WHO HAS BEEN HIRED, FIRED, REHIRED AND SUED BY THE PRESIDENT.

SUBPOENAED BY THE MUELLER TEAM, SAM NUNBERG IS HERE TO TALK ABOUT THE PRESIDENT, A LEAKY WEST WING AND THE TRUTH BEHIND THE CHAOS RUMORS.

AS THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY GATHERS, WE GET A RARE BEHIND THE SCENES LOOK AT THIS INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTION WHOSE HOME IS RIGHT HERE IN THE CITY.

NEW YORK CITY'S COMMISSIONER FOR INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS TAKES US ON THE TOUR.

AS THE GREAT AMERICAN READ HITS ITS STRAYED, WE HEAD TO THE BRONX WHERE READING IS ALIVE AND WELL IN A WINE BAR.

WE'LL RAISE A GLASS TO LITERATURE.

WHO EXACTLY IS ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE LOOKING GLASS.

TONIGHT WE EXPLORE ONE OF AMERICA'S BEST LOVED BOOKS, ALICE'S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND THOSE STORIES AND MORE AS METRO FOCUS STARTS RIGHT NOW.

> THIS IS METROFOCUS.

WITH RAPHEAL P. RAMON.

JACK FORD AND JEFF FLANNIGAN.

METRO FOCUS IS MADE POSSIBLE BY -- BERNARD AND IRENE SCHWARTZ, RROSALIND P. WALTER AD BY --

> GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO METROFOCUS.

I AM JACK FORD.

WHO IS THE ANONYMOUS MEMBER OF THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION WHO WROTE THAT OP ED FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES OPINION OMAROSA SAYS SHE KNOWS WHO'S BEHIND IT, AND IS NAMING NAMES, SHE SAYS THE VICE PRESIDENT'S CHIEF OF STAFF.

SOME POINT THE FINGER AT THE VICE PRESIDENT BECAUSE OF HIS USE OF LODE STAR WHICH WAS REGULARLY MENTIONED IN THE OP ED.

ACCORDING TO PRESIDENT TRUMP HIMSELF THIS COULD BE THE WORK OF 4 TO 5 INDIVIDUALS.

THERE'S NO DOUBT THERE IS SOMETHING GOING ON AT 1600 IN THE WAKE OF ITS PUBLICATION.

BUT WHAT IS REALLY GOING ON BEHIND THE SCENES.

HERE WITH SOME INSIGHT IS SAM NUNBERG.

NICE TO HAVE YOU WITH US HERE.

THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME, JACK.

GIVEN ALL OF THAT, WERE YOU SURPRISED TO SEE THIS ANONYMOUS OP ED PIECE SHOW UP IN THE NEW YORK TIMES?

I WAS NOT SURPRISED FOR TWO REASONS.

I THOUGHT IT WAS A FOLLOW-UP TO THE JOHN McCAIN FUNERAL, WHICH MADE A POINT TO NOT HAVE THE PRESIDENT THERE, AND TO TALK ABOUT A DIFFERENT KIND OF POLITICS WHICH FRANKLY ARE JUST THE POLITICS OF THE PAST.

I THINK THAT DONALD TRUMP HAS CHANGED THE GAME.

FOR ME FOR THE BETTER, SOME OBVIOUSLY.

I THINK WHETHER YOU AGREE WITH DONALD TRUMP OR DISAGREE WITH HIM, THE GAME HAS BEEN CHANGED.

RIGHT, AND THIS ANONYMOUS OP ED, I'M NOT SURPRISED THERE WAS THIS ANONYMOUS OP ED.

WHAT I THINK WAS A LOT OF PEOPLE ON THE REPUBLICAN SIDE, YOU SAW THIS GOING TO THE McCAIN FUNERAL, WITH THE REFERENCE TO THE McCAIN FAREWELL LETTER, THEY HAVE TO RATIONALIZE TO THEMSELVES HOW THEY CAN WORK FOR A DONALD TRUMP.

THAT'S WHAT WE SAW IN THIS ANONYMOUS OP ED.

IF YOU WERE STILL ADVISING THE PRESIDENT, ADVISING THE WHITE HOUSE.

WHAT WOULD YOU BE TELLING HIM TO DO RIGHT NOW IN RESPONSE, IF ANYTHING IN RESPONSE TO THAT ANONYMOUS PIECE?

W8, MY FIRST CONCERN IS OBVIOUSLY THESE MIDTERMS COMING UP, NOVEMBER 6th IS EFFECTIVELY HIS RE-ELECT.

THIS IS WHAT STEVE BANNON HAS ARGUED, WHAT COULD HAPPEN IF THE DEMOCRATS TAKE CONTROL OF THE HOUSE, AND JERRY ED THAT LETTER, WE'RE SITTING IN HIS DISTRICT NOW.

WITH ARTICLES OF IMPICHMENT -- THE CHAIR ELIJAH CUMMINGS, THERE WILL BE AN INVESTIGATION.

SOME PEOPLE HAVE SUGGESTED THE PRESIDENT SHOULD JUST PUT IT ASIDE AND SAY, I'M NOT BOTHERED WITH THAT, I'M GOING TO MOVE FORWARD WITH MY POLICY, HOW WOULD YOU SUGGEST IT COULD BE USED TO SHOW THAT HE IS REALLY GETTING THINGS DONE.

BY THE WAY, THAT WAS SOMETHING THAT HE ALWAYS USED.

THAT WAS A TERM THAT HE USED, THAT NOBODY EVER ADVISED HIM ON AS OPPOSES TO OTHERS.

GETTING THINGS DONE THAT ARE OUTSIDE OF THE TWO PARTY SYSTEM.

JACK WAS AN INDEPENDENT CANDIDATE RUNNING IN THAT PRIMARY.

I'M NOT SURE HE WOULD HAVE WON THE NOMINATION IF IT STARTED OUT WITH SIX PEOPLE.

IT WENT AGAINST THE GRAIN.

PARTICULARLY WITH BOB WOODWARD COMING OUT.

ADVISERS THAT ARE NOT THERE NOW.

TALKING ABOUT WHAT HE WAS DONE ON TRADE.

THE TRADE WAS REFERENCED IN THE ANONYMOUS OP ED, HE GOES AGAINST THIS CONVENTIONAL WISDOM.

QUICKLY ON THIS POINT TOO, I DIDN'T PRETEND TO BE AN ECONOMIST.

I UNDERSTAND REPUBLICAN ORTHODOXCY, AND HE'S GONE AGAINST THAT FOR YEARS IN TRADE CONSISTENCY.

HE'S AN INDEPENDENT, NOT A TRADITIONAL REPUBLICAN.

HE'S PUT IN THESE TARIFFS, WHAT YOU SEE NOW IS, EVEN BY PUTTING IN THE TARIFFS, WE WERE TOLD THERE WOULD BE HIGH INFLATION, MANUFACTURING WOULD BE DOWN, THAT WE NEEDED THESE MULTILATERAL DEALS AND MANUFACTURING IS UP, WAGE GROWTH IS UP, NOT ONLY JOBS, AND THERE IS NO ININFLATION.

I THINK THIS IS SOMETHING THEY'RE GOING TO GET A LOT OF RESISTANCE.

OBVIOUSLY TO BE HONEST, IT'S HIS OWN PERSONALITY, HE IS ROUGH.

IT'S THE WAY HE PLAYS THE GAME.

DO YOU THINK THAT FOCUSING SO MUCH ON LET'S FIND OUT WHO DID THIS TAKES AWAY FROM THEIR ABILITY TO POINT TO ACCOMPLISHMENTS.

AND KIND OF PLAYS INTO THE THEME OF THE WOODWARD BOOK AND THE DPMS SAYING, CHAOS DISARRAY?

WOULD YOU ADVISE -- LOOK, DON'T BOTHER TRYING TO FIND OUT WHO DID IT?

COME BACK TO WHAT WE SAY ARE --

YOU TOOK MY ANSWER, IT'S A FINE LINE.

THE FINE LINE OF I DON'T THINK PUBLICLY HE SHOULD NECESSARILY BE CALLING FOR LIE DETECTOR TESTS, ALTHOUGH, I DON'T THINK ANYBODY IF YOU'RE IN THE WEST WING SHOULD HAVE A PROBLEM WITH TAKING A LIE DETECTOR TEST NECESSARILY.

IN TERMS OF THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT INVESTIGATION.

HAVE YOU TO BE MORE CLEAR ON THAT, HERE'S THE PROBLEM WITH THAT ANONYMOUS OP ED, LOOK, WE HAVE THREE BRANCHES OF GOVERNMENT ENUMERATED IN OUR CONSTITUTION, HE'S THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF THE ARTICLE TWO BRANCH, THAT'S WHAT IS REALLY THE PROBLEM IN THE WOODWARD BOOK TOO WHEN YOU LOOK AT A GARY KOHN OR ROB PORTER.

I BELIEVE WERE FORCED SOURCES TO WHERE THEY'RE NOW DEFLYING IT.

TAKING THINGS OFF HIS DESK, NOT ALLOWING HIM TO DO HIS AGENDA, NOT SAYING NECESSARILY, LOOK, THIS IS THE PROCEDURE WE HAVE TO FOLLOW, IF HE SAYS, I WANT AN EO, I WANT AN EXECUTIVE ORDER, I WANT TO SIGN THIS, AND TRYING TO GET HIM TO FORGET IT, THAT IS A PROBLEM, AND THAT GOES AGAINST WHAT THEY SWORE.

AND THEY SWORE TO UPHOLD THE CONSTITUTION THE SAME WAY HE DID, THAT'S THE PROBLEM IN THE ANONYMOUS OP ED AS WELL.

IF YOU WANT TO TAKE THIS POSITION, YOU SHOULD IN GOOD CONSCIENCE NOT BE WALKING IN THE WHITE HOUSE.

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THAT?

YOU'RE TALKING TO SOMEBODY WHO ONCE AGAIN, I WORK FOR DONALD TRUMP FROM 2000 TO 2015, I HAD A BAD FALLING OUT WITH HIM.

I CONSIDER US FRIENDSES AGAIN.

FOR SOMEONE LIKE ME, I WOULD HAVE PUT MY NAME ON THIS, AND HAD HIM TRY TO SAY, FIRE ME.

I DO THINK, AND I WAS HAPPY TO SEE, BECAUSE THIS HAS BEEN ON ALL COVERAGE.

WHETHER IT IS FOX NEWS OR SITTING HERE, OR CNN OR MSNBC.

EVERYONE HAS SAID THAT REGARDLESS OF THE SUBSTANCE OF WHAT THEY WROTE, THIS PERSON, PUT YOUR NAME ON IT, DON'T DO IT ENONE MOUSILY OR RESIGN.

RESIGN.

IS IN FACT THE PICTURE THAT HAS BEEN PROVIDED IS FAIRLY ACCURATE?

WE COME BACK TO WHAT U.S. SAID BEFORE.

DONALD TRUMP IS A -- AN UNCONVENTIONAL POLITICAL FIGURE.

RIGHT.

NO MATTER HOW YOU -- YOU ARE GOING TO AGREE HE'S UNCONVENTIONAL?

DOES THE PICTURE OF THE WHITE HOUSE -- IS IT SOMETHING THAT REPUBLICANS SHOULD BE VERY CONCERNED ABOUT COMING INTO THE MIDTERM ELECTIONS IN THE SENSE THAT IT MIGHT TEND SO OVERWHELM THE ACCOMPLISHMENTS THAT YOU MENTIONED BEFORE.

I THINK THERE WERE TWO SEPARATE ISSUES WHEN IT COMES TO THE PICTURE.

LET'S TALK ABOUT THE ANONYMOUS OP ED, BUT THE WOODWARD BOOK.

THE WOODWARD BOOK, HE SAID, THIS IS KIND OF OLD NEWS IN TERMS OF THE FACT THAT -- IT STOPS AROUND MARCH.

THE REASON IT STOPS AT MARCH WHEN GARY KOHN RESIGNED AND JOHN DOWD RESIGNED YOU DON'T HAVE PEOPLE LIKE THAT IN THERE -- GARY KOHN, I DON'T BELIEVE SHOULD HAVE BEEN IN THAT WHITE HOUSE.

IT GOES TO, THEY HAD A PROBLEM WITH THE TRANSITION, AND THE FAILURE OF TAKING THE TRANSITION SERIOUSLY.

WHICH IS SOMETHING THE PRESIDENT WOULD LOOK AT IT AS, I DON'T WANT TO PREEMPT MY VICTORY.

THEY SHOULD HAVE PUT SOMEONE IN LIKE LARRY KUDLOW, WHO IS IN THERE NOW.

THEY SHOULD HAVE PUT JOHN BOLTON IN THERE TO BEGIN WITH.

GENERAL FLYNN, THE REASON THEY DOESN'T PUT HIM AT DOD IS BECAUSE HE COULD NOT GET A CONFIRMATION ABOUT AND I THINK THAT THAT'S WHERE THEY'VE HAD SOME HICCUPS, I DON'T THINK THE WHITE HOUSE IS LIKE THAT ANY MORE.

I FRANKLY DON'T, I THINK IT HAS CHANGED.

NOT AS MUCH DISARRAY?

NO.

ONCE AGAIN IF YOU GO TO THE BOOK OR YOU GO TO WHAT'S GOING ON CURRENTLY, THE WILBUR ROSS, THE PETER NAVARRNAVARROS, I KNOW THY HAVE OPEN DOOR POLICY FOR THEM RIGHT NOW, THEY CAN'T -- THERE IS PROCEDURE, THEY ARE ALLOWED TO TALK.

WHAT THEY CAN'T DO IS TO SAY, YOU CANNOT PRESENT THIS VIEW TO THE PRESIDENT.

NOW HE'S GETTING THE FULL ARRAY OF EVERYTHING HE WANTS, AND HE'S GOTTEN MORE COMFORTABLE IN THE POSITION.

THERE WAS GOING TO BE A TIME TO ADAPT ADAPT.

IT'S INTERESTING, WE APPRECIATE YOU SPENDING SOME TIME.

I HOPE YOU'LL COME BACK A LITTLE MORE AS WE CONTINUE DURING THE COURSE OF THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION.

THANK YOU.

THE UNITED NATIONS FORMED IN THE WAKE OF THE SECOND WORLD WAR, THE COALITION OF NATIONS STRIVES TO MAINTAIN PEACE, PROTECT HUMAN RIGHTS AND REDUCE POVERTY AND SUFFERING AROUND THE WORLD.

NEW YORK IS THE HOME OF THE U.N., ADDING TO THE STATUS AS THE WORLD CITY, THE EARLY INFLUX OF DIPLOMATS AND HEADS OF STATE, AND INCREASED SECURITY AND TRAFFIC CONCERNS THAT FOLLOW CAUSE MANY NEW YORKERS TO QUESTION, WHY IS THE UNITED NATIONS HERE.

WHEN THEY HEAR THE U.N. IS IN SESSION, A GENERAL GROWN OFTEN FOLLOWS.

THE NEW YORK CITY COMMISSIONER MAKES THE CASE THAT THE U.N.

ENRICHES OUR MA TROP HOUSE, AND IS WORTH THE OCCASIONAL INCONVENIENCE.

THE COMMISSIONER GAVE US AN INSIDER'S TOUR OF THIS INTERNATIONAL AND UNIQUELY NEW YORK INSTITUTION.

Reporter: HI, EVERYONE, I'M THE COMMISSIONER FOR INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS IN NEW YORK CITY.

WE'RE HERE ON THE UNITED NATIONS CAMPUS FOR A BEHIND THE SCENES LOOK AT WHAT MAKES THE U.N. A PRETTY SPECTACULAR PLACE HERE IN NEW YORK.

ONE OF THE THINGS I WANT NEW YORKERS TO UNDERSTAND IS THE U.N. ISN'T THE OTHER, IT'S VERY MUCH A PART OF NEW YORK CITY.

SO WHILE YOU LOOK AT THE DIPLOMATS, YOU THINK THEY'RE VISITORS HERE FOR A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME.

ACTUALLY, THE U.N. IS LARGELY NEW YORKERS THAT HAVE BEEN HERE FOR 5, 10, 20, 30 YEARS, LIVING AND WORKING IN OUR COMMUNITIES.

BUT PARTICIPATING IN THIS GLOBAL CONVERSATION, AND WE CAN OFFER THAT TO NEW YORKERS BY BEING ABLE TO HOST THE U.N. IN NEW YORK CITY.

EVERYBODY THAT WORKS AT THE U.N. AS WELL AS GUESTS TO THE U.N. AND VISITORS FROM AROUND THE WORLD, THIS IS PRETTY MUCH THE FIRST THING THAT THEY SEE.

THIS WAS CREATED AFTER JOHN LENNON LENNON'S DEATH.

THERE ARE 17 OTHER REPLICAS AROUND THE WORLD.

WHILE THERE ARE MANY THINGS ICONIC TO THE UNITED NATIONS, FOR ME PERSONALLY, THIS IS WHAT I THINK OF WHEN I THINK ABOUT WHAT THE U.N. MEANS TO THE WORLD.

THIS IS THE FAMOUS FOR ALL THE RIGHT REASONS, THE GORGEOUS ROSE GARDEN.

THERE ARE OVER 1500 ROSES HERE, AND ONE OF MY PERSONAL SHEROES HELPED CONCEIVE OF THIS IDEA.

AS EVERYONE KNOWS, ELEANOR WAS ONE OF THE KEY WOMEN IN WOMEN'S RIGHTS, INTERNATIONAL RIGHTS AND A PROUD NEW YORKER.

WE HAVE THOUSANDS OF NEW YORKERS WORKING HERE, AND THIS IS QUITE THE REFUGE THAT THEY GET TO COME TO THINK AND BRAINSTORM TOGETHER IN THIS BEAUTIFUL SPACE.

WELCOME TO THE TOP OF THE UNITED NATIONS, YOU CAN SEE AND FEEL PRETTY MUCH EVERY BOROUGH ON A CLEAR DAY.

SOON AFTER THE UNITED NATIONS DECIDED THEY WERE GOING TO MOVE TO THE EAST COAST, NELSON ROCKEFELLER HEARD THE U.N. WAS SERIOUSLY CONSIDERING PHILADELPHIA.

HE ENCOURAGED THEM TO BUY THIS PIECE OF LAND, I BELIEVE IT WAS $8 MILLION BACK IN 1946.

HE GIFTED THIS TO THE UNITED NATIONS, AT THAT POINT NEW YORK CITY WON THE U.N., WHICH IS SOMETHING WE ARE STILL VERY PROUD OF.

SO THIS IS THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY.

THIS WAS RENOVATED IN THE LAST COUPLE YEARS AS YOU CAN SEE, THERE IS A PRITNESS AND FRESHNESS TO THE SPACE.

THIS IS WHERE ALL 193 COUNTRIES ARE ALLOCATED FOR THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY, THERE ARE THREE DHARS FOR EACH COUNTRY HERE AT THE TABLE THROUGHOUT THE YEAR.

THIS BEAUTIFUL SPACE IS OPEN AND USED BY CIVIL SOCIETY.

AND I HAVE PERSONALLY HAD THE PLEASURE OF SEEING YOUNG PEOPLE COME TO THE PODIUM, NEW YORKERS, YOUNG NEW YORKERS.

WE HAVE CREATED AN OFFICE AND AN INFRASTRUCTURE THAT SUPPORTS AND SERVICES THE DIPLOMATIC COMMUNITY BUT ACTIVELY SUPPORTS NEW YORKERS.

AND THAT WHAT THIS OFFICE DOES IS CONSTANTLY BRINGING TOGETHER THE NEW YORKNESS OF THE U.N.

BRINGING THE U.N. TO OUR NEW YORK CITY COMMUNITY BUT ALSO BRINGING NEW YORKERS INTO THE U.N.

AS ONE BOOK CLOSES, ANOTHER OPENS.

WHEN BRONX NATIVE NOELLE SANTOS SAW THE LAST BARNES & NOBLE IN HER NEIGHBORHOOD CLOSE ITS DOORS, SHE SET OUT TO BRING READING BACK TO HER HOME BUREAU.

SHE DECIDED TO OPEN AN INDEPENDENT BOOK STORE IN THE SOUTH BRONX.

A LOVER OF LITERATURE AND COMMUNITY.

SHE MERGED THE TWO AND LAID PLANS TO LAUNCH THE LIT BAR.

THE FIRST OF ITS KIND WINE AND LITERATURE BAR.

WELCOME TO METRO FOCUS.

TELL US THE ORIGIN STORY OF THIS BOOK STORE.

2014 I WAS ON FACEBOOK, WASTING MY LIFE AWAY, I CAME ACROSS A PETITION THAT SAID THE ONLY BOOK STORE IN THE BRONX WAS IN JEOPARDY OF CLOSING DOWN.

I WAS ASHAMED OF MYSELF FOR NOT KNOWING THAT, AND I DECIDED TO STOP SIGNING PETITIONS, AND DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT, STOP WAITING FOR THE ADULTS IN THE ROOM TO GET MORE PASSIONATE ABOUT INTELLECTUAL VISIBILITY IN THE BRONX.

YOU FIRST STARTED BY JOINING A COMPETITION THAT THE CITY WAS HOLDING FOR A SMALL BUSINESS PLAN, RIGHT?

IT WAS A COLLABORATION BETWEEN THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY.

THEY GUIDE YOU THROUGH THE PROCESS OF WRITING A BUSINESS PLAN, I CAME IN SECOND PLACE OUT OF 360 NEW YORK CITY START-UPS AND I TOOK THAT LITTLE BIT OF BUZZ AND MADE A LITTLE MAKESHIFT WEB SIDE AND STARTED SELF-PROMOTING ON SOCIAL MEDIA.

WHEN THE BOOK STORE OPENS, WHAT IS IT THAT PEOPLE CAN EXPECT?

THIS ISN'T A TRADITIONAL BOOK STORE, LIKE YOU SAID, IT'S GOING TO BE A WINE BAR, BUT THERE'S A FOCUS AT LEAST, OR AN EMPHASIS ON THE COMMUNITY THAT IT'S IN?

I LIVE IN THE SOUTH BRONX WHERE WE'RE MOSTLY AN AFRICAN-AMERICAN POPULATION.

WE'RE EXTREMELY DIVERSE, AND I WANT THAT TO REPRESENT IN MY EVENTS.

IN MY HIRING PRACTICES.

I WANT TO LET THE COMMUNITIES KNOW THIS IS FOR US, BY US, AND THIS IS OUR COMMUNITY SPACE TO MAKE THIS SPACE WHATEVER WE WANT.

WHEN YOU SAY COMMUNITY SPACE, I AM GUESSING THAT'S GOING TO MEAN BOOK RELEASING EVENTS, ET CETERA.

WHAT'S GOING TO BE HAPPENING AT THE LIT BAR.

WHATEVER YOU FIND AT A TRADITIONAL BOOK STORE, THE READINGS, THE LAUNCH PARTIES.

THE TRADITIONAL BOOK STORE EVENTS.

THAT'S WHAT YOU'RE GOING TO FIND AT THE LIT BAR.

BECAUSE WE'RE A WINE BAR CAFE, WE CAN SWITCH THAT UP AND WE CAN HAVE NONTRADITIONAL EVENTS.

I'VE HAD SOME PEOPLE APPROACH ME ABOUT DOING YOGA CLASSES IN THE STORE.

WE CAN TIE ALL OF THAT INTO A BOOK.

AND THAT'S SOMETHING I WANT TO SEE YOUNG PEOPLE RECOGNIZE THAT LITERATURE AND READING IS NOT NECESSARILY -- IT'S NOT CORPORAL PUNISHMENT, IT'S NOT -- YOU KNOW, WHILE YOU ARE EXERCISING YOUR MIND, READING IS A FORM OF ENTERTAINMENT, AND YOU CAN TIE IT INTO THESE OTHER INTERESTS THAT ATTRACT YOU, AND YOU CAN EXPAND YOUR HORIZONS IN BOOKS.

HOW WAS IT THAT YOU FOUND YOUR LOVE OF READING BEFORE YOU GOT TO THIS POINT OF BECOMING A SMALL BUSINESS OWNER?

MY LOVE OF READING STARTS FROM MY MOM, I WAS PRIVILEGED IN THAT WAY, THAT MY PARENTS WERE BOTH READERS.

MY BROTHER INTRODUCED A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN TO ME.

I FELL IN LOVE WITH THE CHARACTER.

YOU COULD NOT TELL ME I WASN'T FRANCY IN BROOKLYN IN THE 1920s, THAT WAS MY FIRST TIME SEEING MY SEARCH IN ANOTHER CHARACTER, SOMEONE WHO WAS UNLIKE ME.

AFTER THAT MOMENT, I STARTED APPROACHING THESE BIG FAT TEXTS WITH WONDER AND EXCITEMENT, AND THEN MY PARENTS STARTED TAKING AWAY MY BOOKS AS A FORM OF PUNISHMENT.

IT WENT THE OTHER WAY ABOUT.

SOME MAY SAY, BOOK STORE, MAYBE ONE IN THE BRONX, BUT THERE'S NOT A MARKET FOR THAT.

IS IT REALLY WORTH INVESTING?

ABSOLUTELY.

WE ARE AN EDUCATED POPULATION, WE HAVE TONS OF ART AND TALENT, BUT THEY ARE ALL UNDERGROUND.

I HAVEN'T SEEN THE INVESTMENT LIKE OUR NEIGHBORI ING BOROUGHS HAPPEN IN THE BRONX.

THAT'S NOT JUST LITERATURE, THAT'S OUR ARTS, OUR EDUCATION THAT IS -- WE'RE NOT JUST A BOOK DESERT, WE'RE A FOOD DESERT, THERE ARE SO MANY THINGS THAT NEED TO BE ADDRESSED, THIS WAS THE THING THAT STOPPED ME IN MY TRACKS FROM LEAVING THE BRONX, TAKING MY EDUCATION AND MY RESOURCES OUTSIDE OF MY COMMUNITY.

ME BEING A READER AND READING BEING SO INSTRUMENTAL IN MY DEVELOPMENT, THAT'S WHAT STOPPED ME IN MY TRACKS TO STAY HERE AND DO SOMETHING FOR MY COMMUNITY.

I THOUGHT IT WAS A POWER THAT I WAS CONSIDERING LEAVING MY BOROUGH IN NO BETTER CONDITION THAT I FOUND IT IN.

NOELLE, THANK YOU FOR JOINING US ON THE SHOW.

THANKS FOR HAVING ME.

WE CAN'T WAIT TO SEE THE LIT BAR OPEN.

THANK YOU.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO HEAR MORE ABOUT NOELLE'S LOVE OF LITERATURE AND PARTICULARLY HER FAVORITE CHILDHOOD BROOK, A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN.

YOU CAN SEE HER SEGMENT ON THE GREAT AMERICAN READ THIS SEPTEMBER 18th ON YOUR LOCAL PBS STATION.

> WHAT IS THE USE OF A BOOK THOUGHT ALICE, WITHOUT PICTURES?

ALICE IN WONDERLAND FIRST PUBLISHED IN ENGLAND, THE STORY HAS STOOD THE TEST OF TIME AS GENERATIONS OF CHILDREN ARE DELIGHTED BY ALICE'S ADVENTURES IN THE MYTHICAL UNDERWORLD.

JOINING US IS ROBERT FAIR HURST AT MAUG DE LYNN COLLEGE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD.

IT WAS THE CHESHIRE CAT WHO FAMOUSLY PURRED, WE'RE ALL MAD HERE.

PROFESSOR, WELCOME TO THE PROGRAM.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH, IT'S GOOD TO BE WITH YOU.

ONE OF THE THINGS THAT GAVE ALICE HER STAYING POWER ASIDE FROM HER DELIGHTFUL 19th CENTURY CHARM.

I WANTED TO START TAKING US BACK TO THE TIME AND PLACE THAT THIS BOOK WAS CREATED, BECAUSE NOTHING COMES OUT OF A VACUUM, WHAT CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT ENGLAND IN 1865.

WELL, IT WAS JUST A FEW YEARS AFTER DARWIN HAD PUBLISHED THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES.

IT WAS A WORLD WHERE EVERYTHING SEEMED TO BE ON THE MOVE.

ANIMALS SEEMED TO BE STICKS.

THE UNDERGROUND WAS STARTING TO BE FULL OF LIFE, SO THE FIRST UNDERGROUND RAILWAY WAS JUST ABOUT TO OPEN.

SEWERS, AND GAS PLAINS WERE BEING LAID.

WHEREVER YOU LOOK, THINGS SEEM TO BE CHANGING.

ONE OF THE OTHER THINGS THAT I THOUGHT WAS INTERESTING, SO MUCH OF THIS BOOK ISN'T WHAT IT SEEMS.

LOUIS CAROL WAS A PSEUDONYM.

HIS REAL NAME WAS THE REVEREND CHARLES DODSON.

HE WAS LIKE TWO PEOPLE WHO SHARED ONE SKIN.

HERE IN OXFORD, HE WAS A RATHER DRY, RATHER PRESSCY MATHEMATICIAN AND FIRM UPHOLDER OF THE CHURCH OF EVERYTHING LAND'S VALUES.

AT THE SAME TIME, HE WAS PLAYFUL AND NONSENSICAL AND LIKED MAKING UP STORIES FOR CHILDREN.

THERE'S A LOT OF DEVIATIONS BETWEEN THE WAY ALICE IN WONDERLAND IS PRESENTED ON STAGE OR IN FILMS AND WHAT'S ACTUALLY IN THE BOOK.

WHEN WALT DISNEY FIRST DOES ALICE FILMS, IT'S BACK IN THE 1920s.

HE DOES 56 LITTLE FILMS.

THERE ALICE IS A YOUNG GIRL.

LATER ON WHEN SHE PRODUCES THE FIRST CARTOON, SHE SEEMS TO HAVE BEEN GROWING UP, AND SHE'S BEEN GROWING UP AND UP AND UP EVER SINCE.

SO MANY OTHER ANIMAL CHARACTERS IN THE BOOK HAVE GAINED A LIFE OF THEIR OWN.

WE HAVE THE WHITE RABBIT, THE MAD HATTER.

AND, OF COURSE, THE CHESS IRE CAT.

I'M WONDERING WHY IT IS THAT THESE SEEMINGLY RANDOM AND MYSTERIOUS CHARACTERS LEAP OFF THE PAGE INTO THEIR OWN SORT OF EXISTENCE.

THE CHESHIRE CAT IS AN INTERESTING EXAMPLE, IN THE STORY WE'RE TOLD THAT THE CATS HAVE VERY SHARP TEETH AND VERY LONG CLAWS.

EVEN THAT'S A KIND OF DARWINIAN CREATURE, THE FIRST THING THE MOUSE MENTIONS IN THE LIST OF THINGS BEGINNING WITH M IS MOUSE TRAPS.

THIS IS A DANGEROUS WORLD.

BUT A LOT OF THE CHARACTERS THAT WE THINK OF AS BEING ABSOLUTELY INVENTED BY CAROL WEREN'T REALLY INVENTED BY LIMB AT ALL.

THE MAD HATTER ISN'T CALLED THE MAD HATTER IN THE BOOK, HE'S JUST CALLED THE HATTER, AND HE WAS BASED ON A REAL PERSON.

AND IN FACT, QUITE A LOT OF THE CHARACTERS THAT ALICE COMES ACROSS, ARE LIKE STRANGE PLAYFUL DREAM LIKE DISTORTIONS.

IT'S ONLY RIGHT AT THE END OF THE BOOK, OF COURSE, YOU REMEMBER, WE REALIZE THAT THIS IS ALL A DREAM.

AND WHAT WE'RE SEEING IS A KIND OF CRAZILY JUMBLED UP OF THE REAL ALICE LIFE ABOVE GROUNDS IN OXFORD.

LOUIS CAROL DELIBERATED CREATED A WORLD IN WHICH CHARACTERS AND EVENTS FLOWED INTO EACH OTHER, LIKE A REAL DREAM.

EVEN WORDS START TO LOSE THEIR BOUNDARIES, THEY START TO SHIFT AND BLUR, CAT, RAT, BAT.

THIS IS SOMETHING THAT IS MUCH MORE PLAYFUL THAN WHAT WE'RE USED TO.

HERE IN NEW YORK CITY WE HAVE A FAMOUS STATUE OF ALICE IN WONDERLAND IN CENTRAL PARK, SHE'S SITTING ON A MUSHROOM.

AND AROUND THE MUSHROOM IS THE POEM OF THE JAWAWAKI.

HE SLICES OUT IN THE MIDDLE OF THIS NEW STORY.

IT'S A GOOD EXAMPLE OF HOW HE LIKED TO WORK AS WELL.

WELL, THAT IS A GREAT NOTE TO END IT ON, I WANT TO THANK YOU FOR JOINING US.

AND FOR GIVING SOME CLARITY INTO THE UNDERWORLD OF NONSENSE THAT IS ALICE IN WONDERLAND.

> METRO FOCUS IS MADE POSSIBILITY BY JAMES AND MERYL TISH, ROSALIND P. WALKER.

CORPORATE FUNDING FOR METRO FOCUS WAS PROVIDED BY MUTUAL OF AMERICA, YOUR RETIREMENT COMPANY.

AND BY PSE&G.

INVESTING IN THE FUTURE.

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