Bar Crawl Radio
NYC: A Biking Adventure
Back in 2019 when the city knew not of COVID19 BCR co-hosts talked with Erwin Figueroa of Transportation Alternative about the bike culture of New York City. A lot has changed since then. Today – biking in the city is certainly scarier – maybe that’s a sign that some of us are getting old – but the variety of speedy e-bikes – e-scooters – Inmotion-style unicycles – BTW -- Onewheel describes their vehicles as “weapons”
– mixed in with the ubiquitous metal shelled vehicles who own the streets – biking in NYC feels different to me. So today let’s talk about cycling in Metropolis. For this BCR conversation we talked with Juan Restrepo a senior organizer of Transportation Alternatives about the new Brooklyn Bridge bike lane and the continued dangers of cycling in the city.
Golden Rule Sails Against Nuclear War28:27In the spring of 1958 – the Golden Rule -- a 30 foot skiff crewed by four -- sailed towards the Marshall Islands where the U.S. military was testing atomic bombs. Their plan was to anchor their tiny boat in the waters close to the Bikini and Enewetak Atolls -- in order to stop the atomic testing.Over six decades later a restored “Golden Rule” sailed up the Hudson River and moored at Chelsea Pier. It was Fleet Week and the skiff's message of nuclear disarmament was displayed on its mizzen mast.For this program I biked over to the Chelsea Piers and spent some time on the Veterans for Peace Golden Rule sailboat with the crew and its supporters – as they continue to effort to end the looming possibility of Nuclear War.Alan Winson - Producer BCR
EXTRA: Interview with Lew Tabackin01:00:11Interview with Lew Tabackin -- world famous jazz musician -- in his home on the UWS of Manhattan -- July 2018.
MicroAid's John Ross at WSCG Summer Concert & Lew Tabackin Jazz Trio39:19May 21, 2023 - 6pm. West Side Community GardenIt was a delightful evening in the West Side Community Garden in Manhattan. The Bar Crawl Radio audio wagon was set up on the grass in front of the stage in the garden – as neighbors secured a chair or wooden planter ledge to listen to the Lew Tabackin Jazz Trio. Tenor saxophone and flute musician -- Mr Tabackin has been playing these summer concerts for many years. Jon Ross -- founder and director of MicroAid International -- joined us for a pre-concert warm-up conversation. We had talked with Jon about his work in building single family houses in areas hit by disaster on BCR #36 and #111. This evening we caught up with Mr Ross recent work with MicroAid -- and then asked him what he would do if he saw a stranger being attacked on the street – or subway. Then -- listen to a sampling of the evening's music played by the Lew Tabackin Jazz Trio with Boris Kozlov on bass and Jason Tiemann on drums – including two flute pieces by Tabackin “Garden and Lifetime” – and – “Out of this World” – a piece he wrote named after the “B Flat” Tokyo bar where he performs called – “B Flat Where Its At” -- a Billy Strayhorn standard – “Day Dream” -- and finally a bunch of tunes by George Gershwin.The podcast ends with 10 minutes of a longer interview I had with Mr. Tabackin in his UWS apartment in 2018. For the full interview see the additional material following this program. BCR Co-Hosts Rebecca McKean and Alan Winson
The Pain of Suicide: A Global Epidemic01:01:19Recently – David Brooks of the New York Times – wrote about the suicide of his close friend—Pete—and the feelings that followed. Brooks writes that experiencing the suicide of someone close “is not just sorrow; it is a state of consciousness that distorts perceptions of time, space and self.”In 2015, there were over 44,000 suicides in America – the 10th most common cause of death and rising – I million attempt suicide each year – one every 35 seconds. In the world some kills himself – herself every 40 seconds.Robert Altman's "Mash"  was wrong -- suicide is not painless – it is a health issue that needs to be examined.For this Bar Crawl Radio podcast Rebecca and I talked with two people who study and write about suicide – and with the friends of Jen who recently killed herself.Carla Fine – has spoken extensively on suicide and is the author of the widely acclaimed book No Time to Say Goodbye – about Ms. Fine’s husband – a prominent New York physician who killed himself in 1989 when he was 43. Carla’s recent book was co-written with Dr. Michael Myers - it’s title -- Touched By Suicide: Hope and Healing After Loss.Michael Myers is a leader in the field of suicide and professor of psychiatry at SUNY-Downstate Medical School in Brooklyn. In his 2017 book on physician-suicide – Why Physicians Die By Suicide: Lessons Learned From Their Families and Others Who Care – Dr. Myers shares his experiences of counseling doctors who are considering suicide. If you or someone you know is suffering from a loss due to suicide, consider contacting The Samaritans NYC hotline -- 212 673 3000.This BCR program was recorded in May 2023 at Gebhard's Beer Culture Bar in the UWS of Manhattan.
189. Desert Walk #3: Walk on the Strip / Talk with Darcy Ike27:19April 2 - Sunday - 2023. First day of the Sacred Peace Walk. 13 miles. We started at the Atomic Museum and walked through Paradise, where all the modern Las Vegas Casinos and hotels are located -- something to do with the local mobsters not wanting to pay high Las Vegas taxes. -- then, through old Las Vegas – then a sit-in at the over-the-top gaudy Fremont Experience -- then to the Las Vegas Catholic Worker for lunch – followed by a brief “hello” to the Carson County Jail – where several of the walkers would end up later in the week – a brief pass-by of the headquarters of the Nevada Nuclear Security Site – a stop at a small park memorializing the 2017 mass shooting on the Las Vegas Strip, where 60 were killed and well over 400 injured – and a visit to the Martin Luther King Jr. Statue in north Las Vegas -- where I talked with Darcy Ike -- and home to the NDE compound on Barlett Street. It was a full day.
188. Desert Walk #2: Day One--At the NDE28:30Day One of the Nevada Desert Experience’s “Sacred Peace Walk" -- Saturday April 1, 2023. Walkers were gathering from all around the Unites States at the NDE compound – a former military barracks – bought by the local Franciscan and Catholic Worker community – then given to the NDE in 1982 as a center protestors of the nuclear testing taking place on Western Shoshone land on the Nevada Proving Grounds to the north. The NDE compound consists of three single floor houses, surrounding a central garden patio. I used the day to meet the Peace Walkers.Alan Winson – BCR Producer
187. Desert Walk #1: Las Vegas's Atomic Museum44:57Towards the end of World War II – my country detonated atomic bombs over Japanese cities, immediately killing thousands of civilians and thousand more soon after and maiming thousands for the rest of their lives. I was born in 1949 -- My generation was taught that this military action was required to end the war – And I bought it --Since 1945, our world has filled with more powerful atom bombs – -- in the hope that the threat of mutual destruction will dissuade their usage.So far – besides Nagasaki and Hiroshima – we have been lucky – but for how long?I am Alan Winson – this year for Passover – I walked with peace activists of the Nevada Desert Experience, from Las Vegas to Creech Air Force Base – the center of U.S drone warfare – and then to the Nevada Nuclear Test Site –where -- until the early 1990s, my country detonated over 1000 atom bombs. The craters that were left have been used to train astronauts navigating the lifeless terrain of the Moon. I wanted to learn why-- for the past 40 years -- people of various beliefs and ethnicities gathered in Las Vegas, to walk the 60 miles to the entrance of the Nevada Nuclear Test Site where armed military stopped them at a broad white line in the road -- why each year they went to plead for an end to nuclear armament – when the need is so dire and change so impossible.For the first program in this 8-part series I talked with Joseph Kent -- curator of the Atomic Museum in Las Vegas, Nevada.
186. On the Street Where We Live: Park to Park 10342:21As reported in the New York magazine earlier this year -- the Upper West Side of Manhattan above 96th Street is a pedestrian death zone. Reporter Justin Davidson described the many victims of the “neighborhood’s out-of-control traffic -- a Bermuda Triangle of pedestrian death” – Davidson wrote that “nine years into the Vision Zero era, we should really be calling it Vision 125 -- the average number of pedestrians killed each year in New York since 2014. One every three days.Organizations like Park to Park 103 are working to change this deadly dynamic by designing a walker- / biker-friendly 103rd Street from Riverside Park to Central Park. For this Bar Crawl Radio program Becky, Alina, and I ambled over to 103rd Street on the UWS to an exciting street fair promoting Open Streets. In a city filled with walkers and cars it is time we found an equitable balance.We spoke with Gale Brewer--UWS City Council person -- Shelly Fine -- unofficial "mayor" of the Upper West Side -- Peter Frishaut -- creator of Medscape and coordinator of the Open Streets Community Coalition -- Richard Robbins -- founder of Upper Westside Strategies -- and Cidalia Acosta -- a Magnet School Specialist at West Prep Academy. And we talked with the young Park to Park 103 Ambassadors of West Prep Academy.
185. Gene Pritsker Goes Beethoven47:02Becky and I spoke with the music-eclectic Gene Pritsker at Gebhard's Beer Culture Bar a couple of days after his Sound Liberation Band deconstructed Beethoven at Birdland Jazz Club. It was a musical brainstorm called – “Ludwig’s Night out” – Beethoven is on a bar crawl while Sonata No. 4 (for violin & piano) is echoing in his brain. Several of the pieces created by Pritsker and Composer Concordance regulars are included in this edit.A bit on Gene Pritsker: He is primarily a composer – also --a rapper – DJ – guitarist –a coordinator of music concerts – teacher – and at one time an actor. As of 2023 he had created over 900 compositions – including, chamber operas – orchestral and chamber works – electro-acoustic music – songs for hip hop and rock ensembles – with accents from many cultures - performed world wide. Gene is the co-director of Composers Concordance with Dan Cooper. We last spoke with the musician at the bar for BCR #38 -- April 2019. It was great catching up with Gene who has been quite busy during the pandemic; for instance, he recorded the sound track for the new "Matrix Resurrections" at Abbey Road Studios and produced a record while in Berlin.