stories by Manhattan-based radio reporter, newspaper writer and podcast producer Jon Kalish

Recycled Recumbents

Listen to this NPR story about A.D. Carson and his garage workshop. Carson cuts up traditional bicycles and then welds together frames for recumbent bikes.

We visit with Carson in his garage. Those holes in his sweatshirt were created by welding sparks.

Here are some shots of the garage workshop:

Alpha House

Fans of “Doonesbury” have been doing without the Pulitzer Prize-winning comic strip since the summer. The strip has been on vacation. But its creator, Garry Trudeau, has not exactly been chilling at the beach. Trudeau spent the last several months in a New York film studio making a sitcom called “Alpha House.” The show is being launched online on Amazon. It chronicles the misadventures of four fictional Republican senators who share a Washington, D.C., townhouse. We visit the set and and talk to the great cartoonist-turned-TV-producer in this NPR story.

Ben Zion Shenker and the Modzitzter Negunim

Listen to a radio story about Ben Zion Shenker, the composer of beautiful chasidic melodies or negunim. Shenker is a Modzitzer chasid and the Modzitzters, of course, are known for their beautiful negunim. A 15-minute podcast on Shenker can be streamed from the web site of The Forward.

The Jersey Strong “Docu-Soap”

The new series Jersey Strong on Pivot TV focuses on two unconventional households in New Jersey. Listen to a feature on The WBGO Journal about the show, which is produced by the team behind the Newark reality series Brick City,

NYC’s Village Halloween Parade Launches Kickstarter

photo by Raymond Perfetti

Read about efforts to deal with the shaky finances of the Grrenwich Village Halloween Parade in the New York Daily News.

Lloyd Kahn

Listen to a feature on Lloyd Kahn, a pioneer in the build your own shelter movement. It aired on NPR’s “Here and Now.” I read Lloyd’s blog almost every day.

His books are here.

Affordable CNC Machines

Listen to a story on the Othermill, the first in a series of affordable CNC machines manufactured by the Other Machine Company in San Francisco. This aired on NPR’s “Morning Edition” on 8/20/13.

Hacker Scouts

Listen to this piece commissioned by PRX about the hacker scouts/DIY club phenomenon.

Pamela’s Cochlear Implant

My wife Pamela struggled with the decision to have a cochlear implant but in July 2009 she took the plunge and is very happy she did. Listen to a story about this on the Distillations podcast.

Bread and Puppet Theater

Bread and Puppet Theater began 50 years on New York’s Lower East Side. Since 1974 it is based on a farm in the town of Glover in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. Listen to an 11-minute report about Bread and Puppet’s life in Vermont on “Vermont Edition" on VPR, Vermont Public Radio. And a shorter piece on NPR.

Hasid on the Hudson

Why is there a portrait of the Chofetz Chaim on the wall of a Hudson Valley mansion owned by one of America’s elite WASP families? The answer to that question can be found in the pages of this week’s Forward.

Waste Plastic Used to Make Filament for 3D Printers

College student Tyler McNaney became obsesses with 3D printing and not long thereafter designed a machine that grinds waste plastic down, melts it and creates spool of filament that can be used in 3D printers that make plastic objects. Listen to a report on Vermont Public Radio. And, Tyler, get your butt back in mechanical engineer class!

The Michael Jordan of Dwarf Basketball


Listen to Only A Game this weekend to hear a story about Jahmani Swanson, the 4’5” point guard for the New York Towers, a basketball team comprised of men that are between 4’ and 4’6”. The 27 year-old New York City native is poetry in motion on the basketball court.

Dorothy Day’s Granddaughter

Martha Hennessy divides her time between Vermont and Manhattan’s East Village where she volunteers at a house of hospitality founded by her grandmother, Dorothy Day. Listen to the story on Vermont Public Radio.

3D Printed Firearms

This is a lower receiver for an AR-15 rifle. It’s the chassis on which all the other components of the weapon are attached. It was made on a 3D printer and there are amateur gunsmiths who think that one day almost an entire firearm will be produced with a 3D printer. Oy.
Listen to my report on All Things Considered.