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

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

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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.

Radio Ambulante

Radio Ambulante is a long-form narrative radio project that aspires to create the kind of storytelling magic a anumber of public radio prograns are known for but they hope to do it for Spanish-speaking listeners. Read about the Radio Ambulante crew here.

Judith Malina and the Living Theatre

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Read a blog post on The Arty Semite about the closing of the Living Theatre’s performance space on the Lower East Side. Or listen to the story on NPR. End of an era…

Sam Lovejoy, the Anti-Nuke Firebrand Who Became a Civil Servant

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39 years ago today Sam Lovejoy toppled a tower in Montague, Massachusetts and declared the Montague nuke will never be built. He was right about that. But who could’ve predicted that more than 30 years later Lovejoy would become a civil servant in the state of Massachusetts. Listen to a story about a key figure of the anti-nuke movement of the late 1970’s. It aired this morning over WFCR in Amherst, MA.

R.I.P. Maxie Kalish, beloved pussycat

We miss our sweet, sweet Siamese cat, Maxie.

Vermont Sculptor Eben Markowski

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Eben Markowski makes life-size sculptures of animals on a Vermont homestead that doubles as an animal sanctuary. Listen to the story on Vermont Public Radio.

The Collector of Bedford Street

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Larry Selman will collect no more. He passed away last Sunday at the age of 70. I wrote a remembrance for the NPR web site that you will find here. You’ll also find audio there for a short piece on Selman that aired this morning on Weekend Edition. There are also obits on-line for the New York Daily News and The Forward. The Forward obit includes a link to 10-minute podcast I produced about Selman surviving Hurricane Sandy. The last time I saw Larry Selman he told me he wanted a kitten to replace his cat Happy, who died in the days after the hurricane.

Printed Matter


Listen to a story on NPR about the bookstore Printed Matter. It was devastated by flood caused by Hurricane Sandy and is struggling to keep going in Manhattan’s Chelsea art district.