This week, I was asked to be part of a roundtable for WNYC (93.9FM and 820AM) on how it can improve its financial reporting of the economy. WNYC is the ultimate in radio stations, an NPR affiliate that has talk shows, cultural programs, and experimental radio programming such as “New Sounds,” and “Radio Lab.” I have been listening to the station avidly since I was in my early 20s booking long hours in the darkroom. To answer WNYC’s question for the roundtable, here is a list of hypothetical programs on the NYC economy that I would love to hear:
1. A story of the infamous Smitz Bagel Company from the Bronx that emerged during the depression because it aggressively marketed and built its brand. Its competitor, Vernon Bagels, lost because Mr. Vernon decided to retrench and only stick to plain bagels, no ads and certainly no everything bagels.
2. A story of a young man who was laid off from his job in advertising and started a store on wheels – an ice cream truck that sells homemade ice cream sandwiches and Stumptown Coffee.
3. A story of a middle-aged couple in Leeds, England, who came to New York City on vacation, but decided that the pound was unexpectedly weak compared with the dollar and ate every night at a corner diner in Hell’s Kitchen.
4. A story of a middle-aged musician who starts his own record company and sells $200,000 worth of direct downloads – all from his studio apartment in Clinton Hill near Pratt.
5. A story of a stay at home Mum who falls in love with a once working man who is now a stay at home Dad and takes his two young sons to the park every day at 3:00 pm.
6. A story of a 27-year old accountant at a small firm who takes a voluntary pay cut to avoid layoffs in her department. She moves back in with her mother, and though the commute is long, spends many evenings at the kitchen table talking with her mother about Homer, and occasionally playing Monopoly.
Pictures courtesy of amNY and Hasbro.com