Joel Rose

Joel Rose is a National Desk reporter based at NPR's New York Bureau.

Since joining NPR in 2011, Rose has covered the political, economic, and cultural life of the nation's biggest city. He's reported on the rise of the Occupy Wall Street movement, the fall of the compact disc, and the fast-changing fortunes of New York's elected officials. He's also contributed to NPR's coverage of the Trayvon Martin shooting in Florida, and the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal in Pennsylvania.

When pressing news doesn't keep him busy, Rose likes to report on the collision of the Internet and the entertainment industries, and to profile obscure musicians who should be more famous.

Rose has held a long list of jobs in public radio. Before coming to NPR, he spent ten years in Philadelphia, six of them as a reporter at NPR Member Station WHYY. He's also worked as a producer at KQED in San Francisco and American Routes in New Orleans. His writing has appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer, GOOD Magazine, and the Philadelphia Independent.

His radio reporting has won numerous awards, including a Golden Reel from the National Association of Community Broadcasters for his story about the unlikely comeback of soul singer Howard Tate.

Rose has a bachelor's degree in history and music from Brown University, where he got his start in radio as an overnight jazz DJ at the college station.

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2:33am

Mon July 22, 2013
The Salt

New York Toasts Long-Awaited Revival Of Its Distilleries

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 10:30 am

Tuthilltown Spirits in New York makes a clear corn whiskey, and the first legal aged whiskey in the state since Prohibition, among other products.
Joel Rose/NPR

A century ago, New York could claim that much of its liquor was local, thanks to distilleries large and small that supplied a lot of the whiskey, gin and rum that kept New York City (and the rest of North America) lubricated. Then Prohibition arrived and the industry largely dried up, before trickling back to life in the 21st century.

Now, distillers in New York state are toasting a revival 80 years in the making.

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3:26pm

Sat July 6, 2013
Politics

Big Personalities Are Front And Center In NYC Mayoral Race

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 11:49 am

Mayoral candidate Christine Quinn marches in the New York Gay Pride Parade on June 30.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Everything about the New York City mayor's race is supersized.

No less than a dozen candidates are vying to succeed Michael Bloomberg as leader of the nation's biggest city — five Republicans and seven Democrats. The candidates have appeared at more than 100 forums and debates, and the primary is still two months away.

Observers say that the crowded field could favor big personalities.

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4:57pm

Fri June 21, 2013
Around the Nation

At Coney Island, The (Mermaid) Show Must Go On

Originally published on Fri June 21, 2013 6:11 pm

The Mermaid Parade at Coney Island draws hundreds of thousands of revelers each June. After sustaining significant damage during Superstorm Sandy, the nonprofit that runs the parade was almost unable to host this year's event, scheduled for Saturday.
Eric Thayer Reuters/Landov

Not even Superstorm Sandy could keep the mermaids from coming back to Brooklyn.

The Mermaid Parade is a nautically themed and occasionally naughty parade that draws close to a million people to Coney Island, in the New York City borough of Brooklyn, each June. Sandy nearly drowned the organization that hosts the parade, but supporters donated more than $100,000 to get the parade back on its fins this year.

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4:41pm

Mon June 10, 2013
Around the Nation

Cooper Union Students Fight For Freedom From Tuition

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 7:11 am

An image of Cooper Union founder Peter Cooper is projected on the office of school President Jamshed Bharucha, in protest of the institution's decision to begin charging tuition.
Courtesy of The Illuminator

When students at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in New York took over the president's office one month ago to protest the school's decision to charge tuition, they painted the lobby black.

They also took a painting of the school's founder, and hung a piece of red fabric from the frame, as if Peter Cooper himself had joined in the protest.

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4:20pm

Wed May 22, 2013
Movie Interviews

Documentary Shows George Plimpton's Best Story Was His Own

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 5:40 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

George Plimpton boxed with Archie Moore, played quarterback for the Detroit Lions, and played percussion for the New York Philharmonic. He did these jobs, and many others, as an amateur. Plimpton was a professional writer. A new documentary about his life makes the case that Plimpton's best story was his own story, as NPR's Joel Rose reports.

JOEL ROSE, BYLINE: When you listen to George Plimpton's voice, it's like hearing echoes of a New York that no longer exists.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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4:02pm

Fri May 17, 2013
Around the Nation

Boston Bombings Prompt Fresh Look At Unsolved Murders

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 5:52 pm

Gerry Leone was the district attorney for Middlesex County in Massachusetts when three people were murdered in a house in the Boston suburb of Waltham. He told reporters that police suspected the assailants and the victims knew each other.
YouTube

An unsolved triple murder in the Boston suburbs is getting a closer look in the wake of the marathon bombings. One of the victims may have been a friend of bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev. That's prompting authorities to revisit the 2011 case.

The murders took place in Waltham, Mass. On Sept. 12, 2011, police responded to a house in the leafy suburb a few miles west of Boston.

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4:45am

Fri May 10, 2013
Business

Cyber Criminals Drain $45 Million From ATMs Around The World

Originally published on Mon May 13, 2013 12:13 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

All right, prosecutors are calling it the biggest bank heist in New York City since the 1970s. They say a gang of cybercriminals drained $45 million from ATMs around the world.

Here's NPR's Joel Rose.

JOEL ROSE, BYLINE: United States Attorney Loretta Lynch says the eight men charged in New York were able to withdraw $2.8 million in cash in just one day, in February.

LORETTA LYNCH: This was a 21st century bank heist. But instead of guns and masks, this cybercrime organization used laptops and malware.

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2:02am

Thu May 2, 2013
Health

New York Tobacco Regulations Light Up Public Health Debate

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 9:09 am

The New York City Council is considering a number of regulations on cigarettes, including raising the minimum age for buying cigarettes to 21.
John Moore Getty Images

If you're under 21, you may soon have a hard time lighting up in New York City. Public health officials in New York want to raise the minimum age for buying cigarettes.

The initiative is one of three proposed tobacco regulations the City Council will debate at a hearing Thursday afternoon.

"We think if we can prevent people from taking up the habit before they're 21, we might just be able to prevent them from taking it up at all," says New York Health Commissioner Thomas Farley.

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5:35pm

Thu April 4, 2013
The Salt

NYC's Fast-Food Workers Strike, Demand 'Living Wages'

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 7:20 pm

Demonstrators from the Fast Food Forward rally protest Thursday outside a Wendy's restaurant in New York City.
Mary Altaffer AP

Fast-food restaurants were a little bit slower Thursday in New York City. Hundreds of workers staged a one-day strike in what organizers are calling the biggest job action ever in that industry. It's a growing segment of the economy, but workers complain that fast-food jobs don't pay enough to survive in New York City.

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3:46pm

Fri March 29, 2013
Architecture

Self-Taught Architect Behind Brooklyn's 'Broken Angel' Faces Eviction

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 6:55 pm

Over the past three decades, Arthur and Cynthia Wood turned their four-story home into a work of art. They purchased the brick tenement at the intersection of Downing and Quincy streets in 1979 for $2,100 in cash.
Courtesy of Chris Wood

A New York landmark of sorts is in danger of being wiped off the map. The building now known as Broken Angel was an ordinary 19th-century brick structure until self-taught artist and sculptor Arthur Wood started building on top of it in the late 1970s. Now Wood faces eviction from his own masterpiece — a towering structure that looks like a cathedral built out of salvaged junk.

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3:19pm

Wed February 6, 2013
Music News

The 'Ancient Vibration' Of Parlor Music, Revived By Two Generations

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 8:29 am

Lena Hughes recorded one album of Southern parlor music before her death in 1998.
Courtesy of the artist

Sometime in the mid-1960s — no one's really sure when — Lena Hughes walked into a recording studio, probably in Arkansas. What we do know is that she recorded 11 tunes on the guitar.

"It's kind of like listening to 1880," folklorist Howard Marshall says. "You kind of get a wonderful, ancient vibration."

Marshall wrote a book about traditional music in Missouri, called Play Me Something Quick and Devilish.

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5:39am

Sat February 2, 2013
Around the Nation

After Sandy, Pilgrimages To 'Church Of N.Y. Pizza' On Hold

Originally published on Sat February 2, 2013 2:07 pm

Totonno's, one of New York's oldest pizzerias, suffered severe damage from flooding caused by Hurricane Sandy.
joebeone Flickr

It's been more than three months since Hurricane Sandy crashed ashore, and many family-owned businesses in New York and New Jersey are still struggling to get back on their feet.

One of those businesses is Totonno's in Coney Island, where generations of pizza lovers have made the pilgrimage for a slice of New York City history.

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5:46am

Fri February 1, 2013
Remembrances

Ed Koch, Outspoken Mayor Who Brought N.Y. Back From The Brink, Dies

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 10:26 am

New York Mayor Ed Koch raises his arms in victory on Sept. 11, 1985, after winning the Democratic primary in his bid for a third four-year term.
Mario Suriani AP

Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch, whose larger-than-life personality was well-suited to the nation's biggest city but could also get him in trouble, has died. He was 88.

His spokesman, George Arzt, says Koch passed away early Friday from congestive heart failure.

Koch was famous for asking his constituents this question: "Hey! How'm I doing?" He insisted this was more than just shtick. He told NPR in 1981 that he really wanted to know.

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3:20pm

Thu January 24, 2013
U.S.

New York Murder Rate Plummets, But Who Should Get The Credit?

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 7:16 pm

A New York City police academy graduation ceremony on Dec. 28, 2012, where Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that the New York murder rate has hit an all-time low. While some point to the NYPD's policing tactics to explain the decline, others say economic and demographic shifts are also at work.
Seth Wenig AP

By most measures, New York City is safer than it's been in a half-century. The city recorded just 418 murders in 2012 — the lowest total since record keeping began in the early 1960s. But there's some debate about where to place the credit for that drop.

No part of New York saw a more dramatic decline in murders last year than the 61st Precinct in South Brooklyn. Two years ago, there were 14 murders in the precinct. Last year, it had only three.

'More Cops, More Safety,' Says One Resident

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4:31am

Sat December 29, 2012
The Record

Reflecting On EMI, An Industry Giant Felled In 2012

Originally published on Sat December 29, 2012 4:38 pm

The London headquarters of EMI, whose sale this year brought the number of major labels from four to three.
Simon Dawson Bloomberg via Getty Images

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