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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Politics
5:46 am
Sat September 21, 2013

New York's Next Mayor, Bound To Be A Brooklynite

Republican mayoral hopeful Joe Lhota speaks at a news conference Monday.
Frank Franklin II AP

Originally published on Sat September 21, 2013 2:04 pm

This week, the center of New York City's political universe was downtown Brooklyn.

With the dust settling from the mayoral primary, the two candidates who will be on the ballot to replace outgoing Mayor Michael Bloomberg both live in the city's biggest borough.

On Thursday, Republican candidate Joe Lhota shook hands with voters pouring out of the subway a few blocks from his home in Brooklyn Heights.

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The Record
3:27 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Taking Back 'Funkytown': Songwriters Prepare For A Custody Battle

Members of the disco group Lipps, Inc., including Steven Greenberg (far left), pose for a portrait in 1978. Greenberg, who wrote the group's hit "Funkytown," is seeking to reclaim the song's full copyright from Universal Music Group.
Michael Ochs Archives Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 3:48 pm

You might say Steven Greenberg is the mayor of Funkytown. Back in 1979, Greenberg was just another young musician and producer in Minneapolis. Then his group Lipps, Inc. recorded a song that would come to dominate the dance floors and airwaves in the summer of 1980, and for a long time afterward.

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Around the Nation
2:57 pm
Mon September 9, 2013

NYC Mayoral Candidates Make Final Push Before Primary

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 3:20 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Voters in New York City go to the polls tomorrow to choose their party's candidates for mayor. With just one day to go before the primary election, the candidates raced across the five boroughs trying to fire up their bases and woo any undecided voters. The Democratic primary grabbed national attention when former Congressman Anthony Wiener decided to run, he's since fallen out of favor. Now the race is playing out as a referendum on the 12 years of outgoing Mayor Michael Bloomberg's administration.

NPR's Joe Rose reports.

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Around the Nation
2:55 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

Early Leader Christine Quinn Falls Back In NYC Mayoral Race

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 5:01 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

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It's All Politics
1:31 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Yet Another Democrat Takes The Lead In NYC Mayor Race

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 2:45 am

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Ecstatic Voices
10:03 am
Sun August 25, 2013

Atheists Take Old Hymns Out Of The Chapel And Into The Streets

The Renaissance Street Singers give a performance at the Winterdale Arch, near the West 81st Street gate in Central Park.
Joel Rose NPR

Originally published on Mon August 26, 2013 8:16 am

On a recent Sunday afternoon, 15 members of the Renaissance Street Singers gathered under a bridge in New York's Central Park. With little fanfare, they launched into a free, two-hour concert of music by Palestrina, des Prez and other composers who lived more than 500 years ago.

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Around the Nation
2:49 am
Thu August 22, 2013

New York City Council To Vote On Tough Police Oversight Laws

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 10:43 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

In New York, the city council is poised to vote today on some of the toughest police oversight laws in decades. The vote comes just weeks after a judge ruled that the NYPD violated the civil rights of minorities with its practice of stopping mostly young men of color on the streets.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg is appealing the judge's ruling and refusing to back down on a policing program he has championed. NPR's Joel Rose reports.

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The Record
3:57 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

Albert Murray, Writer And Co-Founder Of Jazz At Lincoln Center, Dies

Writer, historian and critic Albert Murray in New York City in 2000.
Chris Felver Getty Images

Albert Murray, the influential writer and critic who helped found Jazz at Lincoln Center, died Sunday at home in Harlem. He was 97 years old. Duke Ellington once described him as the "unsquarest person I know."

For Murray, jazz and blues were more than just musical forms. They were a survival technique — an improvisatory response to hardship and uncertainty, as he told NPR in 1997: "You don't know how many bars you have, but however many of them you can make swing, the better off you are. That's about it."

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Around the Nation
3:13 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

Comptroller Compfusion: How Do You Pronounce It?

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 4:58 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

When former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer returned to politics this summer, he sparked a lively discussion about second chances in public life. He also provoked debate about another vexing question, the correct way to pronounce the title of the city's top financial official. Spitzer is running for the office of comptroller or, as some of our listeners insist, controller. So what is the right pronunciation?

As NPR's Joe Rose found out, the answer may depend on who you ask.

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Law
2:52 am
Mon August 19, 2013

N.Y. Art Dealer Faces Charges In Forgery Case

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 4:52 am

Long Island art dealer Glafira Rosales is scheduled to be arraigned Monday on charges of money laundering and wire fraud. Prosecutors say Rosales was involved in selling $80 million worth of counterfeit Modernist paintings that turned out to be the work of one anonymous painter.

It's All Politics
2:32 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Cory Booker: Supermayor Or Self-Promoter?

Newark Mayor Cory Booker speaks about his Senate campaign, outside the Grove Path Station in Jersey City, N.J., last month.
Ashlee Espinal The Jersey Journal/Landov

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 5:25 pm

In one week, voters in New Jersey go to the polls in a special primary election for a U.S. Senate seat.

No one on the ballot has more name recognition than Cory Booker, the 44-year-old mayor of Newark, who is considered a rising star in the Democratic Party. But Booker's critics say he's been more focused on his own ambitions than on governing New Jersey's largest city.

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The Record
11:12 am
Tue July 30, 2013

Maxwell's, The Beloved New Jersey Venue, Closes

Maxwell's, in Hoboken, N.J., hosted Bruce Springsteen, Nirvana and the Replacements, to name a few.
George Kopp

Originally published on Tue July 30, 2013 3:32 pm

The rock club Maxwell's is a tiny space that's hosted some of the biggest names in music for more than 30 years. R.E.M., Nirvana and many more bands have squeezed onto Maxwell's stage in Hoboken, N.J. Native son Bruce Springsteen recorded the music video for "Glory Days" there.

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The Salt
1:51 am
Tue July 30, 2013

Fast-Food Strikers Demand A 'Living Wage'

People gathered outside a Wendy's restaurant in New York City on Monday as part of a one-day strike calling for higher wages for fast-food workers.
Justin Lane EPA/Landov

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 6:22 am

At a Wendy's restaurant in Lower Manhattan on Monday, protesters urged the lunchtime crowd to skip the Value Menu for one day. They blocked the sidewalk and half of the street.

Shanell Young held a red strike sign over her head. Young earns the minimum wage, $7.25 an hour, at another Wendy's in New York. She says that's not enough to support her and her 5-year-old son.

"It's horrible," says Young. "Everything goes up. It's unfair. You can't find an apartment. You can't pay for children's school uniforms. Everything is unfair. We can't live off this."

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The Salt
1:33 am
Mon July 22, 2013

New York Toasts Long-Awaited Revival Of Its Distilleries

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

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 9:30 am

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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Politics
3:27 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

After Scandal, Eliot Spitzer Dives Back Into Politics

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 10:36 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

Former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer has become the latest politician to ask voters for a second chance. Five years after resigning amid a prostitution scandal, Spitzer is running for public office again, this time to be New York City comptroller.

As NPR's Joel Rose reports, some voters seem willing to listen.

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Politics
3:22 pm
Sat July 6, 2013

Big Personalities Are Front And Center In NYC Mayoral Race

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

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 10:49 am

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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Around the Nation
4:29 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

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

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

Originally published on Fri June 21, 2013 5:11 pm

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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Around the Nation
3:43 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

Cooper Union Students Fight For Freedom From Tuition

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

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 6:11 am

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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U.S.
3:18 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

Big Apple Debates Storm Prep As Hurricane Season Begins

Originally published on Wed July 3, 2013 8:26 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

For New York, last year's hurricane was a painful reminder that the city is surrounded by water. It has more than 500 miles of coastline, from the beaches of Staten Island and the Rockaways, to the banks of the Hudson and East Rivers and beyond. There is little dispute among scientists that rising sea levels will increase the threat of flooding. And now, as hurricane season begins again, there's a spirited debate about how the region should prepare for that threat.

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Politics
2:52 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

Special Election Called In New Jersey To Fill Vacant Senate Seat

Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 9:25 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Funeral services for New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg will be held tomorrow in Manhattan, but the political maneuvering to replace the long-serving Democrat is already underway. Senator Lautenberg died yesterday. And today, New Jersey's Republican governor, Chris Christie, ordered a special election to fill the seat this fall. As NPR's Joel Rose reports, that is not what many in Christie's party wanted.

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Movie Interviews
3:20 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Documentary Shows George Plimpton's Best Story Was His Own

Originally published on Wed May 22, 2013 4:40 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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Around the Nation
3:02 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

Boston Bombings Prompt Fresh Look At Unsolved Murders

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

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 4:52 pm

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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Business
3:43 am
Fri May 10, 2013

Cyber Criminals Drain $45 Million From ATMs Around The World

Originally published on Mon May 13, 2013 11:13 am

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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Fine Art
3:43 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Family Fights Sale Of Iconic Thomas Cole Painting

Thomas Cole completed Portage Falls on the Genesee in 1839.
Courtesy Seward House Museum

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 7:00 pm

A celebrated 19th century landscape painting by Thomas Cole is at the center of a 21st century fight: The Seward House Historic Museum in upstate New York wants to sell a painting that belonged to former Secretary of State William Seward, but on Tuesday Seward's great-great-grandson will be in court to try to block the sale.

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Politics
2:57 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Conservative Group: Immigration Reform Would Cost $6 Trillion

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 7:00 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

It's not clear what the cost might be of a bipartisan Senate bill that would give legal status to millions of undocumented immigrants. But today, the conservative Heritage Foundation announced it has the answer. Here's NPR's David Welna.

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Health
1:02 am
Thu May 2, 2013

New York Tobacco Regulations Light Up Public Health Debate

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

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 8:09 am

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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Around the Nation
2:56 am
Mon April 29, 2013

FEMA-Subsidized Housing To End For Some Sandy Victims

Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 11:41 am

Six months after Hurricane Sandy, hundreds of low-income New Yorkers are facing homelessness. They've been living in subsidized hotel rooms since the storm, but that funding is about to run out. Advocates say there isn't enough public and low-income housing to accommodate them all.

Politics
4:06 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Disgraced Politicians Try To Stage Their Second Acts

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 8:26 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is all things considered. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

Americans love a political comeback. When it comes to sex scandals, voters seem increasingly willing to forgive, if not forget. That's what former Congressman Anthony Weiner and former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford are hoping, as they attempt a return to public office.

But, as NPR's Joel Rose reports, both politicians face major hurdles.

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The Salt
4:35 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

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

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

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 6:20 pm

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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Architecture
3:22 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

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

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

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 5:55 pm

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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