The politics of the Garden State have become a national tragi-comedy. Imagine how you'd feel if you are elected, or more lucrative still, nominated to a fat job you don't deserve. I crossed the river for a cold hard taste of politics Jersey-style.
New York scientists largely agree that the dazzling white Mute Swan, is doing a lot more harm than good to the environment and the people of the state. So they're now undesirable aliens which are due to be culled slowly, over the next 11 years or so - unless they can all find new homes on private land..? This was for the Today show, BBC Radio 4.
I tried to get a sense of what Harlem residents feel about the gentrification issue at it's most famous cultural institution, the beloved Apollo Theater. This aired on BBC World Service this weekend. The place had been tranformed into a night club, for a Cotton Club-style revue show.
That's the glib tabloid headline that belies an interesting and genuinely life-or-death saga of politics, big pharma, weed growing and medical breakthrough. The tentative New York move into medical marijuana use, is frustrating hundreds of parents across the state who see children like theirs getting better, in states like Colorado. I met one family for a BBC piece, who don't want to be reefer refugees, but staying in NY might not be an option for much longer.
A Syrian Clarinetist leads off a symphonic benefit concert at Carnegie Hall for his war-weary homeland tonight. It's moving, inspiring, but has America (and the west in general) tuned-out to the dire needs of the refugees - especially the children? The video version is online here.
You can't move for British acting talent on Broadway this season, led by the two thespian knights, Sir Ian McKellen and Sir Patrick Stewart. They let me into their dressing room just before Christmas for a joint interview, and Stephen Fry also gave me his two-cents. This piece ran on Radio 4's PM:
What does the Francis Effect mean in Washington? I've never seen so many Catholic power-brokers and pundits smiling so much inside the Beltway. This ran on Radio 4's Sunday, but they snipped out my nuns at the end, for time. Have a listen.
Meet the furnace that does in a week, what it takes nature 50,000 years to do. My normal corporate scepticism was blown away by how interesting making synthetic sapphire is. The Rubicon factory near Chicago, let me in for a peak at the technology which means you'll never break your iPhone screen again (once they start making the screens from the stuff). BBC Business Daily paid for the plane ticket:
Tonight the leadership of Old South in Boston will be at Sotheby's in NY to see their 1640 psalter fetch a world-record price for any single book (listed at $15-$30 million). Most church members see it as freeing up capital for good works, and guarantee the future. A minority still think it's an historic betrayal. My piece for Radio 4's Sunday: