Painter Donald Martiny

martiny 5
martiny 5

Donald Martiny lives in Chapel Hill but for the last two months he’s been in New York City working on a couple of paintings that will hang at the World Trade Center. The artist has been working in an impromptu studio set up in the skyscraper’s lobby. This story aired on WUNC in Chapel Hill.

The Brothers Nazaroff

photo: Fumie Suzuki

Read about the raucous Yiddish music act The Brothers Nazaroff and the man who inspired them. My dispatch is on The Forward’s arts blog.

A Lifetime Achievement Award for the Klezmatics

The Klezmatics were given a lifetime achievement award by the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research on November 19. The hard rockin’, hard workin’ klezmer ensemble was lauded for offering “a provocative model of how to respond to the destruction of Europe’s Yiddish culture.” The band’s trumpet player Frank London said, “We are blessed to be a link in the chain of Yiddish continuity.” Read all about it on the Arty Semite blog.

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

image 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.

This Israeli Life

Four young Israelis became enamored of This American Life, the wildly popular American public radio series. So, they started an Israeli version. Read about it in The Arty Semite.

Larry Selman Needs a Kitten

Listen to a story about Larry Selman, the Collector of Bedford Street, and the home care attendant who stood by his side during Hurricane Sandy. It aired on The WBGO Journal last night.

Andy Statman A Most Happy Fellow

Bluegrass and klezmer virtuoso Andy Statman is a recipient of the NEA’s National Heritage Fellowship. Read about the Brooklyn-based clarinetist and mandolin player on the Arty Semite blog. Listen to a half-hour radio documentary about Statman commissioned by KCRW.

Web Site For Kids Who Make

Go to for the lowdown on a new web site where kids can upload digital photos of their handiwork. It’s more than a web site, though. It’s a new youth organization that will eventually help kids who like to make stuff to meet up in person.

The Collector of Bedford Street

Listen to The WBGO Journal on Friday evening, May 4th for a story about a Greenwich Village neighborhood that started a trust fund for a developmentally disabled man and has kept him in his own apartment with his beloved cat and dog. Larry Selman, who just turned 70, is the subject of Alice Elliot’s Academy Award-nominated documentary, “The Collector of Bedford Street.” Selman is known as the collector because he has spent years on the sidewalks of his West Village neighborhood collecting contributions for a variety of charities. True to form, Selman wasn’t shy about asking for donations from neighbors who showed up at his recent birthday party.

New Zealand Kite Maker Peter Lynn

Coming up in Make magazine… a visit with engineer Peter Lynn who has played a pioneering role in giant soft kites and traction kites used for surf boards, boats, sleds and sand buggies. We visit Lynn at his home an hour south of Christchurch and tour the kite factory where Lynn-designed kites are made.

Anti-Roll Away Device

Read a post on the Make blog about a new system that prevents truck roll aways. 44 year-old mechanic Tom Accardi of Long Island, NY managed to create it without the help of venture capitalists or companies that prey on aspiring inventors. His small company is here.

Christmas Jollies

Listen to a story on the eclectic holiday mixtape my neighbor Bill Adler has been doing for close to 30 years. The man has a long history in the music business and it turns out that when he worked at Def Jam Records in the late 1980’s, he was responsible for Run DMC recording “Christmas In Hollis.”

You can listen to all 32 tracks of this year’s Xmas Jollies at the web site of Complex magazine, which features Adler’s comments on each tune. But be forewarned that you have to click to play each track.

DIY Coffin Making

In October 2010, a woman named Marilyn Bader drove from Grand Marais in northern Minnesota to her home in downtown St. Paul. She was actually hoping that a cop would pull her over during the five hour drive. And who could blame her? It was Halloween and Ms. Bader had a freshly made coffin in her car. Read all about it at

Cooking for Change

The Community FoodBank of New Jersey in Hillside has a Food Service Training Academy that trains people as cooks. A new book titled “Cooking for Change” tells the stories of people whose lives were transformed by the academy. Listen to students and staff at the academy, along with Doris Friedensohn, author of the new book. It’s on the award-winning WBGO Journal.

A 3D Printer With a Dutch touch

A new 3D printer made in the Netherlands prints bigger and faster than the MakerBot. It has a design that is garnering praise from fabbers and makers. The story is on Make’s blog,

Irv and Me


Santa Monica-based journalist Hank Rosenfeld helped Hollywood screenwriter Irving Brecher write his memoir. Brecher wrote two Marx Brothers movies, as well as the screnplays for “Meet Me in St. Louis” and “Bye, Bye, Birdie.” Their friendhsip lasted for close to a decade. Then the book came out and Brecher went to smoke cigars with Groucho “up there.”

Listen to a 20-minute piece for KCRW’s “Unfictional” here.

More about their book, “The Wicked Wit of the West,” here.

Jay Baldwin and his Quickupcamper

Check out issue 25 for a short piece on Jay Baldwin and his Quickupcamper.

Baldwin has studied with Buckminster Fuller, served in the U.S. Army’s ski troops in Alaska and worked as an editor at the seminal “Whole Earth Catalog.” The maverick industrial designer, who still rides a mountain bike at the age of 77, has designed and built a prototype for what he calls the Quickupcamper™, which turns a standard size pick-up truck into a highly maneuverable fuel-efficient recreational vehicle.