Extraordinary Stories of Ordinary Life

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Diaries We give people tape recorders and help them document their own lives in their own words

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Going Home: Cristel’s Diary

At 15, Cristel attacked a classmate with a razor blade. After 3 years of incarceration, she’s being released.

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Josh: 16 Years Later

In high school, Josh documented his life with Tourette’s Syndrome. 16 years later, Josh records a new diary about trying to live a normal adult life with a brain that often betrays him.

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Portraits Extraordinary stories from ordinary places

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Selma Koch, Bra Saleswoman

94-year old Selma Koch runs the Town Shop, one of New York’s last old-style bra fitting shops.

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Walter Backerman, Seltzer Man

Once there were thousands of seltzer men in New York City. Today, Walter Backerman is one of the last.

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Histories Weaving together oral histories and archival tape to bring the past to life

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Miss Subways

Beauty pageants promote the fantasy of the ideal woman. But for 35 years, the Miss Subways contest in New York City celebrated the everyday working girl.

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Ballad for Americans

How a ten minute operatic folk cantata managed to unite Democrats, Republicans and Communists.

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