Host Ira Glass visits the Upper East Side building in Manhattan where Peter Roach has been the super for about ten years. Peter has a lot of keys.
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A man who we're calling "Dennis" inherits his father's job as a landlord of a big apartment building. His dad had warned him that bad tenants could drive even a good man to become heartless, but Dennis vowed that would never happen to him. He's tested on this point when he tries to help a couple that falls behind in their rent.
Ira tells what happened this week to Shirley Everett-Dicko in Oakland on Sunday, to Gabe and Kevin in Brooklyn on Saturday, to Eric and Roz in Stevens Point, Wisconsin on Wednesday night at midnight, and (in the podcast version of the show) to Eugene Rand and Bill True, on Monday in South Portland, Maine.
Ira goes to Chicago's Rogers Park neighborhood to talk to some condo owners who are in a precarious situation—since the housing market crash, the developer who renovated and sold them their units—Haso Meseljevic—has all but disappeared. He's in foreclosure on half of their building's units.
Host Ira Glass talks with an NPR business and economics correspondent about two gatherings he attended—one at the Ritz Carlton and one at a community college in Brooklyn. The first was an awards dinner for finance professionals who created the mortgage-based financial instruments that nearly brought down the global economic system.
Yvonne has lived by herself for 12 years, ever since her last child moved out. She eats dinner by herself, takes care of the house on her own, and usually spends most holidays alone.
Host Ira Glass talks to Randall Bell, who specializes in assessing how tragedy affects real estate. He's found that the market is much quicker to forgive and forget a scandal than the neighbors are.
At the Astrodome complex in Houston, charities from Colorado and Florida and other states are competing to take in the hurricane's refugees. But Colorado, which offers the best package of any state, just can't get New Orleans residents to relocate there.
Host Ira Glass talks to evacuees about what it's like to live on a cot in the Astrodome and the Reliant convention center next door. The lights never go out, and the p.a. runs announcements all day.
Host Ira Glass talks with Adam and Wendy, a couple whose world view was changed when they bought a house. Adam and Wendy were the kind of people who believed that most people by and large were good, and their motives by and large honest.
Ira explains that our show's a little different this week. It consists of one long story, lasting the entire hour, about a young boy, an abandoned house, and the mysterious family who once lived there and then seemed to disappear without a trace.
Jonathan Katz listens to old tapes of his family; then travels back to the neighborhood in Brooklyn they lived in during the 1950s, looking for evidence of what his childhood was like. His sister is along for the trip, and they do not agree on the meaning of what they're seeing.
Ben Schrank describes what it's like to work as a professional mover. He says that people often go sort of nuts when they see all their worldly possessions—all the stuff that defines them as people—packed into a van.
When Eustace Conway was 17, he abandoned his normal life and decided to move to the woods.
Host Ira Glass talks to Amanda, who's 16 and lives with her mom in a Christian commune in Chicago.
A visit to a replica of the White House outside San Francisco, the home of Norman and Rosemary Eckersly.
An excerpt from Your Radio is Haunted. (6 minutes)
Ira explores the question of when it's time to quit a relationship through rare recordings of bickering between roommates—recorded by the next-door neighbors.