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.

Pages

9:15am

Sat July 12, 2014
Law

Brooklyn DA Shifts Stance On Pot, But That Won't Impact NYPD

Originally published on Sat July 12, 2014 12:12 pm

Outside New York City Hall, a policeman watches a protest against racial disparities in marijuana arrests. The majority of those arrested are black or Latino, even though those groups are not more likely to smoke pot.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Marijuana enthusiasts should still think twice before lighting up in the streets of Brooklyn.

The borough's district attorney announced this week that he'll no longer prosecute most low-level marijuana possession cases. But not all law enforcement officials in New York City are on board. Police Commissioner William Bratton responded to Thompson's decision with a shrug.

"It will not have any impact on our officers and the discretion they have as they go about their business," says Bratton.

Read more

4:27pm

Thu June 26, 2014
Art & Design

After Decades On VHS, Graffiti's Golden Age Returns To Big Screen

Originally published on Fri June 27, 2014 11:03 am

The 1981 film Stations of the Elevated follows graffiti-covered trains in New York City. The film is being reissued in New York this week and the rest of the country this fall.
Artists Public Domain

The first film to point a camera at the graffiti movement in New York City was Stations of the Elevated, which debuted at the New York Film Festival in 1981.

The film hasn't been seen much since, except by generations of graffiti fans and writers who watched it on VHS tapes. Now it's being re-released on the big screen, with a showing Friday at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. It will hit screens around the country this fall.

Read more

5:38pm

Tue June 24, 2014
All Tech Considered

A New Jersey Law That's Kept Smart Guns Off Shelves Nationwide

Originally published on Thu June 26, 2014 11:51 am

The Armatix smart gun is implanted with an electronic chip that allows it to be fired only if the shooter is wearing a watch that communicates with it through a radio signal. It is not sold in the U.S.
Michael Dalder Reuters/Landov

A gun that fires only in the hands of its owner isn't science fiction anymore. A so-called smart gun is already on sale in Europe. But you won't find it on store shelves in this country — in part because of an obscure New Jersey law that's had unintended consequences for the rest of the nation.

Basically, the Childproof Handgun Law of 2002 says that once "personalized handguns are available" anywhere in the country, all handguns sold in New Jersey must be smart guns within 30 months.

Read more

12:02pm

Sat June 7, 2014
Politics

Move Over, Bridgegate: Chris Christie's Next Campaign Roadblock

As New Jersey's fiscal outlook worsens, Gov. Chris Christie is fighting to ensure that a traffic scandal is the worst of his political problems as he eyes a 2016 presidential campaign.
AP

The U.S. economy reached a milestone this week: The country finally recovered all the jobs it lost during the Great Recession. But some states still lag behind when it comes to job creation — including New Jersey.

The Garden State's stalled economy may be an even bigger problem for Gov. Chris Christie than the scandal over lane closures at the George Washington Bridge.

When Christie took office in 2010, the state had just lost more than 100,000 jobs. Christie was undaunted. He talked about the "Jersey Comeback" at town hall meetings, on TV and at ground-breaking events.

Read more

6:22pm

Tue June 3, 2014
Sports

Why Is It So Hard For A Horse To Win The Triple Crown?

Originally published on Wed June 4, 2014 10:38 am

Birdstone (right), ridden by Edgar Prado, upsets horse Smarty Jones to win the Belmont Stakes in 2004. Smarty Jones was one of a dozen horses since 1978 to win the first two legs of the Triple Crown, only to lose at the Belmont.
Matthew Stockman Getty Images

Only one more race stands between California Chrome and horse racing's Triple Crown, but it could be his toughest challenge yet.

Since 1978, a dozen horses — Sunday Silence, War Emblem and Smarty Jones among them — have won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, only to stumble before the finish line at the Belmont Stakes.

No one can say exactly why there's been a 36-year drought since the last Triple Crown winner, but there are several theories.

An Endurance Test

Read more

6:32am

Wed May 28, 2014
Business

World Trade Center Developer Wants Loan Guarantees To Resume Project

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 12:57 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The country's tallest skyscraper is having trouble finding tenants. The landlords at one World Trade Center in New York City, which is slated to open later this year say they're dropping the rent because of high vacancy rates. And that's adding to a heated debate over another skyscraper under development at the World Trade Center site. Here's NPR's Joel Rose.

Read more

3:28am

Thu May 22, 2014
Music

Saturn Still Swings: Celebrating Sun Ra At 100

Originally published on Thu May 22, 2014 9:18 am

"In my music I speak of unknown things, impossible things, ancient things, potential things," Sun Ra said in a 1980 documentary. May 22, 2014 is the 100th anniversary of the composer and bandleader's birth.
Michael Ochs Archives Getty Images

Today marks 100 years since Sun Ra was born — or, as the musician might have put it, since he arrived on Earth. An influential jazz composer, keyboardist and bandleader, Sun Ra always insisted he was just visiting this planet.

Read more

4:05pm

Thu May 15, 2014
News

On The Bedrock Of Fallen Towers, September 11 Museum Opens Doors

Originally published on Thu May 15, 2014 8:18 pm

The National September 11 Memorial and Museum was officially dedicated Thursday in New York. President Obama and other elected officials joined survivors and victims' families in a poignant ceremony.

6:21pm

Tue May 6, 2014
Sports

Brewskee-Ball Founders Refuse To Be Sidelined By Trademark Case

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 9:04 pm

Brewskee-Ball has built a league of competitive Skee-Ball players, but the owners of the name Skee-Ball are not amused.
Courtesy of Eric Pavony

The founders of Brewskee-Ball like to say they've taken Skee-Ball from the arcade to the bar, turning the old-time amusement park game into a competitive sport with hundreds of dedicated players in a handful of locations across the country, including Brooklyn, N.Y., San Francisco and Austin.

But the company that makes Skee-Ball machines is not amused.

Read more

4:17pm

Mon April 28, 2014
News

New York Rep. Michael Grimm Indicted On 20 Counts

Originally published on Mon April 28, 2014 6:18 pm

Rep. Michael Grimm of New York turned himself in to face federal charges related to a health food restaurant he ran before he was elected to Congress. The Republican congressman says he's innocent and plans to run for re-election this fall, but Democrats have have high hopes of flipping the last GOP-held seat in New York City.

Pages