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Person Place Thing
Fridays, 10:30 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.

Hosted by former New York Times Ethicist Columnist Randy Cohen, PPT features guests who talk about a person, a place and a thing they find meaningful. Randy pulls out the most interesting details from columnists to musicians, architects and ballerinas including Rosanne Cash, E. Jean Carroll and Gene Kohn. The results: surprising stories from great talkers.

To learn more about this program, visit presonplacething.org.

  • The gender balance in Rachel Wax’s profession is disheartening, she says: “It has one of the smallest percentages of women. I mean the ratio is astounding.” U.S. Senator? Catholic priest? Not quite that bad. She is a magician. And things are improving.
  • Robin Steinberg and David Feige have spent much of their professional lives as public defenders in the Bronx, working in an unjust system, and its persistent flaws.
  • Poet, theologian, and host of the On Being Studios podcast “Poetry Unbound” Pádraig Ó Tuama, enjoys a particular pencil but is not a fanatic: “I use anything to get the idea down. I have written with pens and pencils; I have written on the back of sick bags on airplanes.” Computers. Cellphones. No crayon, but he’s not above it.
  • President of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden Adrian Benepe is proud that it is a treasure for the entire city and even prouder of its ties to its local community: “The neighborhood is deep into us, and we’re deep into the neighborhood.” Benepe tells us about Gordon Davis, a cove along the Hudson and a child’s rake.
  • Conductor Ian Niederhoffer says “Music has the unique power to transport its audiences to a time that no longer exists.”
  • Writer David Leonhardt of “The Morning” newsletter for “The New York Times” and author of “Ours Was the Shining Future” admires A. Philip Randolph, who personified this idea: “Collective action around labor and workers is the most powerful vehicle for changing this country.”
  • Journalist Joan Kron has covered plastic surgery for decades: “I believe everybody is free to do what they want with their body.” Incidentally, she’s just turned 96 and looks fabulous.
  • Former Manhattan borough historian Michael Miscione admires the enormously accomplished, nearly forgotten, 19th century New Yorker, Andrew H. Green: “He is often compared to Robert Moses. In a favorable way.” Miscione also talks to us about his high school and an alligator.
  • As a young actor Peter Riegert (Local Hero, Crossing Delancey, Animal House) played Goldberg in The Birthday Party, overseen by Harold Pinter himself. One speech was particularly opaque. “I had no idea what it meant, but to say these words was to be Isaac Stern on the violin.” Learning to trust the writer
  • Interior designer Kia Weatherspoon has worked on many low-income housing projects. Sometimes her clients resist: “You’re making it too nice for these people; these people will tear it up.” Bringing good design to “these people.”