The Reverend Donna Schaper of New York's leads her flock of 300 through life's sacraments like any pastor. But she has a national profile, too, appearing in print and on television to reject the idea that Christian values necessarily lead to conservative politics. She tells Alec her story of spiritual awakening, from an abusive working-class home, to parting ways from the Lutheran Church of her childhood, all the way to Judson Memorial Church, a Christian outpost in Greenwich Village that ministers to sex workers, doubters, LGBT folk, the undocumented, and Village gentry alike. Alec in return tells Donna about his own journey of faith.
Matthew Landfield's Wildly Deep History of His Childhood Home
Alec Baldwin and Matthew Landfield crossed paths one time before their Here's the Thing interview. In early 2001, Alec was shooting a movie in front of 31 Desbrosses Street in New York's Tribeca neighborhood. Matthew had grown up in the building in the 1980s, raised by a performance-artist mom and modernist-painter father. Matthew and Alec said hello as Matthew walked in to visit his parents. The bohemian scene on the block stuck with Alec over the years -- so much so that when in 2015 he was driving by and noticed that the building was gone, he researched what had happened. Online, Alec discovered Matthew's : perhaps the best, most deeply researched article ever written about a single address. The Lenape, the Dutch, the English, the factory workers, junkies, artists and bankers -- every stage of New York history had some brush with the land (or water) that is now 31 Desbrosses. Alec was transfixed, and this funny, fascinating conversation is the result.
A Major Conservatory President Who Knows the Life of a Working Musician
Six years ago the Board of the Manhattan School of Music faced a daunting decision: who would guide the school into its second century? They turned to someone with a long history with the school, James Gandre. Gandre joined MSM as an administrative assistant in the mid-1980s and rose through the ranks. But before then, he'd been auditioning for gigs as a tenor with symphonies and choirs. He continued to do so even after he began in administration. He tells Alec about his journey from small-town Wisconsin, to being an out gay man in San Francisco in the early 80s, to his long rise through the ranks at MSM -- and he shares his thoughts on the future of his venerable institution.
Brian Lehrer Comes to Here's the Thing
Brian Lehrer is a unique figure in the public life of New York City. Beyond hosting the city's defining daily talk show, he's our conscience and our conciliator. When New Yorkers want a fair mayoral debate, they often call Brian. When WNYC needed someone to help us process our own #metoo moment, we called Brian. The honored The Brian Lehrer Show for " reuniting the estranged terms 'civil' and 'discourse.'" Of course, civil doesn't mean soft: he can be unsparing in his interviews because, as he tells Alec, "there's plenty that pisses me off." Alec is fan of -- and a regular caller on -- Brian's show, so who better to turn the tables? Alec interviews Brian about his path to prominence, and the two discuss their shared love of radio, and of New York.
Julie Brown UPDATED: Acosta's Epstein Explanations Are "Ridiculous," "Disingenuous"
Alexander Acosta has resigned from his position as Secretary of Labor in the Trump administration. That's because of the sweetheart deal he cut politically connected financier Jeffrey Epstein back in 2008, when Acosta was a federal prosecutor. In the swirl of news following Epstein's re-arrest, but before the Acosta resignation, Julie Brown stepped out of Acosta's press conference to speak to Alec on the phone. We learn her reaction and that of Epstein's victims who called her up after the arrest. That conversation is at the end of an extended cut of their live conversation at the Greene Space this spring and a phone call from Alan Dershowitz addressing the accusations made against him.