Tell Me Your Story

In the Fall of 2008 and Spring of 2009, I went to various public spaces throughout New York City with my recording equipment and a sign: "Tell Me Your Story." I did not solicit anyone to come up to me, I just sat and waited. The result was a short podcast series (10 episodes, though nothing says there won't be more one day in the future), some of which were picked up for short sports on various public radio stations and internet radio stations through the country -- and one in Europe.


Episode 1: Charlie

I sat down at a picnic table in the North West Corner of Union Square Park with my sign at 11 o’clock. At 11:02, Charlie came by with his friend. He obviously had something to say, and his friend was pushing him to sit and say it to me. Charlie sat down and said: “Here’s my story” and started talking. One minute later, he said: “And that’s my story!” Then he just got up and left.

Episode 2: Andre

When Adnre sat down with me in Bryant Park, it was hard not to notice two things about this man: his tooth on the upper-left of his mouth, drooping through his lip even when his mouth was closed; and the Star of David necklace he wore outside his black turtleneck sweater.

He sat down and told me about both.

Episode 3: Ananda

I’ve been asking people to tell me their stories, partially to show that storytelling exists outside of the children’s section of the library; however, the occasional children’s story is a good one.

Ananda sat down and told me one of her favorite childhood stories: A Tale of King Arthur and What Women Want

Episode 4: Louis

I’m always surprised at how personal some of these stories get, but I always want to know more. Unfortunately, Louis was running late and couldn’t answer any questions. Although I’m not sure he would have, anyway.

Episode 5: Adam

Baseball is so much more than just a game: It’s a part of American Culture; It connects generation to generation, father to son; and more than that, it’s a great conversation starter.

Adam was playing baseball in Central Park. That’s how our conversation started.

Episode 6: Megan

I used to be afraid of my basement. Every time the heat went on, the boiler made a loud noise that made me think that someone was running after me. Megan stopped by my table at The New School and told me what she used to be afraid of.

Episode 7: Anthony

When people sit down at my table, I’m always excited when they have a tattoo that I can see. Tattoos are a way of taking a moment in time and permanently affixing it to yourself. Since there’s always a story behind the tattoo, I always have to ask.

Episode 8: Amy

It’s the holiday season, and with the holidays come gifts. And while some of us spent lots of time shopping for gifts, Amy always knows exactly what to give.

Episode 9: Cleo

There are many ways in which children gain independence from their parents. Cleo gained hers through learning how to read.

Episode 10: Brandy

Not only does every person have a story, but so does every pet. Brandy sniffed her way over to me in Union Square Park.



For more materials, permissions, and other inquiries, email Alexander.