Voices in New York

March is a busy month for Irish storytellers. I spoke with Bairbre McCarthy on the phone about her CD, The Keeper of the Crock of Gold: Irish Leprechaun Tales. Drawn from her book of Irish stories, the CD is a combination of “old retellings”and original stories by McCarthy that “stick up for the rights of Leprechauns.” Throughout the stories, McCarthy weaves in sean-nós singing by her daughter Mary Willems and fiddle playing by Maura McNamara. In our conversation, she tells me about her roots, about her activism for Leprechaun rights, and about becoming a professional storyteller in America:

Good Read

Finally, there is a book worthy of Caffè Lena’s rich history. This big, beautiful, oversized hardcover is a love letter to the Caffè, the many musicians who’ve graced Lena’s tiny stage, and to folk music itself.

Book Review

The essays in this volume address queer identity and sexuality in such varied places as Mennonite mummers’ plays and Chinese folklore. In case the reader was about to dismiss the writings as not relevant to contemporary American life, rockabilly culture and cinematic interpretations of the Brothers Grimm are also covered.


Urban Explorers is a youth development program by City Lore in New York City that uses the skills of documentation and fieldwork.

From the Waterfront

Beginning in the 1960’s, water taxis were at work, ferrying people to locations within the harbors and ports of Long Island. Captains and crew share their occupational experiences in this column.


Commentary on the power of music and the impact of radio in Adirondack homes through the lyrics for “Pack up Your Troubles.”


The author relates his experience of informal barbering and the role of the barber as a listener.


The author’s search for a humorous song, collected by Frank and Anne Warner from Lena Bourne Fish who was born in the Adirondack region.