Aaron Henkin | WYPR

Aaron Henkin

Producer of "Out of the Blocks" and Director of New Local Programming

Aaron creates and produces original radio programs for WYPR. His current project is the neighborhood documentary series, Out of the Blocks.  His past work includes the long-running weekly cultural program, The Signal, and the Smithsonian Folkways Recordings series, Tapestry of the Times.  Aaron's stories have aired nationally on NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered, PRI’s Studio 360, & The World.

Ways to Connect

6300 Reisterstown Road

Mar 14, 2016
all photos by Wendel Patrick

The 6300 block of Reisterstown Road is tucked just inside the Northwest Baltimore city limit.  Orthodox Jews from Russia and Iran operate kosher eateries, and Nepali Hindus run carry-outs and gas stations. Add to the mix a public library branch, a used-car dealership, and a home-security expert who specializes in cracking safes, and you get an idiosyncratic cast of characters who all manage to share a stage in the theater of city life. 

Out of the Blocks Podcast - 4700 Eastern Avenue

Dec 22, 2015
Wendel Patrick

4700 Eastern Avenue is in Southeast Baltimore's Highlandtown neighborhood. Over the past fifty years, the story of the American Dream has been written and rewritten in this community, as two distinct waves of immigrants have taken their turns settling in and opening up shop.

4700 Eastern Avenue

Dec 18, 2015
Wendel Patrick

4700 Eastern Avenue is in Southeast Baltimore's Highlandtown neighborhood.  Over the past fifty years, the story of the American Dream has been written and rewritten in this community, as two distinct waves of immigrants have taken their turns settling in and opening up shop.  In the 1960's & 70's, Greek immigrants arrived in droves, and the neighborhood came to be known as Greektown.  More recently, Latino immigrants have followed in those footsteps, establishing a strong local presence of their own.  Today, this block is a cultural checkerboard, as the names of the restaurants attest:  Acropolis, El Merengue, Zorbas, Papuseria Mama Tana, and Greektown Grill.  The voices on this block have foreign accents, but their stories are quintessentially American.

Wendel Patrick

The 4700 block of Liberty Heights Avenue is a portrait of survival and adaptability. It's a self-governed, informal economy where the currency is respect.  Space is shared by merchants, churches, longtime residents, and drug dealers. Immigrants from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, West Africa, and Korea have set up shops alongside a dwindling number of African American-owned businesses.  Trust is earned here, not given lightly.

Student Activism, Race & Free Speech

Nov 18, 2015
Nick Schnelle/Columbia Daily Tribune via AP

The University of Missouri, Yale University, University of South Carolina, Occidental College, University of Kansas, Claremont McKenna College. The list goes on. College students across the country are leading protests and demonstrations to call attention to the issue of racial tolerance, diversity, and in some cases, the resignation of professors and high-ranking administrators. In this hour of Midday we'll view this topic through national and local lenses, and hear the points of view of academic reporters, students, a college administrator and a free speech advocate. 

Our guests: Scott Jaschik,editor and one of the founders of Inside Higher Ed; Julia Joseph, a sophomore and student journalist at Loyola University; Lisa Gray, assistant director of Student Life for Cultural and Spiritual Diversity at UMBC; Tyana Warren, a junior at Johns Hopkins University; and Robert Shibley, the executive director of Foundation of Individual Rights in Education. 

A 79-page analysis of the performance of the Baltimore Police Department during April's unrest was released yesterday. the report was compiled by a Washington, DC-based law enforcement think take. The report is available here.

In this hour, a look at the report's findings and recommendations. Plus, how does the BPD's handling of protests and rioting compare to other that of cities?

What impact does your childhood have on your health as an adult? For those who experienced abuse or neglect, trauma can push their brain’s fight-or-flight response into overdrive, leading to both mental and physical illnesses in adulthood. In Donna Jackson Nakazawa's new book, "Childhood Disrupted," she breaks down the research on "adverse childhood experiences" and their effect on health outcomes.

Smart Streets and Urban Transformation

Nov 10, 2015

  “An urban transformation is underway, and smart streets are at the heart of it.” These are the words of Samuel Schwartz, a man who spent two decades as New York City’s traffic commissioner and managed to walk away from the experience an optimist. He’s just written a book titled, “Street Smart: The Rise of Cities and the Fall of Cars,” and he joins us this hour with a look back at how city streets were taken over by cars… and how those streets are beginning to get reclaimed by pedestrians and bicyclists. Also joining us this hour: urban planner and architect Klaus Philipsen, for a look at transportation possibilities and problems here in Maryland. Our state just got a grade of D on its transportation report card and the Central Maryland Transportation Alliance's Brian O'Malley tells us why. 

Urbanite returns with a special issue on Baltimore's uprising, "Truth, Reconciliation, and Baltimore". Print issues hit the streets today, and the digital version is available here. We'll hear from Tracy Ward, the magazine's publisher; Lionel Foster, a former staff writer and editor of the special issue; and former editor Elizabeth Evitts Dickinson.

Wendel Patrick

Tomorrow afternoon at 1:00 PM here on WYPR, producer Aaron Henkin and musician Wendel Patrick will unveil their season-opening installment of Out of the Blocks. Out of The Blocks gives listeners an intimate look into the lives of people who live and work on one specific block in Baltimore.  In the past, they’ve taken us to Greenmount Avenue in Waverly, to Patapsco Avenue in South Baltimore, and right after the unrest in April, they took us to The Penn North intersection that was the epicenter of the violence.  Tomorrow, they’ll introduce us to folks in the 4700 block of Liberty Heights Avenue, in Northwest Baltimore, and this morning, Aaron Henkin and Wendel Patrick join with a seasion preview. 

 

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