“Something nice about live radio is that there’s an authoritativeness to it,” reflects Zach, a 24 year-old NPR listener currently based in Massachusetts. “Since only one story can be told at a time, it feels like what is being spoken about is the important thing I need to hear right now.”
NPR listener Zach Berg is a born-and-raised New Yorker, but since lockdown began, he’s been sheltering outside of the city with his family. For Zach, the programming on local NPR affiliate station WNYC is both the soundtrack to his mornings, and a link to the city he left behind.
WNYC, first thing
First thing when I get out of bed, I turn on the TuneIn Radio app. I listen to [NPR local affiliate] WNYC pretty much every morning from waking up until I’m ready to go out.
I don’t eat breakfast, it’s just coffee in the morning. I used to listen to the radio on my commute on the subway and walking to the station. Right now I’m sheltering with my family in the Berkshires. Listening to WNYC makes me feel more connected to New York City since I’m no longer there.
There’s something nice about live radio
Something nice about live radio is that there’s an authoritativeness to it. Since only one story can be told at a time, it feels like what is being spoken about is the important thing I need to hear right now.
Taking reading seriously
I recently left a very demanding full-time job, and I’m taking a few months off before I start law school. I was going to do some travelling, but now I can’t, so I’m trying to read an enormous amount and figure out what my goals are before going back to school.
Starting around 9:00, I read in the living room, or outside when it’s nice. I’m treating reading as my main occupation these days.
An afternoon run, and a podcast
Where I am there’s no cell coverage so I’ll download a podcast before going out on a run or bike ride. I listen to Morning Edition, obviously. I usually listen to Marketplace every day. I’ll go out for about an hour, so it’s a good time to catch up on the latest On The Media or Radiolab.
If I tell you how much I listen you’re going to think, ‘he listens that much, no social life?’ Listening is a solo activity for me, but I also have a few friends who are huge WNYC fans and we trade recommendations. We’ll swap episodes over text, like ‘hey did you listen to X thing?!’
Cooking for the family
Right now I’m staying with my family, and I cook quite a bit. We miss the world of delivery we’d get in New York City. Tonight’s a bad example because we are getting takeout, but we’re cooking 99% of the time.
Last night my sister and I made some really good steaks on the grill and roasted potatoes. Recently I made a lemon-rosemary-garlic spatchcoked chicken, also on the grill. It sounds technically difficult, but it wasn’t that hard.
Radio for the wind down
After dinner, I’ll wind down for a couple hours with my book. Sometimes I’m a shower-in-the-evening type person, so I’ll listen to the radio in the shower. Since I’m staying with my parents, I can hear the radio playing in another room and know my dad is listening too.