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Off the Path from New York to Boston

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Follow reporter Davis Dunavin as he travels the road from New York to Boston, looking for unusual stories and fascinating histories.

Follow reporter Davis Dunavin as he travels the road from New York to Boston, looking for unusual stories and fascinating histories.
More Information

Location:

United States

Description:

Follow reporter Davis Dunavin as he travels the road from New York to Boston, looking for unusual stories and fascinating histories.

Language:

English

Contact:

203-365-6604


Episodes

The Mystery of Dighton Rock

4/12/2019
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For centuries, people have tried to translate the markings on a 40-ton boulder found on the banks of a New England river. That rock, with its mysterious message, is now housed in a small museum in Berkley, Massachusetts.

Duration:00:06:44

Crossword Geeks Unite!

3/29/2019
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Hundreds of crossword puzzle enthusiasts from around the world gather once a year for two days of intense puzzle solving. And it happens in a pretty unassuming place – a Marriott hotel in Stamford, Connecticut.

Duration:00:04:37

Shakespeare's Starlings

3/22/2019
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An eccentric 19th-century New Yorker had a strange fascination -- he wanted to bring every bird mentioned in Shakespeare’s plays to North America. He was very successful with one of them. A little too successful.

Duration:00:07:03

The Sunken Towns Underneath The Quabbin Reservoir

3/8/2019
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The ghostly remains of four towns can be found at the bottom of Boston’s drinking supply. The townsfolk were forced to leave in the 1930s when the state of Massachusetts flooded the area to create a reservoir. But there are many who keep alive the memory of the Swift River Valley.

Duration:00:06:56

The Bone Wars

2/15/2019
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Two 19th century paleontologists spent decades in a bitter feud to find as many new dinosaur species as possible and destroy each other in the process. Their rivalry led to the discovery of many important dinosaur species we know today.

Duration:00:07:27

There Shall Be No Pain

2/1/2019
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A young dentist in the 1840s is believed to be the first doctor to use nitrous oxide – laughing gas – to dull pain. But the father of anesthesia met a tragic end. His story begins in Hartford, Connecticut, and ends in New York City.

Duration:00:07:16

Manhattan's Wild Corner

1/18/2019
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There’s a place in Manhattan that makes you feel like you just took a trip on the Wayback Machine – to the 1600s, when European settlers first arrived. And you can find it all the way up on the northern tip of Manhattan Island in Inwood Hill Park.

Duration:00:06:10

The Full Story Goes Off The Path

1/9/2019
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In this special crossover episode, Davis spends some time with Ron Ropiak, host of WSHU’s The Full Story , to share some of his favorite stories, including the history behind the folk song "Charlie on the MTA," the Connecticut connection to "The Great Gatsby" and the notorious Lizzie Borden's Massachusetts home...that's now a B&B. Subscribe to Off the Path from New York to Boston.

Duration:00:28:27

How 'The Little Prince' Landed On Long Island

12/14/2018
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“The Little Prince” is one of the best-selling books of all time. It was written by a Frenchman, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, and translated into 300 languages since its publication in 1943. But the author didn’t write “Le Petit Prince” in his native France – he wrote it in New York. And there’s a wonderful story about a statue of the Little Prince outside a library on Long Island’s North Shore.

Duration:00:06:46

The World's Smelliest Fruit

11/30/2018
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The durian is said to be the world’s smelliest fruit. It’s a delicacy in Southeast Asia, but many also find the smell too disgusting – even unbearable. You have to search out places in the U.S. to find durian. On the East Coast, a good bet is New York City’s Chinatown.

Duration:00:04:47

The Story Behind The Iconic American Viewing Machine

11/9/2018
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You’ve probably seen them – and maybe even dropped in a quarter to look through them at some scenic overlook. They’re at the top of the Empire State Building, next to the Golden Gate Bridge and Niagara Falls. Essentially, they’re binoculars on poles. The factory that’s made them longer than anyone else is in Norwalk, Conn. And its employees crisscross the country to service the machines and collect those quarters. Subscribe to Off the Path from New York to Boston on Apple Podcasts or...

Duration:00:06:02

Lizzie Borden Took An Axe...

10/26/2018
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One of the most notorious crimes in American history was memorialized in a grisly playground chant — Lizzie Borden took an axe and gave her mother forty whacks. And when she saw what she had done, she gave her father forty-one. The Borden family home, the scene of the crime in 1892, is now a bed and breakfast — not for the faint of heart — in Fall River, Massachusetts. Warning: This is the Halloween episode of Off the Path, and we’re getting into some grisly and macabre American history. You...

Duration:00:07:05

The Real-Life Love Shack

10/5/2018
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Kate Pierson spent decades on tour as one of the vocalists of the legendary rock group the B-52s. You know – the big hairdos? The surf guitars? Love Shack? Turns out, at the same time, Pierson also collected art, antiques and other decor. That collection is now part of her offbeat side project. A cute little roadside motel – a real-life “Love Shack” – just outside Woodstock, New York.

Duration:00:07:02

Everyone Shall Sit Under Their Own Vine And Fig Tree

9/21/2018
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The musical "Hamilton" has a lot of catchy music and memorable lyrics. Some of the most memorable come from President George Washington. They’re taken almost verbatim from a letter Washington wrote to the oldest synagogue in America, in Newport, Rhode Island, in which he rebuked bigotry.

Duration:00:06:58

T.S. Eliot's Seaside Childhood

9/7/2018
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T.S. Eliot chose four places to write about in his poem “Four Quartets.” Three of them are in England, but one is a nondescript cluster of rocks off the coast of Gloucester, Massachusetts. Eliot’s childhood vacation home is now a retreat for writers. The T.S. Eliot Foundation says it hopes other writers can be inspired by the same idyllic seaside setting that inspired Eliot.

Duration:00:07:48

Westport Stakes Its Claim To ‘The Great Gatsby’

8/24/2018
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F. Scott Fitzgerald set his novel The Great Gatsby on Long Island’s North Shore – with its opulent mansions, beautiful gardens and decadent parties. But some people think Fitzgerald might have been inspired by another location – across Long Island Sound in Westport, Connecticut.

Duration:00:07:53

The Great Boombox Parade

7/6/2018
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There might be only one Fourth of July parade that has no live music accompaniment. That’s not to say there isn’t music though. And you can find this parade every Independence Day in Willimantic, a neighborhood in Windham, Connecticut.

Duration:00:06:10

Morbid Anatomy

6/21/2018
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Cemeteries are not places where you’re likely to find a library – except perhaps one that deals with death. This library is the result of one woman’s quest to change how we think and talk about the subject of death. And you’ll find it – at least for now – in the Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York.

Duration:00:06:41

But Did He Ever Return? No, He Never Returned

6/7/2018
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Lots of songs have been used as anthems for particular causes or movements. But probably only one for a transit system. The song is the story of Charlie, a hapless commuter who finds himself trapped on the Boston subway.

Duration:00:08:57

Inside Samuel Colt’s 19th Century Tinkerers’ Palace

5/25/2018
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The National Park Service has awarded a $750,000 grant to historic Colt Park in Hartford, the factory Samuel Colt started in the 1800s to make his iconic gun. But in 2018, being a gun manufacturer is not so easy. Remington Firearms recently filed for bankruptcy. But the making of guns has been an intricate part of our history. Back in the mid-1800s, one gun maker went beyond just the making of firearms. He wanted to create a workplace utopia at his factory in Hartford, Conn.

Duration:00:06:21