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Off the Path from New York to Boston

Storytelling Podcasts

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.


United States


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






Herb Lore: Why it's okay to eat off the ground in New York City

Most New Yorkers might be a little skeptical about eating something they found on the street — if it’s not from a food cart. But one New Yorker has made it his life’s work to convince his neighbors that nature’s bounty is accessible even in the heart of the city.


Herb Lore: How witch hazel made its way into everything

Take a look through your medicine cabinet — from skin cream to body wash and deodorant. Many of these products share an ingredient: witch hazel. And the witch hazel industry has deep roots in the Connecticut River Valley.


Herb Lore: The nearly 400-year-old fruit tree that keeps giving

The first colonial governor of Massachusetts planted a pear tree in the 1600s. It’s now believed to be the oldest cultivated fruit tree in the Americas.


LGBTQ Stories: How "Family Week" helped gay families find acceptance

A few LGBTQ families met up on the tip of Cape Cod one summer in the mid '90s. Their fun beach week had a bigger impact than they expected. Family Week — as it’s called — has helped redefine ideas of marriage and family for more than 25 years. And it still takes place every summer in Provincetown, Massachusetts.


LGBTQ stories: Andy Warhol's unlikely spirituality

One of America’s most beloved artists kept a secret. Andy Warhol — pop artist and gay icon — was also a lifelong Catholic who went to mass regularly at a church in New York City’s Upper East Side.


LGBTQ stories: The 'Sip-In' paved the way for gay rights

A few years before the Stonewall riots, a protest took place at another New York City gay bar, just about a block away. It didn’t draw as much attention, but in its own way, it was a milestone for gay rights.


Folk Songs: Opening up traditional music to new audiences

Musician Nicole Singer, the organizer of Youth Traditional Song Weekend, which took place online this month due to the pandemic, is trying to bring young people and non-traditional audiences into folk music.


Folk Songs: Sea Shanties are the sound of New England's nautical history

Sea shanties have enjoyed some renewed attention on social media. A lot of them have strong ties to New England’s maritime culture and whaling industry.


Folk Songs: An 'Exceedingly Good' Night of Music

A group singalong has hopped from bar to bar in New York City for years — and in the age of the pandemic, it lives on Zoom. It’s called Exceedingly Good Song Night.


Folk Songs: A folk dancing camp for the people

There’s a camp in the woods of Massachusetts where traditional styles of folk music and dance from around the world are kept alive. It’s the oldest continuously operated folk dance camp in the United States. It’s called the Pinewoods Camp.


Beyond Salem: New England's other witch hunts were in Connecticut

At least 11 people were executed for witchcraft in Connecticut. And they’re far less remembered than the victims of Salem.


Off the Path — Garden State: The Institute Of 'Useless Knowledge'

The Institute for Advanced Study doesn’t have any students or classes. There’s no regular daily agenda full of meetings and conferences. The scholars here don’t even have to research any specific topic.


Off The Path - Garden State: The House Where Sinatra Still Sings

It’s not unusual to hear music on a boardwalk in New Jersey on a nice summer day. But there’s one house where the music has played all day, every summer, for 20 years.


Off The Path — Garden State: The Secret Behind the Monopoly Board

How did Atlantic City end up as the inspiration for all those place names in Monopoly — Marvin Gardens, Park Place, the Boardwalk? It’s a tale of race and social conflict you’d never suspect when you sit down to play one of America’s most famous board games.


Off the Path Revisited: The Love Shack is For Sale

Interested in a kitschy, kooky and cool Catskills motel? How about one previously owned by B-52s singer Kate Pierson? Kate listed her motel for sale this summer. Revisit Davis's 2018 trip to "Kate's Lazy Meadow" and decide if you'd like to visit a real-life Love Shack — or maybe own it outright.


Off the Path Revisited: America's Favorite Viewing Machine

If you're on the road this summer, you may find yourself looking at a scenic vista through one of those coin-operated viewing machines. You know the ones — binoculars on poles, encased in a metal shell. And if you do, there's a good chance you're looking through a machine assembled in a small factory in Norwalk, Connecticut.


Off The Path Revisited: ‘The Little Prince’ On Long Island

‘Off the Path’ is taking a summer break, but we’re revisiting a few of our favorite episodes. In 2019, Davis visited Long Island to learn the story of a French classic — ‘The Little Prince’ — written not in France, but on Long Island’s North Shore.


Off the Path: Revisited — Manhattan's Wild Corner

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.


Off The Path: Breaking The Tiffany Glass Ceiling

Tiffany lampshades — made of leaded glass — are icons of American art. Louis Comfort Tiffany showed them to the public for the first time in the 1890s. It was always assumed Tiffany designed all his lamps. But it took a century to recognize the contributions of the women who designed many of them — thanks to some long-lost letters.


Off The Path: What's In America's First Cookbook?

The tradition of American cooking can trace its origin to a single cookbook — published less than a decade after the U.S. Constitution. It was the first to present recipes of the new world, instead of just copying English and French dishes. And it’s called — simply — American Cookery.