Margot Adler

Margot Adler is a NPR correspondent based in NPR's New York Bureau. Her reports can be heard regularly on All Things Considered, Morning Edition and Weekend Edition.

In addition to covering New York City, Adler reports include in-depth features exploring the interface of politics and culture. Most recently she has been reporting on the controversy surrounding the proposed Islamic Cultural Center near Ground Zero. Other recent pieces have focused on the effect of budget cuts on education, flood relief efforts by the Pakistani community in the United States, the military's "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy, and the battles over the September 11th memorial as well as the continuing human story in New York City in the years since the attacks. Her reporting has included topics such as the death penalty, affirmative action and the culture wars.

Adler did the first American radio interview with J.K. Rowling and has charted the Harry Potter phenomenon ever since. Her reporting ranges across issues including children and technology, the fad of the Percy Jackson books and the popularity of vampires. She occasionally reviews books, covers plays, art exhibitions and auctions, among other reports for NPR's Arts desk.

From 1999-2008, Adler was the host of NPR's Justice Talking, a weekly show exploring constitutional controversies in the nation's courts.

Adler joined the NPR staff as a general assignment reporter in 1979, after spending a year as an NPR freelance reporter covering New York City. In 1980, she documented the confrontation between radicals and the Ku Klux Klan in Greensboro, North Carolina. In 1984, she reported and produced an acclaimed documentary on AIDS counselors in San Francisco. She covered the Winter Olympics in Calgary in 1988 and in Sarajevo in 1984. She has reported on homeless people living in the subways, on the state of the middle class and on the last remaining American hospital for treating leprosy, which was located in Louisiana.

From 1972 to 1990, Adler created and hosted live talk shows on WBAI-FM/New York City. One of those shows, Hour of the Wolf, hosted by Jim Freund, continues as a science fiction show to this day. She is the author of the book, Drawing Down the Moon, a study of contemporary nature religions, and a 1960's memoir, Heretic's Heart. She co-produced an award-winning radio drama, War Day, and is a lecturer and workshop leader. She is currently working on a book on why vampires have such traction in our culture.

With a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the University of California, Berkeley, Adler went on to earn a Master of Science degree from the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University in New York in 1970. She was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University in 1982.

The granddaughter of Alfred Adler, the renowned Viennese psychiatrist, Adler was born in Little Rock, Ark., and grew up in New York City. She loves birding and science fiction.

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1:24am

Wed May 2, 2012
Arts & Life

'Scream' Still Echoes After More Than A Century

Originally published on Thu May 3, 2012 5:59 am

This version of The Scream is one of four made by Edvard Munch, and the only one outside Norway. It is coming up for auction at Sotheby's in New York.
AP

It's perhaps the most reproduced piece of art ever created. It has adorned key chains and coffee mugs, and the cover of Time magazine. Andy Warhol used it, and now one of the four versions of The Scream, Edvard Munch's iconic work — the only one outside Norway — is coming up for auction at Sotheby's in New York. Sale estimates are as high as $80 million.

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12:55am

Wed April 11, 2012
Religion

To Some Hindus, Modern Yoga Has Lost Its Way

Bernice Acosta and other yoga enthusiasts practice in New York's Times Square at an event marking the 2011 summer solstice. Some Hindus say such events have little to do with yoga's spiritual roots.
Mario Tama Getty Images

About 20 million people in the United States practice some form of yoga, from the formal Iyengar and Ashtanga schools to the more irreverent "Yoga Butt."

But some Hindus say yoga is about far more than exercise and breathing techniques. They want recognition that it comes from a deeper philosophy — one, in their view, with Hindu roots.

Many forms of yoga go back centuries. Even in the U.S., the transcendentalists were doing yoga in the 1800s.

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2:00am

Tue March 27, 2012
Around the Nation

Occupy Groups Reimagine The Bank

Originally published on Tue March 27, 2012 3:29 pm

Occupy L.A. activists rally outside the Bank of America Plaza in Los Angeles in February. The Occupy protests around the country have inspired two working groups that are attempting to reform the banking system and create an alternative bank.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Groups within the Occupy Wall Street movement are trying to overhaul the banking system and even dream of creating a new kind of bank.

Occupy isn't in the headlines so much these days, but work continues behind the scenes. The Alternative Banking Group of Occupy Wall Street meets weekly in different places. Members are older than some might think — in their 30s, 40s and 50s — and many work or formerly worked in the financial industry.

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11:54am

Fri March 23, 2012
All Tech Considered

Wanted: Digital Bloodhounds For The Hotel Industry

Originally published on Mon March 26, 2012 4:35 pm

Kelsey Blodget of Oyster.com photographs the lobby of New York's Trump SoHo hotel. The website relies on tech-savvy workers to create online reviews and track hotel bookings.
Oyster.com

These days, hotels aren't just looking to hire bellhops, concierges and housekeepers. What the industry really needs are digital bloodhounds: people who understand how to use new technologies to track — and attract — potential guests.

One of those newfangled workers is Greg Bodenlos. At 24, he's just a couple of years out of Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration. His official title is digital marketing strategist at The Mark Hotel, a luxury hotel in New York City.

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2:00am

Thu March 22, 2012
U.S.

Crowds Join Slain Youth's Parents In 'Hoodie March'

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Today, Justice Department officials meet with family of Trayvon Martin. The unarmed African-American teen was shot in Florida by a neighborhood watch volunteer. Last night, Martin's parents joined a rally in New York's Union Square, and NPR's Margot Adler attended.

MARGOT ADLER, BYLINE: There was rage, sadness and also the feeling of a prayerful community gathering. When the parents of Trayvon Martin spoke, the crowds pushed closer to get a look and shouted words of encouragement. Tracy Martin, the teenager's father, spoke first.

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4:00am

Sat March 3, 2012
Governing

Occupy May Seem To Be Receding, But Look Closer

Originally published on Sat March 3, 2012 10:45 am

Occupy Wall Street protesters shout during a "Shut Down the Corporations" demonstration in New York on Wednesday.
Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

For people who watch TV news or read newspapers, the Occupy movement might seem to be in hibernation.

Most of the encampments are gone, and diminished numbers take part in protests.

But there's a lot of ferment behind the scenes — at least at Occupy Wall Street.

Check the Occupy Wall Street website and you'll see at least 15 events every day: meetings by working groups on arts and culture, alternative banking, media, security.

'Pop-Up' Protests

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2:35pm

Fri March 2, 2012
Around the Nation

Tourism Boom Pays Off For N.Y. Hotel Union

Originally published on Fri March 2, 2012 4:01 pm

New York hotel workers protest at a hearing for former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn in June 2011. Under a new contract, workers will receive "panic buttons" to use if they fear for their safety. They also won several other significant benefits.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

When the New York Hotel Trades Council ratified a new contract for hotel workers last month, much of the media coverage focused on "panic buttons." Coming after the sexual assault allegations against former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the idea of housekeepers wearing a badge that could call for help was all over the news.

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3:09am

Thu February 16, 2012
Sports

Knicks Star Jeremy Lin Capture's Big Apple's Heart

Originally published on Thu February 16, 2012 10:26 am

Jeremy Lin items are for sale before the basketball game between Lin's New York Knicks and the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday in New York.
Frank Franklin II AP

The New York Knicks have won seven games in a row after struggling all season — and some would say they've struggled for years.

Point guard Jeremy Lin, the man few knew a week and a half ago, scored a 3-pointer in the last seconds to win Tuesday's game against Toronto. Wednesday night, Linsanity returned to New York City and Madison Square Garden.

I confess, I had never heard of Jeremy Lin until three days ago. Yet watching this Taiwanese-American from Harvard during the last quarter of the Knicks game, I, like everyone else, was blown away.

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2:00am

Thu February 16, 2012
Sports

Knicks Star Jeremy Lin Capture's Big Apple's Heart

Jeremy Lin was an unknown benchwarmer for the New York Knicks until a few weeks ago. But after a series of breakout performances, the Taiwanese-American, who is a Harvard grad, is the toast of the NBA. NPR's Margot Adler caught up with some Knicks fans before Wednesday night's home game to get a taste of Linsanity.

1:17pm

Tue February 14, 2012
The Two-Way

Warm Winter Leads To Early Blooms In Northeast

Originally published on Tue February 14, 2012 4:16 pm

Kristin Schleiter, of the New York Botanical Garden, in front blooming red camellias.
Margot Adler NPR

If you live in the Northeast, this has been a wacky winter: It has been deathly cold in Eastern Europe, as flowers bloom in New York City and temperatures rise to the high 40s and even 50s.

I went in search of flowers in bloom and was not disappointed. There were bushes of red camellias, and gorgeous yellow flowering Adonis. Kristin Schleiter is the acting director of outdoor gardens at the New York Botanical Garden. She took me to an outdoor test garden.

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2:20pm

Tue January 24, 2012
Business

Muslim Men Rescue Bagel Shop And Keep It Kosher

Founded in 1920, Coney Island Bialys and Bagels claims to be the oldest bialy bakery in New York City. It's now run by two Pakistani Muslim men, who say they are keeping it kosher.
Margot Adler NPR

Coney Island Bialys and Bagels claims to be the oldest bialy bakery in New York City. Founded in 1920, it's faced hard economic times and changing neighborhood demographics.

Now, the shop has been rescued by two Pakistani Muslims — and they're keeping it kosher.

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10:02am

Wed December 14, 2011
Religion

New York Hasidic Women Want Separate EMT Unit

A Hatzolah ambulance crew at the scene of a fire at Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun synagogue in New York City last summer. Some Hasidic women want to form their own EMT unit within the Orthodox Jewish ambulance service to help women keep their modesty during emergency baby deliveries.
Daniel Barry Getty Images

If you live in New York City, you will often see the Orthodox Jewish ambulance service known as Hatzolah on the street. Hatzolah has some 1,200 volunteers — all men — in New York City and is known for its quick response time.

Now, a group of Hasidic female EMTs wants to create a women's division within Hatzolah, to help deliver babies in emergencies.

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4:20am

Sat December 10, 2011
Governing

Reconstituting The Constitution: How To Rewrite It?

Originally published on Tue December 20, 2011 2:09 pm

Junius Brutus Stearns' 1856 painting George Washington Addressing the Constitutional Convention.
AP

Most Americans haven't read the U.S. Constitution in a long time, if ever. They may be able to tell you about the Second Amendment, or the Fifth, maybe even part of the First. But other than that? A lot of blank stares.

Christopher Phillips has been leading what he calls "Constitution Café" discussions with people across the country. He's asking Americans to imagine themselves as framers of our founding document.

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6:29am

Sat December 3, 2011
Art & Design

Liz Taylor's Jewel-Dripping Collection On The Block

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:12 am

This 1964 Andy Warhol lithograph entitled "Liz" is signed by the artist. It reads, "To Elizabeth with much love" in felt-tip pen.
Christie's

Celebrity auctions have become common, but once in a while there's an event that will make almost anyone stand up and take notice. After a world tour, the entire collection of Elizabeth Taylor's jewelry, clothing and memorabilia is on view starting Saturday at Christie's auction house in New York City.

After 10 days, there will be a four-day auction. Some 2,000 objects from the film star's life will be on the block, both at Christie's and online.

'Gutsy, Glamorous'

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4:11am

Sun November 20, 2011
Around the Nation

Young, Gay And Homeless: Fighting For Resources

Originally published on Sun November 20, 2011 4:10 pm

Tiffany Cocco (left to right), Jeremiah Beaverly, Carl Siciliano and Avi Bowie hang out at the Ali Forney Center in Manhattan.
Margot Adler NPR

A number of studies of homeless youth in big cities put forth a startling statistic: Depending on the study, somewhere between 30 and 40 percent of homeless youths identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

It's largely because gay youths are more often kicked out of their homes than straight youths. And even if they are not kicked out, they may feel so uncomfortable that they leave.

In New York City, nearly 4,000 young people are homeless every night — many of them gay.

Reaching Out To Homeless Youths

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1:06pm

Thu November 17, 2011
History

Dead Sea Scrolls On Display In Times Square

The ancient texts can be seen up close — right in the middle of New York City. There are some theatrics, but NPR's Margot Adler reports that the exhibit is happily understated.

10:38am

Thu November 17, 2011
Around the Nation

Occupy Demonstrators Mark Two Months Of Protests

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

From New York to California and places in between, Occupy protesters are in the streets today. That's because it was exactly two months ago that the movement began in a New York City park. Police in riot gear were deployed in lower Manhattan this morning, as hundreds of demonstrators marched with the aim of shutting down Wall Street. NPR correspondent Margot Adler has been following the events, and she joins us now live. Good morning, Margot.

MARGOT ADLER, BYLINE: Good morning.

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9:31am

Tue November 15, 2011
NPR Story

Occupy Demonstrators Upset By Camp Clearings

Police officers removed Occupy Wall Street protesters from Zuccotti Park in New York City early Tuesday morning. Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the operation took place at night to "reduce the risk of confrontation." But clashes erupted and about 70 people were arrested.

3:26am

Thu November 3, 2011
Around the Nation

Designer Brings Muslim Fashion To The Runway

Originally published on Thu November 3, 2011 5:54 am

A model wears one of Nailah Lymus's fascinators.

Courtesy of Nailah Lymus

Nailah Lymus is a 27-year-old aspiring designer who had her first runway show during New York's Fashion Week in September, and she has just had another one.

Lymus began designing jewelry when she was 7, and now has a line of clothing called Amirah Creations. She is a devout Muslim, but her dresses will surprise you.

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2:00am

Thu October 27, 2011
Around the Nation

Cities Vary Widely In Response To Occupy Camps

Cities around the U.S. have been responding differently to the Occupy Wall Street protests. The violent street clashes in Oakland, Calif., have not been typical.

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