Portable and accessible, podcasts are one of the most modern and convenient forms of 21st-century storytelling. Podcasts like Serial and This American Life have captivated listeners with their seemingly candid, radio-like digital intimacy. As more and more people find and enjoy the format, the topics podcasts cover grow in diversity, including increasingly specific aspects of Brooklyn life and culture.
Straphangers, residents and commuters alike listen to such broadcasts while commuting, traversing the borough, or within the comfort of their own homes, yet a Brooklynite listening to a podcast is much more common than a podcast about Brooklyn.
Below, a list of some of the best podcasts that can not only be enjoyed in Brooklyn, but are in fact about the borough itself:
A “home-grown weekly recording,” Brooklyn Heightscast is a collaboration of locals Alyssa Bereznak and Joe Sullivan. As its name implies, the podcast focuses on Brooklyn Heights–centric news, with the narrators discussing topics ranging from the nabe’s controversial development to the semi-secret underground tunnels connecting the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ portfolio of properties.
Brooklyn Paper Radio
On the newsier side of things, online and print publication The Brooklyn Paper live-broadcasts its Brooklyn Paper Radio podcast at 4:30 p.m. on Mondays. With a focus on local celebrities, politicians and cultural goings-on, the podcast does a good job of exploring the quirkier side of seemingly everyday issues.
There Goes the Neighborhood
WNYC zeroes in on gentrification in Brooklyn, giving voice to locals and exploring the role developers and affordable housing play in the borough’s changing landscape. Coproduced by The Nation, the show offers the familiar, cleanly formatted podcasts WNYC is known for. Only eight episodes long, it’s worth a listen.
2 Dope Queens
Another one by WNYC, 2 Dope Queens features stand-up comics Jessica Williams (of The Daily Show With Trevor Noah) and Phoebe Robinson sharing stories about everything from Tinder and purity rings to Al Sharpton. The series, which aired this March, is available for weekly streaming. The show can also be experienced live at Union Hall.
Heritage Radio Network
Recorded in a shipping container behind Bushwick’s famed pizzeria Roberta’s, Heritage Radio Network produces multiple podcasts featuring food industry professionals discussing their visions, food news, and culinary history. Started in 2009, Heritage Radio, in addition to creating its various podcast, also holds special food-related events.