Rose Syracuse has held one job - one job only - for her entire life. For 73 years, she worked mainly in the accounts department at the Macy's Department store on 34th Street in Manhattan. She's worked for Macy's longer than anyone else - ever. And last week, after all those decades, she retired. Rose Syracuse joins us on the line from New York. Thank you very much for taking the time to talk to us.
ROSE SYRACUSE: Oh, that's fine. And Rose Syracuse would not have retired if she hadn't broken her hip.
Peter Frew is one of a tiny number of people left in the United States who can — entirely on his own, using almost no machinery — make a classic bespoke suit. He can measure you, draw a pattern, cut the fabric and then hand-stitch a suit designed to fit your body perfectly.
Frew spent more than a decade as an apprentice for a remarkable tailor in his native Jamaica. He now sells his suits for about $4,000. Since New York is filled with very rich people who see their suits as an essential uniform, Frew has all the orders he can handle.
One of Billie Holiday's most iconic songs is "Strange Fruit," a haunting protest against the inhumanity of racism. Many people know that the man who wrote the song was inspired by a photograph of a lynching. But they might not realize that he's also tied to another watershed moment in America's history.
Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 11:37 am
Woolworth's is gone but the building still stands.
Credit Stan Honda / AFP/Getty Images
On today's show, we hit the streets of Manhattan with economist Tim Harford. In his book, Adapt, Harford argues that success always starts with failure.
Harford takes us on a failure tour of New York. Highlights include a Gutenberg Bible (turns out the Bible business wasn't so good to Gutenberg) and the Woolworth Building (Woolworth's had some great innovations in its day, but eventually got beat by big-box stores).