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The Spot: Commuter Stories

A favorite scene from my daily commute

This week on KALW's showcase for the best stories from public radio podcasts and independent radio producers...

“An excerpt from Buses” originally airing on The Hackney Podcast, February 2010.

The Hackney Podcast brings London’s Hackney neighborhood to life through sound-rich scenes, and thoughtful interviews -- including ones that take place on public transportation. In an episode all about buses, dozens of riders give a peek into the intimate worlds of their daily commutes.

Want more stories from the Hackney neighborhood? Subscribe to The Hackney Podcast, now on iTunes.


"Beep Beep" produced by David Weinberg, originally airing on Random Tape, January 2013.

I was driving North on the 101, heading home to Oakland, from San Francisco. And on the pedestrian bridge above the Vermont Street exit, I saw a man, dancing in the center of the walkway, holding up a large, very visible, and cartoonish red heart. He was smiling, shifting his dance moves back and forth, seemingly trying to make eye contact with everyone below. That was months ago, and every Thursday since, I usually see him. I wonder why he does it - every single week.

David Weinberg, creator and host of Random Tape has his own version of the dancing heart man on his commute in L.A., and unlike me, he’s had the chance to ask him, “Why?”


"A California Commute" produced by Muriel Murch, originally airing on Letter from A. Broad, September 2009.

Muriel Murch, has been producing radio in the Bay Area for over 20 years. Her podcast, Letter from A. Broad, covers topics ranging from literature, agriculture, medicine -- all in essay format. In this episode, she takes us on a train ride from Emeryville to Van Nuys, and looks at the California commute routes of today and yesterday.


"Travel Disasters" produced by Sam Harnett, originally airing on Driving with Strangers, May 2014.

Rather than just observe and wonder about his fellow commuters, local radio producer, Sam Harnett interviews them. His podcast, “Driving with Strangers” features candid, and surprising stories told by the passengers he meets through ridesharing, right here in the Bay Area. 

Want to hear more stories found in the back of a car? Subscribe to Driving with Strangers, available now on iTunes. 


This week's episode featured music from: Black Moth Super Rainbow, Air, Booker T. & The M.G.'s, Tom Jones, Andrey Brandl, and The Magnetic Fields.

If you have a suggestion for a podcast or an audio project we should feature, please drop us a line at thespot@kalw.org.

Tune in next week for a whole new episode of The Spot, only on KALW San Francisco.