Work Samples for Stone Valley Byway Podcast

Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2011

This page contains work samples for Duncan Crary’s application for the Stone Valley Byway Podcast (download application .pdf). Press play on the buttons below to hear work samples of Crary’s podcast productions, or click the download links.

KunstlerCast Promo - One

Direct Download: KunstlerCast Promo - One

KunstlerCast Promo - Two

Direct Download: KunstlerCast Promo - Two

Humanist Network News - Bumper ID

Direct Download: HNN Bumper

Duncan Crary podcasting with James Howard Kunstler in Troy, NY.


KunstlerCast #23: One City Block - Excerpt Only

The Rise, Decline, Revitalization and Future of One American City

Released: July 17, 2008

James Howard Kunstler often describes Saratoga Springs N.Y. as a classic Main Street American town. In part one of this special program, we take to the streets of Saratoga to experience the sense of place in this small city. Kunstler brings us from the busy sidewalks along Broadway to a sidestreet leading to a major urban infill project. He explains the urban sensibilities of the 19th century structures, points out the boneheaded decisions of the 1960s one-story development, and the promising efforts of mid-1990s new urbanism.

Direct Download:
KunstlerCast One City Block - Excerpt
(2 MB | 2:36 mins.)

Listener Caller Line:
1-(866) 924-9499 toll-free

Note: The following is a studio-only episode which gives you an idea of how most of the voice-over/narration will sound in the SVB Podcast.

KunstlerCast #139: Social Critic

H.L. Mencken, Tom Wolfe, Samuel Beckett

Released: Jan. 6, 2011

Duncan Crary Podcasting With James Howard KunstlerJames Howard Kunstler talks about his literary influences, including H.L. Mencken, Tom Wolfe and Samuel Beckett. He also explains the role of the social critic and how he separates his critic persona from his own personality. Lastly he muses on what he might like his legacy to be. This conversation, all about writing, is background information for a forthcoming KunstlerCast book.

Note: This episode contains explicit language

Direct Download:
(29 MB | 41:19 mins.)

Listener Caller Line:
1-(866) 924-9499 toll-free


KunstlerCast #118: A Great American Street

Strolling Uncle Sam's Neighborhood

Released: July 3, 2010.

JHK and Duncan celebrate the Fourth of July by touring Uncle Sam's neighborhood. They stroll down Second Street in Troy NY, admiring the 19th century architecture along the way. Destinations include: Russell Sage College, the county court house and one of only two privately owned and maintained residential green squares in New York state (the other is the famous Gramercy Park in Manhattan). They speak to some workers laying a stone street by hand, and explore the alley in an exclusive neighborhood. You can watch and listen with the player below.

Direct Download:
(29 MB | 45:43 mins.)

Listener Caller Line:
1-(866) 924-9499 toll-free

Note: On the left is a QuickTime player that you can click on to listen to and watch this episode...but only if you have QuickTime installed on your computer. (If a black bar is displaying where the controlls should be, it's a browser compatibility issue.)


KunstlerCast: Preview 2010

Cheez Doodles and the Open Road

Released: Jan. 14, 2010

JHK and Duncan have returned from their road trip to Rochester and they have tons of stories to tell. In this mini preview episode, you'll here some excerpts from their travels on the highway, around the city and in the theater during a staged reading of JHK's play "Big Slide." The KunstlerCast will return in full next week.

Note: This podcast contains some cursewords.

Direct Download:
(6 MB | 4:47 mins.)

Listener Caller Line:
1-(866) 924-9499 toll-free

News Articles About Crary’s Podcast Work

Columbia Journalism Review Logo

The American Nightmare

Columbia Journalism Review
Oct 16, 2008

Two weeks after the bailout heard round the world, and with three weeks to go until one of the most anticipated presidential elections in American history, journalist-turned-novelist James Howard Kunstler’s got a lot to say. He loves sermonizing about the cause-effect relationship between suburban sprawl and everything from obesity to American dependence on oil. And he’s saying it all via the Web, through a weekly podcast that offers some of the smartest, most honest urban commentary around—online or off.

Full Article

Times Union Logo

Programming for pod people

Times Union
March 3, 2009

As the name implies, the KunstlerCast is an airing of highly opinionated musings from Kunstler, the Saratoga Springs social critic and author.

Full Article

Five Questions: Duncan Crary

Troy Record
Jan. 4, 2010

Duncan Crary, 31, runs a self-titled consulting and public relations firm for small entrepreneurs. The Troy resident also does a weekly podcast called The KunstlerCast with James Howard Kunstler, author of several novels and an outspoken critic of suburban sprawl.

Full Article

Duncan Crary interviews Julia Sweeney Duncan Crary interviews Sam Harris

Duncan's book based on the podcast

Cultural Heritage Reporting

West Albany's wild past lives on in saloon

By Duncan Crary
The Colonie Spotlight
April 3, 2002

Picture the setting for a Wild West movie. A big sprawling hotel with 300 rooms for cattle drovers. Cowboys in hats and spurs, with bulging money belts, rifles and six-shooters. Prostitution and gambling. Saloons with swinging doors on every street.

Wooden Nickels from Exchange Cafe in Wild West AlbanyBelieve it or not, you’ve just imagined the small Colonie hamlet of West Albany during the mid 1800s. But while the days of cowpokes and Pinkertons are long gone, Lin Seib, proprietor of the Exchange Café, does her best to keep the feel of Wild West Albany alive at her 2 Exchange Street establishment on the town line.

About the time that West Albany became known as the nation’s leading wholesale market for cattle trade, the building which now houses the Exchange Café was first built as the Bennett House, a tavern and inn for weary Western cattle drovers.

“This place is about 135 years old. There was always a bar here,” said Seib, who has rented the café/bar and an upstairs apartment for nine years. “Upstairs is apartments now, but they used to rent the rooms out for the cowboys.”

Cattle trading naturally sprang up in West Albany for two reasons, explained Richard Barrett, a “West Ender,” who has studied the history of West Albany extensively. Albany was a junction where two railroads met: one line headed for Boston, one for New York. Albany was also a day’s journey by rail from the western plains. By law, cattle were required to be taken off the trains to be watered and fed after one day’s journey.

“There weren’t any refrigerated cars until the 1880s. So the cattle had to be transported then butchered as close to the market as possible,” said Barrett.

Much of the butchered meat continued on to markets in New York City and New England, but some of it was purchased locally and shipped to Troy and Albany. Exchange Street, the main drag in West Albany, was so named because of the constant exchanging of cattle for money that once occurred there, said Barrett.

By William Kennedy’s count, in O Albany!, $5 million exchanged hands annually during the 1860s in West Albany. With all that money, vice and crime were sure to appear.

“How could there not be shootouts with all the gambling and bars?” Barrett excitedly asked. “Men openly carried guns through the streets. Certainly there were muggings. And, of course, the sexual needs of the cowboys had to be addressed.”

Sometimes, while renting rooms in the old Bennett House, the cowboys would hire the company of workingwomen, said Exchange Café bartender Leanne Becker. “Lin’s met some of their ghosts,” she said.

“It’s true,” Seib concurred. “After the cowboys took the cattle to the stockyards, they would stay here, party and go upstairs. I never believed in ghosts before I lived here. Sometimes, when I lay in bed, I’ll feel someone climb over me, but when I sit up there’s no one there. Sometimes they sit on the bed or lean over me. Sometimes my roommate will ask, ‘Did you come into my room?’ when I hadn’t.”

Some of the female ghosts grow jealous when she has male guests in their presence, but that’s part of the character of the place, Seib added.

The structure may retain some of the old guests, but several fires in the building have warranted significant remodeling in the Exchange Café. A few patrons at the now counter-topped bar still recalled the old wooden icebox that used to rest behind it. In spite of the remodeling, Seib and Becker try to recreate some of the original charm of the place with Wild West decorations and memorabilia they have acquired at garage sales and antique shows. Old western movie posters and antlers decorate the wall, while a harpsichord adds the final touches.

Occasionally, someone special receives a complimentary wooden nickel, “Good for one beer” at the Exchange Café. Seib decided to use wooden nickels after she discovered an authentic five-cent drink token from the old days.

For a while, the bar housed a band known as the Sin City Cowboys, but the group has since disbanded. Aside from these historical tributes, the Exchange Café of today more resembles a cozy clubhouse for an upbeat 30 something crowd than its saloon/brothel predecessor of questionable repute.

Dan Melucci grew up in the building, which now houses the Exchange Café. At one time his family ran the bar. Melucci still owns the building, which he considers a 6-unit structure, but says he’s looking to sell the place.

“Seib and her business are protected for a few years at least,” he said.

During 1880s, the introduction of the refrigerator railcar brought the rapid decline of West Albany stockyards. A few decades later the meatpacking industry in West Albany experienced a renaissance fueled by Tobin Packing Company. But when the rail yards moved to Selkirk after World War II, Wild West Albany was no more.

“This is pure Americana,” said Barrett of West Albany history. “Exchange Street was mainstream America. What America used to be. Someone really ought to make a movie about it. This was so important.”