Joel Rose

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The family business of Jared Kushner, President Trump's son-in-law and senior advisor, wants to build a pair of skyscrapers in a gritty New Jersey neighborhood.

But the Jersey City project faces a number of hurdles.

This week, it ran headlong into a new one — an ethics flap, after Kushner's sister highlighted her family ties to the White House while pitching the development to wealthy Chinese investors. That's prompting closer scrutiny of the project, and the controversial immigrant investor visa program that could help finance it.

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One night in 1966, Michael Chapman ducked into a folk-music club in Cornwall, England to get out of the rain, and soon found himself onstage playing guitar.

Jeanette Vizguerra walked into a Colorado church on Wednesday — and into the forefront of a possible clash between Donald Trump and sanctuary churches across the country.

Vizguerra has lived in the U.S. since 1997. She has four children, three of them born here. Vizguerra was due to check in with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Instead, she took sanctuary inside the First Unitarian Society of Denver.

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Cities are almost like characters in the films of director Jim Jarmusch — think of New Orleans in 1986's Down By Law, or Memphis in 1989's Mystery Train. In his latest film, Paterson, Jarmusch takes that idea one step further. The film takes its name from three things: its setting, Paterson, N.J.; its main character, a bus driver named Paterson; and William Carlos Williams' epic poem "Paterson," one of Jarmusch's inspirations.

One of the most famous delicatessens in New York will slice its last sandwich this week.

The Carnegie Deli opened in 1937 on Seventh Avenue across from Carnegie Hall. But it didn't' achieve notoriety until decades later — around the time that director Woody Allen filmed a table full of off-duty comedians there in his movie, Broadway Danny Rose.

There's still a "Woody Allen" sandwich on the menu at the Carnegie Deli: half pastrami, half corned beef. But the real star is that pastrami.

When New York City launched the nation's largest municipal ID program, advocates said it would give immigrants in the country illegally access to bank accounts and city services.

"They could go visit a loved one in the hospital, they could go visit their child's teacher," Mayor Bill De Blasio said at a press conference earlier this month. "If they had an interaction with a police officer, there was an ID recognized by the NYPD. It was a very basic concept."

When you see Mary Halvorson on stage, she doesn't look like much of a trailblazer. She plays sitting down. She's small, and mostly hidden behind her hollow-body guitar and glasses. But then she starts to play. And the sounds coming out of her amp are anything but conventional.

Election night was complicated for Azra Baig.

She's a school board member in suburban South Brunswick, N.J. Baig was running for reelection this fall. She had just put out yard signs with her name on them when a friend from her mosque called.

"Someone wrote 'ISIS sympathizer' on the sign," Baig says.

That caught Baig by surprise. She's the only Muslim on the school board. But there's a sizable Muslim population in South Brunswick and the surrounding towns. And this didn't just happen once or twice.

For years, New Jersey drivers enjoyed relatively cheap gas — thanks to one of the lowest state gasoline taxes in the country. The state's gas tax hasn't gone up since 1988. But that all changed Tuesday, when it jumped by 23 cents a gallon.

Across the state on Monday, drivers raced to fill up their tanks before a tax hike took effect.

First, a confession: I've never liked gefilte fish. The slimy, grey balls of fish from a jar have always struck me as icky.

Turns out, I am not alone.

"I had the same experience as you. I never ate gefilte fish," says Liz Alpern. "It was disgusting to me. I literally think I never ate it, until I started making it."

That's a remarkable statement coming from someone in the gefilte fish business. Alpern is half of the team behind the Gefilteria, which makes artisanal gefilte fish. Yes, that is a thing. Alpern gave me a demonstration at a catering kitchen in Brooklyn.

If you were alive in the 1980s, you've probably seen the art of Keith Haring. His graffiti-inspired images were everywhere: canvases and T-shirts, walls and subway stations.

Now one of Haring's lesser-known murals in New York is threatened. It's in the stairwell of a former convent called Grace House, on the Upper West Side of Manhattan — a pretty unlikely place, even for Haring. But here are Haring's familiar, cartoonish figures — the radiant baby, the barking dog — dancing up and down three flights of stairs.

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At the White Rose Diner in Linden, N.J., owner Rich Belfer tosses a dozen round, thick slices of processed pork to sizzle on the grill. To Belfer, it's beyond dispute that those are slices of Taylor Ham.

"It's pork, it's spices, it's salt, it's water. It's common ingredients," Belfer says.

But the flavor is more difficult to explain. "I don't know if anybody can really describe it," he says. "It has a little smoky flavor. It has a little spice. It has a little original Jersey flavor in it."

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One of the country's largest pizza chains faces a lawsuit over alleged wage theft.

New York's attorney general accuses Domino's Pizza of systematically undercounting the hours worked by employees at its franchises.

The case could deliver big changes in the fast-food industry and beyond.

When you own a Domino's franchise there are some rules you just have to follow.

Seventeen states have legal protections to prevent discrimination against transgender people in areas like housing and employment.

One of those states is New Jersey, and when employers there want to know how state law applies to transgender people, many of them call Robyn Gigl. She's a partner at a top law firm; a board member of Garden State Equality, a nonprofit that works on LGBT issues, and is also a transgender woman.

"I put a human face on something, and I consider myself the most normal person in the room," she says.

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When you ride on buses or trains in many parts of the United States, what you say could be recorded. Get on a New Jersey Transit light rail train in Hoboken or Jersey City, for example, and you might notice an inconspicuous sign that says "video and audio systems in use."

A lot of riders are not happy about it.

"Yeah I don't like that," says Michael Dolan of Bayonne, N.J. "I don't want conversations being picked up because it's too Orwellian for me. It reeks of Big Brother."

The late Harry Bertoia is most famous for the iconic chairs he designed in the 1950s, which are now coveted by collectors of mid-century modern furniture.

Sunny Balzano's modest watering-hole in Brooklyn was a throwback to another time. It was known simply as Sunny's, after the beloved bartender and raconteur who transformed a faded longshoremen's bar into a local institution. He died Thursday at the age of 81, just weeks after the publication of Sunny's Nights, a new book about his life and times.

Sunny was not a master of artisanal cocktails, as he was quick to admit. "I still don't know how to mix drinks, do I?," he joked during an interview at the bar last month. No one disagreed.

Korean food is built on bold flavors: spicy pickled vegetables, sweet, smoky meats and pungent, salty stews. That can be a little intimidating for some American diners. But the authors of a new book called Koreatown hope to change that.

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