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Storytelling

Out of the Blocks

Aaron Henkin, Wendel Patrick

+2 FANS
Out of the Blocks is a uniquely immersive listening experience that emerges from a mosaic of voices and soundscapes on the streets of Baltimore. A custom-tailored score colors and connects this tapestry of stories hidden in plain sight.
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42:25 | Mar 13th, 2018

Seattle’s Chinatown International District is a bustling, pan-Asian neighborhood of immigrants from China, Japan, Vietnam, and The Philippines.  It’s also a mix of generations, where Americanized children navigate a complex family dynamic with their ...Show More

24:13 | Sep 11th

This North Baltimore neighborhood is just inside the city line, but it’s got the cloistered feel of an affluent suburban hamlet. High-end consignment boutiques, beauty salons, and restaurants bring well-heeled locals to Sulgrave Avenue in Mount Washi...Show More
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28:46 | Aug 27th

Our listening tour of West Oakland’s Lower Bottoms continues as we meet the volunteers at a local food pantry, a street ball legend known as ‘the greatest player never to make the NBA,’ a transplant from Compton who’s become a wilderness survival ins...Show More

36:07 | Aug 14th

West Oakland’s Lower Bottoms neighborhood is home to the historical headquarters of the Black Panther party. It’s also one train stop away from San Francisco, and escalating real-estate prices are quickly changing the character of the neighborhood.  ...Show More

28:19 | Jul 30th

One of the great bonuses of documenting Baltimore is that we happen across lots of incredible kitchens. This episode is our love letter to all the hard-working cooks behind the pots and pans and fryers and grills in those kitchens, to the food they m...Show More

29:46 | Jul 16th

An older couple inherits two unexpected sons, an ex-offender regains custody of his daughter, an entrepreneurial mom teaches business smarts to her child, recovering addicts try to stay clean for their kids, and a son takes over for his father at the...Show More

32:13 | Jul 3rd

Do you have any privacy when you live on a sailboat with another couple? What happens when you try to raise kids on a motor yacht? How does it test a marriage when you share a small space? What do you sacrifice to live on a boat? What do you gain? An...Show More

44:15 | Jun 20th

From minimalist millennials to well-off retirees, some 300 people live year-round on floating homes in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. Their vessels range from small sailboats to luxury motor yachts, and their offbeat stories are captured beautifully in th...Show More

26:51 | Jun 4th

Locals call Hollins Market ‘The Gem of Baltimore,’ and while the lines of customers used to wind around the block, more than half the stalls are now empty.  Hollins Market vendors talk about the past and present of Baltimore’s oldest city market. Plu...Show More

22:23 | May 21st

Out of the Blocks teamed up with the education activists at Inspire Citizens to spend a week at Seoul Foreign School, working with students on empathy and active listening. The week culminated in a global youth media conference, when 150 middle & hig...Show More

23:05 | May 7th

In Southwest Baltimore’s Hollins Market neighborhood, a barber survives a shooting and goes back to work the next day; two young artists support each other in life, love, and business; a clothing entrepreneur talks about the power of style; a puppete...Show More

45:39 | Apr 24th

Neighborhood elders take it upon themselves to step between warring gang members, a mother-daughter duo produces a DIY feature film about gun violence, a restorative justice mediator helps lawbreakers to repair the harm they’ve caused, and a bee-keep...Show More

36:51 | Apr 9th

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. lived in North Lawndale on Chicago’s West Side in 1966, and he galvanized the neighborhood in a campaign against redlining and housing discrimination. Two years later, he was assassinated. In the wake of his death, riots er...Show More

21:41 | Mar 25th

Theo Hill drives a truck for a living. On the job, he often catches *Out of the Blocks *on his radio. One day, he got inspired to call us with an idea. He asked, “Would you guys would like to help me make a podcast of my own, a podcast about addictio...Show More

35:06 | Mar 12th

One man spent more than half his life in prison. Another fled his country to avoid religious persecution and ended up on the street. One was left to live alone at age 12. One relapsed after 18 years clean. And one carries the burden of a lost sister....Show More

17:34 | Feb 26th

If you heard the last episode of the podcast, you’ll remember we spent some time on the block where the release door of the Baltimore Jail lets out onto the street. We met some guys who’d been locked up in the jail multiple times, we talked a lot abo...Show More

22:18 | Feb 12th

The release door of the Baltimore City Jail opens out onto this otherwise abandoned block, empty except for the presence of a mobile medical office that posts up there 5 days a week. The PCARE Van, as it’s known, is operated by the non-profit Behavio...Show More

37:45 | Jan 29th

Our collaboration with Arlo Iron Cloud & KILI Radio continues this episode, as we travel through the Pine Ridge Reservation and visit with an Oglala Sioux Tribal Vice President, an historian at Oglala Lakota College, a pair of Pine Ridge Highway Safe...Show More

43:10 | Jan 15th

We team up with Arlo Iron Cloud of KILI Radio, Voice of the Lakota Nation, for this listening tour of The Pine Ridge Reservation, a 50 by 100 mile stretch of land in South Dakota that's home to the Oglala Lakota people. In this episode, we meet a rad...Show More

25:07 | Dec 31st, 2018

In its prime, Pennsylvania Avenue was the black entertainment hub of Baltimore, but there’s a whole generation that doesn’t know about that heyday. The Jubilee Arts program aims to bridge the gap. We meet Jade Davis of Jubilee Arts, who teaches a chi...Show More

25:06 | Dec 18th, 2018

In this episode, businesses survive against the economic odds on the 1800 block of Pennsylvania Avenue, where local entrepreneurs have established their niches with fashion boutiques, discount variety stores, jewelry shops, hair salons, and carry-out...Show More

25:24 | Dec 4th, 2018

In 2015, circling helicopter footage showed West Baltimore in chaos. In the wake of the death of Freddie Gray, buildings burned, protesters and looters alike filled the streets, and entire neighborhoods were cordoned off by armored police and the Nat...Show More

29:20 | Nov 20th, 2018

A man returns from prison to renew his vows with his wife. Young fiancés try to convince immigration that their marriage plans are legit. Old acquaintances cross paths and get flirty. A woman pines for her ex, even though he leaves her fearing for he...Show More

30:56 | Nov 6th, 2018

A street preacher pleads with passersby to heed the word of God, a Pentecostal pastor struggles with her calling, A Muslim father and son confront anti-Islamic sentiment, a man behind bars reinvents himself through Islam, an Orthodox Jew flees religi...Show More

28:30 | Oct 23rd, 2018

Stories about hope, sacrifice, home, and what happens when you come to America, as told by immigrants from Egypt, Nepal, Korea, Eritrea, Vietnam, El Salvador, Afghanistan, China, and Jordan.

33:31 | Oct 9th, 2018

Two childhood friends go in on a shared dream and open up a beauty salon. At a tire shop, a tall guy and a short guy know how to make each other laugh. A crew of octogenarian pigeon racers trade tall tales. Two cousins move in and learn how to be roo...Show More

28:51 | Sep 25th, 2018

Stories about surprising second acts, from the owner of a pinball museum, a Kashmiri journalist exiled to a snack counter, a washer repairman with a checkered past, a funeral director who stumbled into the job after he married into the business, a fo...Show More

30:34 | Sep 11th, 2018

Stories from a mixed-martial-arts fighter, the manager of a diner, a trainer of Doberman Pinschers, a child-abuse survivor, a fashion entrepreneur, a recovering drug addict, a performance artist, a mom who avoided suicide, and the woman who convinced...Show More

31:34 | Aug 28th, 2018

Conversations about work and life, with a fishmonger, a repo man, a fortune cookie maker, a cobbler, a spiritualist, a tag & title bureaucrat, a master clock-maker, a safe cracker, a day laborer, a man who polishes headlights, and a guy who sells loo...Show More

29:44 | Aug 14th, 2018

This episode begins on the historic spot where two dirt roads intersected and consequently gave rise to the city of Atlanta. Today, that crossroads is a busy intersection, and it anchors a residential neighborhood that’s since experienced chapters of...Show More

29:07 | Jul 31st, 2018

There’s a room hidden behind a curtain at the Shrine of the Black Madonna Cultural Center and Bookstore that houses shackles and hand-written slave documents.  Down the block is the historical home of Joel Chandler Harris, who gained fame and fortune...Show More

22:30 | Jul 17th, 2018

Curious about how the original seed got planted for Out of the Blocks?  This week marks the ten-year anniversary of Aaron Henkin & Wendel Patrick’s audio bro-mance, and on this episode the two friends unearth archival audio from when they first cross...Show More

44:51 | Jul 3rd, 2018

Funny thing about making a podcast: You never know who’s listening. Turns out, Baltimore’s mayor, Catherine Pugh, is a fan of Out of the Blocks, and she invited producer Aaron Henkin to join her in front of a live audience for a conversation about th...Show More

30:52 | Jun 19th, 2018

In this episode, we meet the founder of the Detroit Artists’ Test Lab, the head of an African American podcast network called Audiowave, neighborhood activists young and old, a closet poet, and the woman who taught The Slide to a generation of skater...Show More

28:38 | Jun 5th, 2018

On the east side of Detroit, the streets of MorningSide are lined with stately, brick Tudor-style houses.  But today, one in four of those houses is abandoned, boarded up, gutted, or burned out. The foreclosure crisis of 2008 hit MorningSide like a t...Show More

35:00 | May 22nd, 2018

Ever build one of those snap-together model kits when you were a kid? Think of this episode as a sort of snap-together *podcast *kit. It includes a demo of a fully mixed and produced Out of the Blocks audio feature, followed by the original interview...Show More

20:51 | May 8th, 2018

The owner of a falafel stand gives a lesson in gratitude, a minimalist overcomes cerebral palsy by sheer force of will, a female boss takes the helm at a men’s barbershop, an apparel entrepreneur reflects on a family tragedy with a silver lining, and...Show More

21:48 | Apr 24th, 2018

The bartender at The Drinkery tells the history of the ‘gayborhood,’ a handyman-turned-comedian reflects on comedy as a flashlight in the dark, a pizza-maker from Pakistan shares words from the Koran about living with good intentions, a master clock-...Show More

20:36 | Apr 10th, 2018

The 200 block of W Read Street was Baltimore’s ground zero for hippies, head shops, gay nightlife, and wild fashion. In this episode, we explore the past and present of the neighborhood with a vintage clothier, a husband-and-husband duo that runs a ...Show More

38:48 | Mar 27th, 2018

Devotion to family. That’s the overarching theme in this episode, as we return to Seattle’s Chinatown International District once more to visit with sons and daughters who are committed to honoring and preserving their families’ legacies.

36:24 | Feb 27th, 2018

Wendel Patrick is the composer, producer and performer of the musical score for every episode of Out of the Blocks. In this special installment, he talks about some of his favorite compositions from the show and delves into how (and why) he makes the...Show More

22:06 | Feb 13th, 2018

If we’re truthful about it, most of us will admit it: There’s a gap between who we are and who we yearn to be.  In this episode, people confront the sting of getting honest with themselves.  In the end, some find redemption, and some just stare into ...Show More

23:58 | Jan 30th, 2018

This episode begins with a recovering addict who’s found peace, purpose, and a modest income folding paper flowers and peddling them to passersby on the street corner.  The episode ends with a Salvadorian immigrant who spends 50 hours a week on an as...Show More

25:01 | Jan 16th, 2018

Baltimore became a second home to members of North Carolina’s Lumbee tribe when they immigrated to the city after World War II, trading in farm work for factory and construction jobs.  Since then, the Baltimore American Indian Center on the 100 block...Show More

33:40 | Jan 1st, 2018

A spectrum of stories exploring the creative impulse: from an emcee, a sculptor, a muralist, a florist, and others in Baltimore’s Station North neighborhood. This special episode was originally commissioned as a sound installation for the 2014 MICA e...Show More

32:30 | Dec 19th, 2017

This episode kicks off with a barber who’s been cutting hair in The Ville for 60 years, and it ends with the story of a woman who just recently became a proud homeowner in the neighborhood.  In between are beautiful, personal stories from mothers and...Show More

33:24 | Dec 5th, 2017

We’re all taught that housing desegregation was a good thing, right? But if you talk to the old-timers in The Ville, they’ll give you a more nuanced story: They’ll tell you it was a gift that came with a curse. In its heyday, The Ville was the beatin...Show More

30:43 | Nov 21st, 2017

In this episode, a group home is a haven for residents with mental and psychological challenges; a web-design CEO reveals his second life as an experimental musician; a pizzeria owner shares a lesson in pride and humility; a rock drummer trades in hi...Show More

33:35 | Nov 7th, 2017

Out of the Blocks collaborated with the BSO for a special concert series called, “Baltimore Voices.” The concerts featured recordings of four Baltimore City teenagers sharing beautiful and honest stories about their lives. Wendel Patrick composed an ...Show More

21:10 | Oct 25th, 2017

A boom in new, young residents is great for business, unless you’re the neighborhood funeral home.  In this episode, a funeral director looks toward an uncertain future, a yarn shop becomes a handicraft social hub, a family of Mennonites arrives to s...Show More

29:48 | Oct 10th, 2017

“I think the word we’re dancing around is gentrification.” So says Benn Ray of Atomic Books at the outset of this episode. What follows is a multidimensional portrait of a neighborhood in flux.  The 3600 block of Falls Road is a mix of longtime rowho...Show More

23:22 | Sep 26th, 2017

Super-saturated sound-portraits of entrepreneurs and artists at work on the 2400 block of Saint Paul Street:  Whirring blenders, whispering crochet needles, bubbling deep-fryers, clanking screen-presses, snipping scissors, and whooshing hair dryers c...Show More

23:52 | Sep 12th, 2017

In this episode: Portraits of irrepressible drive and determination.  A self-made cosmetics mogul opens up a school of makeup artistry, a local fashion entrepreneur delivers a searing sociopolitical critique, a hair stylist runs a one-man business an...Show More

28:10 | Aug 29th, 2017

The locals call it Black Wall Street, and it’s earned the nickname. 17 black-owned businesses operate on the 2400 block of Saint Paul Street, which sits on a bustling intersection at the geographic center of Baltimore city.  In this episode, we meet ...Show More

25:18 | Aug 15th, 2017

It’s hard to write a ‘spoiler-free’ description of this episode because these stories from 1100 Ward Street take so many surprise twists.  Let’s just say we meet a man who almost got to play with The Orioles, a guy who ended up becoming friends with ...Show More

23:00 | Aug 1st, 2017

This episode is an unlikely triptych of redemption stories from the 1100 block of Ward Street. We meet Paul’s Place Peer Recovery Coach Dolly Miller, who’s been clean for nine years now after spending more than half her life addicted to drugs.  We vi...Show More

21:40 | Jul 18th, 2017

Back in the 1800’s, they literally herded pigs through the streets of Southwest Baltimore’s Washington Village, from the terminus of the B & O Railroad to the neighborhood’s meat packing plants and butcher shops. The nickname, ‘Pigtown,’ has stuck, ...Show More

30:55 | Jul 3rd, 2017

7200 Harford Road is about as far north and east as you can get and still be in Baltimore City.  It’s tucked just inside the county line, and downtown feels far-off when you’re out here.  On this block, MMA fighters train at American Muy Thai, custom...Show More

20:44 | Jun 19th, 2017

Out of the Blocks field producer Melissa Gerr takes us back to the 600 block of Cherry Hill Road to meet Mike Johnson of Delicia's Restaurant, Deacon Tim Gasque, convenience store owner Murad Aljaboobi, Amy Lee of Cherry Hill Liquors, the staff of Ch...Show More

27:28 | Jun 5th, 2017

The South Baltimore neighborhood of Cherry Hill looks out across the Inner Harbor to the downtown skyline, but it’s a world unto itself.  The block at the heart of the neighborhood is 600 Cherry Hill Road, and Out of the Blocks field producer Melissa...Show More

48:53 | Jan 4th, 2017

The corner diner, Soul Source, is the hub of the 2100 block  of Edmondson Avenue. The manager, Joyce, has been serving breakfast to the locals for 30 years. Her restaurant looks out onto a West Baltimore block scarred by gunshots and stabbings. But t...Show More

49:26 | Sep 18th, 2016

The 2016 season finale episode of Out of the Blocks takes a twist, as we travel to the 600 block of Deepdene Road in North Baltimore’s Tuxedo Park neighborhood.  The sounds of city traffic give way to the natural harmony of cicadas, birds, and frogs ...Show More

49:22 | Jul 1st, 2016

The 2100 block of Monument Street is anchored by the Baltimore’s Northeast Market, a honeycomb of vendors selling fish, meat, fried chicken, barbeque, bulgogi, deli sandwiches, and baked goods.  The commerce spills onto the surrounding sidewalks, whe...Show More

49:18 | May 13th, 2016

The 200 block of West Saratoga Street is nestled in the frenetic bustle of downtown Baltimore.  Church bells ring in a duet with the clanging Light Rail, city buses rattle and hiss, and loud sidewalk conversations compete with the din.  These are the...Show More

49:04 | Mar 14th, 2016

The 6300 block of Reisterstown Road is tucked just inside the Northwest Baltimore city limit. Orthodox Jews from Russia and Iran operate kosher eateries, and Nepali Hindus run carry-outs and gas stations. Add to the mix a public library branch, a use...Show More

48:41 | Dec 18th, 2015

4700 Eastern Avenue is in Southeast Baltimore's Highlandtown neighborhood.  Over the past fifty years, the story of the American Dream has been written and rewritten in this community, as two distinct waves of immigrants have taken their turns settli...Show More

48:40 | Oct 19th, 2015

The 4700 block of Liberty Heights Avenue is a portrait of survival and adaptability.  It's a self-governed, informal economy where the currency is respect.  Space is shared by merchants, churches, longtime residents, and drug dealers.  Immigrants fro...Show More

49:09 | Jul 7th, 2015

On the 400 block of E Patapsco Avenue, you'll meet octogenarian pigeon racers, evangelizing barbers, philosophical convenience-store clerks, reformed and not-so-reformed drug dealers, aspiring hip hop musicians, and more.

47:53 | Jun 7th, 2015

On the 3300 block of Greenmount Avenue, you'll meet store clerks and restaurateurs from all over the globe - Pakistan, Mali, Korea, China, Thailand, Eritrea, and the Ukraine. You'll also meet born & bred Baltimore entrepreneurs, bar-flies, and street...Show More