Off the Path from New York to Boston

Follow reporter Davis Dunavin as he travels the road from New York to Boston, looking for unusual stories and fascinating histories.

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Davis Dunavin / WSHU

“The Little Prince” is one of the best-selling books of all time. It was written by a Frenchman, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, and translated into 300 languages since its publication in 1943. But the author didn’t write “Le Petit Prince” in his native France – he wrote it in New York. And there’s a wonderful story about a statue of the Little Prince outside a library on Long Island’s North Shore.

Natalie Cioffari / WSHU

The durian is said to be the world’s smelliest fruit. It’s a delicacy in Southeast Asia, but many also find the smell too disgusting – even unbearable. You have to search out places in the U.S. to find durian. On the East Coast, a good bet is New York City’s Chinatown.

Davis Dunavin / WSHU

You’ve probably seen them – and maybe even dropped in a quarter to look through them at some scenic overlook. They’re at the top of the Empire State Building, next to the Golden Gate Bridge and Niagara Falls. Essentially, they’re binoculars on poles. The factory that’s made them longer than anyone else is in Norwalk, Conn. And its employees crisscross the country to service the machines and collect those quarters.

Public Domain / Davis Dunavin

One of the most notorious crimes in American history was memorialized in a grisly playground chant — Lizzie Borden took an axe and gave her mother forty whacks. And when she saw what she had done, she gave her father forty-one. The Borden family home, the scene of the crime in 1892, is now a bed and breakfast — not for the faint of heart — in Fall River, Massachusetts.

Warning: This is the Halloween episode of Off the Path, and we’re getting into some grisly and macabre American history. You might want to skip this one  but we hope you don’t.

Monica Coleman

Kate Pierson spent decades on tour as one of the vocalists of the legendary rock group the B-52s. You know – the big hairdos? The surf guitars? Love Shack? Turns out, at the same time, Pierson also collected art, antiques and other decor. That collection is now part of her offbeat side project. A cute little roadside motel – a real-life “Love Shack” – just outside Woodstock, New York.