FAQ NYC: The most New York you can put in your ear

We aim to be the New Yorkest podcast in and about the city that everything seems to come back to—exploring how things actually work for the characters who make it here and the many more who don’t quite make it.

Each week, we’ll pose one big question about the city: How did Donald J. Trump make it here? What’s life like inside the city’s jails? Why are children still getting poisoned by lead paint?

We’ll be talking for half an hour each week with and about the smartest and most interesting people in the city, digging into what’s happening now, how we got here and where we’re going next.

Thanks to Civil and the blockchain, we’re liberated from advertising and expensive paywalls, so all we put in your inbox is what’s interesting to us.

Follow us and talk to us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to join the conversation and let us know what questions we should be working to answer.


Azi Paybarah Co-Host

I’ve been called a “disgrace,” “Middle Eastern David Schwimmer” and “Mr. New York Politics.”

I’ve always wanted to write a book about New York, but there’s always another story breaking, another newsletter to file, another can-you-believe-it moment. So, after 15 years of reporting on New York City, most recently as a senior reporter for POLITICO New York, I quit to launch FAQ NYC.

My career started at the Queens Tribune and in 2005, I interned for some guy with a blog, who needed help covering the mayoral race. That’s how I met Ben Smith. While daily newspapers were writing one story a day about the race, we were posting three or four blog items a day. Later, I did stints at the New York Press (where I met Harry) and New York Sun.

When I went to the New York Observer in 2006, I noticed something changing.  In addition to weekly stories for the paper, I helped write a blog (remember those?) about New York politics. At first, people would ask, “Is this going to be in the paper, or just online?” Later, they’d ask, “Is this to be online, or just in the paper?”

I went digital and haven’t looked back.

Dr. Christina Greer Co-Host

“This would be hilarious if it wasn’t our democracy at stake.”

I’m a political scientist and professor at Fordham University, host of The Aftermath with Christina Greer on OZY.com and author of Black Ethnics: Race, Immigration, and the Pursuit of the American Dream, and interested in all things cities and Black politics.  I’m  currently researching the history of the African Americans who’ve run for president, as well as another book on the history of transportation and Black Americans.

I grew up reading Sweet Valley High, going to miscellaneous summer camps, and watching copious amounts of television, so that I practically have a PhD. in black sitcoms.

Harry Siegel Co-Host

“Walked from 30 Rock to Times Sq without finding one place to buy a newspaper and sad as hell about what happened to our city, and its papers .”

I’m a fifth generation New Yorker raising third generation Brooklynites, and an aspiring semi-pro crank.

On the side, I’m a senior editor at the Daily Beast, columnist at the Daily News and adjunct journalism professor at Brooklyn College.
Before that I’ve been a columnist at the Village Voice, a Knight-Wallace fellow at the University of Michigan a senior editor at POLITICO (back when they was house style), editor in chief of New York Press, the opinion page editor of The New York Sun, and around, if you know what I mean.

Alex Brook Lynn Producer

“A lifer in a city of hustlers and lost souls”

Alex is a filmmaker and multi-media journalist living on the isle of Manhatta. After cycling through several of NYC’s specialized high schools she went on to get her degree in city politics from the prestigious FFM, alma mater of the late, great, Al Smith.

She has written and produced multi media content for The Daily Beast, Gawker, Deadspin, Vice, The New York Daily News, The New York Press.

She runs an art gallery out of her tenement apartment called Thirst, and sleeps next to a running police scanner.