The House of Dreams (Ep. 106)
Our latest Freakonomics Radio podcast is called “The House of Dreams.” (You can download/subscribe at iTunes, get the RSS feed, or listen via the media player above. You can also read the transcript here; it includes credits for the music you’ll hear in the episode.)
In this episode, Stephen Dubner returns to his childhood home in Quaker Street, N.Y. It’s a drafty farmhouse on thirty-six acres where his parents, a pair of Brooklyn-born Jews who converted to Catholicism, raised eight devout children. The house, Dubner says, felt like the eleventh member of the family. Which is why his family took it so hard after his mother finally sold the house and the very bad thing happened to it. A while back, Dubner wrote a New York Times essay about this terrible turn of events. But now, as the podcast explains, there’s been a new development — a “boomerang story,” if you will.
As a teenager, Dubner stocked shelves at Wolfe’s Market, and in this episode he calls up Chris Wolfe, still a family friend, to talk about the moment he found out what had happened to the house:
DUBNER: I came into the store, and I said, “Hey Chris.” We were catching up, and I think I just said something like, you know, “How’s the house?” And you said, “You don’t know?” And I said, “Know what?” And you’re like, “Oh boy.”
You’ll also hear from Dubner’s oldest sister, Mona DeMay, and from Quaker Street residents Aaron Yerdon (check out Yerdon’s symphonic metal band here) and Danica Linn about “The House of Dreams” and what it has become.