Noah Rosenberg

journalist | entrepreneur | storyteller

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The Wall Street Journal: South Africa Beyond the Stadium

July 6th, 2010 · Video

From safaris, to paragliding, to wine country, World Cup tourists are indulging in far more than just soccer. Noah Rosenberg reports.

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The Wall Street Journal: Global Stage for NGOs

July 5th, 2010 · Video

Non-profits from around the world have used the increased exposure of the World Cup to promote their causes. WSJ’s Noah Rosenberg reports.

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The Wall Street Journal: African Hopes Rest on Ghana

July 5th, 2010 · Video

With South Africa knocked out of the World Cup, a sense of pan-African pride has emerged. WSJ’s Noah Rosenberg reports.

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Heartbreak in Africa

June 25th, 2010 · Article

“I’m not disappointed, I’m devastated.”

With those five somber words, South African Mike Mpye may as well have been the spokesman for an entire continent.

Minutes earlier, Ghanaian striker Asamoah Gyan’s penalty shot had ricocheted off the crossbar with the clock expired in overtime of the World Cup quarterfinal against Uruguay on July 2.

The ping of the ball against the woodwork was a dagger to the heart of the pan-African consciousness…
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The Wall Street Journal: South Africans Explain Their Love for Vuvuzelas

June 17th, 2010 · Video

Love them or hate them, vuvuzelas are everywhere you turn during South Africa’s World Cup. WSJ’s Noah Rosenberg talks with soccer fans in Cape Town about the frenzy for the horns.

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GQ magazine: Our Man in South Africa: Soccer Far Away From the Stadium Lights

June 15th, 2010 · Article

In one photograph, big blue sky surrounds weathered wooden beams that lean the same direction as the tall grasses below. Not a player is in sight, but just the mere existence of these goalposts, out in what looks like the middle of nowhere, testify to the importance of soccer across South Africa—in corners of the country far from the World Cup, the screaming crowds, and the luxury hotels.

The image is part of the Soccer Kultcha exhibition at the University of Cape Town’s Michaelis Gallery, and it will be on display for the duration of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The show features 10 photographers, most of whom live in the impoverished Cape Flats, a sprawling set of townships where rusty tin huts and stagnant streams of sewage are a familiar sight. Amid the poverty, soccer is both an outlet and a symbol of spirit, said Lindeka Qampi, a photographer who has several pictures in Soccer Kultcha.
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The Wall Street Journal: Soweto Residents Protest FIFA World Cup

June 13th, 2010 · Video

In poor sections of Soweto and other black townships in South Africa, residents are up in arms. They say the government is more interested in World Cup glory than the condition of their communities. WSJ’s Noah Rosenberg reports.

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The Wall Street Journal: World Cup Security Fears Diminish in South Africa

June 13th, 2010 · Video

Tourists attending the World Cup have set aside the fears of a crime-ridden city to attend the anticipated events. South Africa’s economic and social dichotomy comes to light as some townships remain without water and basic necessity while stadiums costing millions of dollars are erected.

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GQ magazine: Our Man in South Africa: A Defense of the Vuvuzela

June 12th, 2010 · Article

“I met someone this morning and he said to me, ‘We’ve given the world two things: Nelson Mandela and vuvuzelas.'” Saleem Haffejee, a Cape Town street vendor, smiled as he told this story. Then he was interrupted by—what else?—loud bursts of vuvuzelas echoing through the town center and all of South Africa.

As the 2010 FIFA World Cup enters its second week on African soil, the vuvuzela—the noisy, throaty horn that is at once obnoxious and deafening, patriotic and pleasurable—has become a global phenomenon.
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GQ magazine: Our Man In South Africa: The First Thing You Notice Is Flags. Lots and Lots of Flags.

June 10th, 2010 · Article

From 10,000 feet, Johannesburg looks like a severe place. Earth-tone-colored buildings, rows and rows of them, stretch in every direction. The city is sprawling, like a sub-Saharan Los Angeles. “This is what I flew half way around the world for?” you think. But then, as the plane banks steeply to the left, you see it, a colossus that conjures Thunderdome from “Mad Max”: the $200 million Soccer City Stadium, home of the opening and closing matches of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The stadium is modeled after a calabash, a culinary utensil and decorative artifact in traditional African homes—a nod to the surrounding neighborhood, the South Western Townships, commonly known as Soweto, which was a frontier of violence during the apartheid era that ended in 1994.

Today, four days from the World Cup opener, Joburg is a very different place. From the ground, the city seems to be hosting an unspoken competition among its residents: what’s the most creative way can you display a South African flag?

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The Wall Street Journal: Soccer Fans Scope Out a Future in the U.S.

May 21st, 2010 · Video

Although the popularity of soccer is on the rise in the U.S., organizations like the MLS are still struggling to keep the fans watching.

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The Queens Courier: Lifelong pal remembers J.D. Salinger

February 4th, 2010 · Article

Sixty years’ worth of newspaper and magazine clippings rest on a shelf in Werner Kleeman’s home office in Flushing. The dozens upon dozens of articles and book reviews, meticulously arranged by decade, document the rise of a literary master called J.D.

But in the letters, an altogether different picture of Jerome David Salinger emerges – one of a World War II pal who, even as a young solider, marched to the beat of his own drummer. To Kleeman, then a recent German Jewish refugee and U.S. Army draftee, “Jerry” Salinger became a lifelong friend…
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Bringing the world to Queens: MTA has hands-on approach for No. 7 train

January 11th, 2010 · Article & Video

The No. 7 line may be short, but it is fierce. Six hundred and twenty-eight trains, the most across the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) New York City Transit (NYCT) system, traverse the line’s 18.9 miles of track and 21 stations each day…
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Final fight night

January 10th, 2010 · Video

Hear from trainers, boxers and fans at Madison Square Garden’s Wamu Theater, where over 60 male and female fighters squared off at the 81st Annual Daily News Golden Gloves Boxing Tournament Finals.

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THE KEEPERS OF THE CREEK: A battle brews over the fate of a polluted waterway

January 8th, 2010 · Article

9WOn a recent morning, with sunlight dancing on the East River, John Lipscomb fired up the 36-foot motor boat that he captains, the R. Ian Fletcher. As he leaned into the throttle and pulled away from Manhattan, Lipscomb issued a warning to his passengers: “Be aware that if you fall in Newtown Creek I’ll leave you, because now I’ll be in possession of hazardous waste.” Lipscomb was joking – one would hope – but his message was clear.

On a good day, ducks, green herons, kingfishers, egrets, even swans, alight on the surface of Newtown Creek, a 3.8 mile-long industrial waterway that lazily snakes its way along a section of the border between Queens and Brooklyn.

But there are bad days, too – plenty of them…
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Photo journey through Havana, Cuba

January 1st, 2010 · Photography


On December 25, 2009 I left New York for a 10-day trip to Havana, Cuba and its outskirts. The above photoset is a glimpse at the characters, street life and cityscapes I came across.

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Germany restores Jewish high jump record

December 12th, 2009 · Article & Multimeda

In the stairwell of Margaret Lambert’s Jamaica Estates home hangs an impressive trophy shelf – one the 95-year-old passes numerous times throughout the day in an exercise routine that may very well be the secret to her longevity.

But Lambert, who simply smiles and shrugs when pressed on the keys to her health, said she and her 99-year-old husband “eat everything wrong, every day of the year,” including the occasional breakfast of liverwurst.

Those blue ribbons and gold medals – even the one emblazoned with the Nazi swastika – just may have something to do with her lean physique, though…
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The ‘greening’ of Long Island City

December 9th, 2009 · Article


From the rooftop of Silvercup Studios, Long Island City fans out in all directions like a gas-guzzling, oil-burning, construction-booming metropolis. Cars chug up the on-ramp to the Queensboro Bridge while the smokestacks of the Ravenswood Power Plant shoot skyward like rockets poised for flight, threatening to surpass the luxury condos rising on the waterfront.

Yet, in spite of this – or perhaps because of it – LIC is rapidly becoming the frontier of a “green” revolution in New York City. Rooftop gardens are growing atop the local cityscape. Below ground, a utility giant is developing an energy-efficient “smart grid.” And somewhere in between, arts nonprofits are recycling and reusing materials, and area businesses are converting to solar power and cutting back on waste…
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Art history unfolds in Long Island City

November 21st, 2009 · Article & Video

Employees at Eli Wilner & Company’s Long Island City workshop were hard at work on Monday, February 16. It was a fitting way to spend Presidents’ Day, considering that the men and women were nearing completion on a two-year tribute to George Washington...
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‘Legacy of the Holocaust’ (five-part series)

November 21st, 2009 · Article & Video

When you stare into their eyes, you often see a flicker of a memory, a tendril of anguish that has held on tight, twisting and turning along with the changes of time. Their hair has grayed, skin has become delicate, bodies more fragile. It’s hard to imagine them kicking out the windows of cattle cars; sweeping up their lives and fleeing in the middle of the night; watching a human life vanish in an instant; saying farewell to childhood when they were still children. It’s hard to imagine how they survived...
Read & Watch Part I
Read & Watch Part II
Read & Watch Part III
Read & Watch Part IV
Read & Watch Part V

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Tears and fireworks for Obama

November 20th, 2009 · Article & Video

The fireworks started around 11 p.m., seconds after the tears. The moment Senator Barack Obama was announced as President-elect Obama, dozens of supporters spilled out of the Queens for Obama grassroots headquarters in Jamaica to join a group of revelers who had been dancing and chanting for over an hour – since their candidate had been projected to win Pennsylvania and Ohio…
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The death of a clunker

November 19th, 2009 · Video

The federal Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS), better known as Cash for Clunkers, quickly gained popularity. But once the gas-guzzling clunkers were taken off the road, what exactly happened to them?

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Ghost Workers (four-part series)

November 17th, 2009 · Article & Video

At 6 a.m., while a cloak of darkness still hangs over Queens, a steady stream of men in work boots clunk down the steps from the elevated No. 7 train at the corner of Roosevelt Avenue and 69th Street in Woodside.

Once on the street, the men stand, sit and lean against buildings or telephone booths. Some quietly listen to music, sipping coffee or reading the paper. Others gather in groups, wiping the sleep out of their eyes with early morning chatter, an observation or a joke.

Both sides of the street are lined with them – hundreds of men watching, waiting, pacing back and forth, skirting a fine line between casual observance and nervous anticipation. It is as if something big is about to happen…
Read Part I
Read Part II
Read Part III
Read Part IV

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Last Opening Day at Shea

November 17th, 2009 · Video

Didn’t make it to Shea for its last opening day? Hear the good, the bad and the ugly from the fans who were right in the thick of it.

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DOWN BUT NOT OUT: Ring 8 lifts fallen fighters

November 16th, 2009 · Article


The crowd beamed as the champ slowly made his way to the microphone. Fifteen years removed from his last dance in the ring, they hung on his every word – even though his slow, slurred speech echoed the countless punches he’d taken over nearly two decades as a professional boxer.

“We love you, Champ,” they shouted with smiles and moist eyes, as Leon Spinks, former Heavyweight Champion of the World, modestly accepted their praise, smiling right back at them.

It was the third Tuesday of the month at The Waterfront Crabhouse in Long Island City. It was Ring 8’s night…
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Echoes from the Iron Triangle

November 15th, 2009 · Video

In the eyes of the New York City Economic Development Corporation, Willets Point, Queens is a blighted area long-ready for redevelopment. But many of the employees at Willets Point businesses are rallying against the EDC’s plan that would use eminent domain to take over their land.

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NOT GUILTY: Crowd reacts to Sean Bell verdict

November 14th, 2009 · Video

On April 25, 2008 at the Queens County Criminal Courthouse, the three NYPD detectives indicted in the killing of Sean Bell were cleared of all charges. As word of the verdict spread, the crowd began to react.

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‘Stereo bikes’ rock south Queens

November 14th, 2009 · Article & Video

At the 106th Precinct’s last community council meeting, there were “numerous people complaining about those bikes traveling up and down the street creating unnecessary noise,” Officer Kenneth Zorn of the Precinct’s Community Affairs division, said.

Zorn may or may not have been referring to “Future Shock,” a self-styled “crew” of four 16- to 19-year-old Trinidadians who moved to Richmond Hill with their families in the past five years, bringing with them their love of loud music…
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A second chance

November 13th, 2009 · Article

Inside Nook n’ Crannie, a second-hand store tucked within an array of restaurants, boutiques and real estate agencies on Vernon Boulevard, you’ll find retro chandeliers and antique French cabinets; vintage radios and bronze sculpture, all of which had seemingly lived its day, discarded in pieces on street corners or left to collect dust and mold in old estates.

“We take everything – the good and the bad – and we just process it all, recycle it,” explained David Tepper, a tall, blond 35-year-old, who was referring to the wares in his Long Island City and Astoria shops, but could have just as well been alluding to the formerly homeless, ex-alcoholics and ex-drug addicts whose determination and handiwork gives Nook n’ Crannie’s merchandise a second lot in life…
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24-HOUR QUEENS: They keep on truckin’ morning, noon and night

November 13th, 2009 · Article & Video

It was chilly – the sky midnight blue and the streets of northeastern Queens still – as Dennis Vitelli sauntered into the garage sleepy-eyed but smiling.

He exchanged pleasantries with his colleagues – many of whom he has known for years, in a career that has spanned two decades – received a few instructions from a supervisor, and then it was time for work.

Currently on a relatively cushy 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. shift, Vitelli has worked around the clock and across the city as a “San Man” with the New York City Department of Sanitation – a job he described as “simple” and “easy” but, on a “year-round, 24/7” schedule, vital to keeping the city clean of garbage and snow…
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