NYT: Once Around an Island

Todd Heisler walked around Manhattan and took pictures. I forget who did this a few years ago, I even think I might have blogged about it back then. I also recall someone walking the length of Broadway from Battery Park to the edge of Inwood and documenting that walk with photos. So while this might not be the most original idea ever, I still enjoyed this story. From the classical images of the bridges across the East River to the less obvious shots of Inwood, Washington Heights and the cookouts along the Hudson River Bike Path, a lot of these images look very familiar. The series provides a great window into a Manhattan that’s very far removed from the madness of Times Square or the Soho shopping scene. Reading through this story made me realize why the edges of the island are some of my favorite places in NYC.

Riverside Park

Further Reading: New York Times – Once Around an Island – Todd Heisler 


Take the A-train

I really don’t miss my New York City commute, 45 minutes one way was a bit too much. But the A-train has its charm and I always felt comforted by the realization that people from all walks of life have been riding that train for over 80 years. There are few places in the world that have such cultural diversity and such rich history. At the same time, for thousands of people it’s just how they get to work everyday. For a while, that’s all the A-train was for me too, but this video reminded me that it can be so much more.

Jazz junctions – riding New York’s A-train

Made by Hand

Made by Hand logo Installment number 2 in the series of ‘Made by‘ titled websites, takes a closer look at “Made by Hand“. This video series features local artisan businesses from Brooklyn, NY, and — supposedly — elsewhere. But for now, they only have two videos up, both from Brooklyn.

Made by Hand is a project that originated from Studiomates, the Swiss-Miss run co-working space in Dumbo. The Studiomates crew seems to be like Midas these days, everything they touch becomes gold. While some of their projects are a little too hipster for my taste, I can’t deny that they produce high quality work in a number of fields. At times, the Made by Hand series might seem elitist, but the videos are very well made, and local artisan businesses can never be hyped enough.

Buy local, and eat more kale!

The videos really shine in the responsive web design that was created to showcase them, so instead of embedding them below, I decided to just link to Made by Hand.


An empty A-train heading downtownIt’s been a while since I wrote anything here. That’s not because I haven’t had anything to share, it’s because I’ve been crazy busy and have tried to spend as much time away from the computer as possible this past summer. Don’t worry, I still spend about ten hours staring at my computer screen every day.

Quick update. Since I last wrote here, Laura and I bought a house. As first time home-owners we are both very excited and slightly overwhelmed with this. We’ve been busy settling in and changing some stuff to make it feel like home. So far it’s been great. We are now officially ‘moved to Vermont‘.

It’s hard to believe that I haven’t been back to NYC since we drove out in a U-Haul almost five months ago. Later this week we are finally heading back down there for a few days. I love it here in Vermont and I haven’t regretted our move at all, but I still love NYC so I can’t wait to visit for a few days (after which I’ll, no doubt, be ready to head back up to Vermont to enjoy the quiet life).

Maybe I’ll post some pictures next week, maybe not. But I promise, it won’t be another two months before I write again.

Manual to the world #4

ManhattanI know, it’s only part 4 in this series and it’s already the second time I’m featuring a map.  I’ve explained before that I love maps and I really couldn’t resist this one.  It’s so interesting to see how racially divided New York City (still) is.  It would be even more interesting to see an extra layer on this map showing average rent prices. Or would that not be politically correct?

It’s no surprise to see that my neighborhood is primarily Hispanic (80%) but I was surprised to see there are so few black people (4%).  White people are pretty well represented at 15%.  That doesn’t sound like much, but the neighborhood bordering us has 83% whites which tilts the scale.  Up in Washington Heights and Inwood, Broadway is seen as a divider between the primarily Hispanic neighborhoods in the East and the white neighborhoods in the West.  It’s interesting to see how accurate this seems to be.

BrooklynThe division is even more pronounced in a couple other places.  Just have a look at 96th street on the Upper East Side.  And check out how Flatbush Avenue and Prospect Park divide Brooklyn.

Further reading: Mapping America — Census Bureau 2005-9 American Community Survey – NYTimes.com.