Tag Archives: nyc

Four Years Later, Still The Same Answer

I’ve been scrubbing through my blog archives since my WordPress migration to clean up categorization, tagging, formatting, and a bug caused by my blogging style that left some posts half-imported.

This morning, I went back over this post from February of 2007, regarding Sen. Carl Kruger’s proposed law to ban cellphones and music devices while walking.

> “While people are tuning into their iPods and cell phones, they’re tuning out the world around them… If you want to listen to your iPod, sit down and listen to it. You want to walk in the park, enjoy it. You want to jog around a jogging path, all the more power to you, but you should not be crossing streets and endangering yourself and the lives of others.”

The crux of my argument in 2007 was “we already have laws against jaywalking, why do we need this?”

Not ten minutes after cleaning the post, I saw that Colleen Taylor had shared a NY Times article from this week on Google Reader: States’ Lawmakers Turn Attention to the Dangers of Distracted Pedestrians.

> The New York bill was proposed by State Senator Carl Kruger, a Brooklyn Democrat who has grown alarmed by the amount of distraction he sees on the streets in his neighborhood and across New York City. Since September, Mr. Kruger wrote in the bill, three pedestrians have been killed and one was critically injured while crossing streets and listening to music through headphones.

My argument in 2011 is the same as my argument in 2007.

I look forward to revisiting this proposed law again in 2015.

A Love Letter To Freeverse

Touch Arcade and Techcrunch have details on ngmoco:)‘s acquisition of Freeverse Software. This has a lot of implications for the iPhone software market, but I’ll let the business wonks talk about that.

Freeverse is entwined in the last 15 years of my life in ways that few things can compare. Their games and software toys helped keep me sane during high school. When my life went into a slight free-fall during college, I became anchored with an internship with them.

Continue reading A Love Letter To Freeverse

Kermit, I Love You, But You’re Bringing Me Down

Via Noah Brier: Simon Owens has created what may be the most appropriate video possible for LCD Soundsystem’s New York, I Love You, But You’re Bringing Me Down.

It gets better: when the Kermit-like nature of the vocals were brought up a few months ago, James Murphy responded with this:

the “kermitness” in the vocal was totally intentional. in fact, had the song sung, and went back, saying “it needs to be more like kermit”. i know this sounds like i’m taking the piss here, but it’s 100% fact.

Taking the piss or not, it’s a great video, and it’s put a smile on my face. So kudos to those involved.

EDIT: The video has been pulled, and I don’t need a lawsuit but you can find it elsewhere. James explains:

the reason it’s getting pulled down is basically that it was just a fun thing a guy was doing, and we ran into each other in a bar and i went and shot with him for less than an hour… it was just a fin thing! but then it got very widespread… and, uh, kermit is sort of now owned by disney… and, uh… they scare me.

DOH Chronicles: Cluckin’ Bell

There’s been a number of posts already done about the overlap of GTA IV and the reality of New York City, such as Serious Eats’ series on the restaurants of Liberty City.

But let me share my favorite restaurant joke, one that not a lot of people might have found because this doesn’t actually register on the map.

Once you get to Algonquin – the Manhattan of GTA IV – head to the corner of Wardite Street and Exeter Avenue. It’s up on the northern part of the island, right by the Tw@ internet cafe. If you don’t want to drive or grab a cab, take the A, C, K, or J to Frankfort and walk the last block.

DOH'd Cluckin' Bell 1

Looks like a regular old Cluckin’ Bell from this side. (Cluckin’ Bell, for those unfamiliar, is an amalgamation of KFC and Taco Bell.)

DOH'd Cluckin' Bell 2

But wait – why can’t you go in? What are those signs on the window?

DOH'd Cluckin' Bell 3

That’s right, folks. The “Liberty City Institute of Food Hygiene” has shuttered it. This seems oddly familiar.

I’m grateful that Rockstar’s HQ is in the city, because they captured so many details about the city so well.

(With apologies to the Eater crew for the title of this post.)

Metrocard Telepathy

Approaching the subway turnstiles this morning, I realized that I had pulled the wrong card out of my wallet. Seemingly ready to swipe my debit card through the turnstile, I snickered at my stupidity and pulled out my Metrocard, quickly swiping it through the turnstile.


Oh. *Ohhhhh.* I see what I did there.

As I doubled back to buy a new card, I deposited my dead Metrocard in the recycling slot. And while normally I wouldn’t pay him much mind, an older gentlemen was there, furiously swiping discarded cards in the hope of finding a leftover fare.

Poor guy. If only he had my gift of unintentional psychic Metrocard reading.

Last Train To Astroland

One of my favorite pieces of writing is David Foster Wallace’s collection of short pieces called _A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again_. There’s a piece inside it called *Getting Away From Already Pretty Much Being Away From It All*, a piece that “takes on the vulgarities and excesses of the Illinois State Fair”, if you’re the type to believe Wikipedia. It’s very reflective of the big-city-to-state-fair experience, but there’s one abstract paragraph that I love:

One of the few things I still miss from my Midwest childhood was this weird, deluded but unshakable conviction that everything around me existed all and only *For Me*. Am I the only one who had this queer deep sense as a kid? — that everything exterior to me existed only insofar as it affected me somehow? — that all things were somehow, via some occult adult activity, specially arranged for my benefit? Does anybody else identify with this memory? The child leaves a room, and now everything in that room, once he’s no longer there to see it, melts away into some void of potential or else (my personal childhood theory) is trundled away by occult adults and stored until the child’s reentry into the room recalls it all back into animate service. Was this nuts? It was radically self-centered, of course, this conviction, and more than a little paranoid. Plus the *responsibility* it conferred: if the whole of the world dissolved and resolved each time I blinked, what if my eyes didn’t open?


Continue reading Last Train To Astroland

Shoes Blues

One thing I will never get over, as long as I live in NYC, is the rate at which one goes through pairs of shoes.

Blame it on the endless cement sidewalks, or the long platforms of the MTA, or the constant standing and waiting in lines. Blame it on the way my feet are shaped, or the way I walk if you’d like. Whatever the actual cause, my shoe replacement interval has continuously shortened over the last four years.

For instance: In mid-April, I bought a nice pair of brown leather dress shoes for work. I’m not normally much for brown shoes, but these looked quite nice, and I actually got a few compliments about my footware for once.

Within the first two days, the neat design on the soles had completely chipped off under my desk, leaving a fantastic mess.
Three weeks in, and the heel had already started to wear down, revealing wood.

3 Weeks In

Now, three and a half months later, I was forced to replace them today. Three and a half months was generous – I probably should have replaced them a month ago. But, in an effort to ride out this issue, I keep on going, until they looked like this:

Shoes Blues

Just to point out what is likely obvious: not only had 20% of the heel worn away, but parallel holes had opened up in the middle of where the ball of my foot rests. The one resembling a bullet hole on my right shoe was significant enough that I could still feel it after I took my shoe off.

There are many things in life that I will make a remark about getting what you pay for. Shoes are not one of these things. In NYC, it is nearly impossible to get a fair return on your shoe investment.