John Niedermeyer is a Brooklyn-based design manager and internets enthusiast at <a href="http://buzzfeed.com">BuzzFeed</a>. Previously, he was a digital designer and editor at <a href="http://nytimes.com">The New York Times</a>.
I’m not sure how I feel about the concept of free wi-fi in coffee shops and bars – sure, we all like “free”, and I’m always careful to order refills and tip the baristas copiously. But, it can be impossible to get a table, because of wi-fi squatters.
This afternoon, I’m sitting at Fall Cafe in our new neighborhood, and looking around at the other tables – each with a laptop – and I see a lot of empty cups – these people have been sitting here for hours. As you can see from the new signage in the window (left), this cafe believes that free wi-fi brings in customers. But I wonder if some people won’t become frustrated with the squatters, and go elsewhere for their coffee?
We arrived last Wednesday, and unpacking is an ongoing project. We sold, gave away, or threw out most of our “big stuff”, so this move is not only about a new space, but also a lot of new purchases. A lot of the stuff we got rid of was from our college days, and had also already made it through our fire.
I’m most excited about our new sofa, which Lisa bought from Room & Board in SoHo. Thanks to Jason and Liz for tipping us off to this place – we loved everything we saw there. Their furniture manages to be very modern without looking uncomfortable or annoying. (Of course, we realized later that we chose the same sofa as the Yovanoff-De Mase home… but hey, good taste is good taste, right?
Went to the Common today to see a total chick flick: No Reservations [NY Times Review], starring Catherine Zeta-Jones and Aaron Eckhart. I figured, hey, I’ve got lots of expired AMC Theaters gift certificates sitting around that have to be accepted in Massachusetts by law, and I’ve got time… why not?
This film is a quiet, understated emotional triumph. Sure, we all love to watch Mrs. Douglas mope around the screen in a cute Chef’s outfit, and who doesn’t like Aaron Eckhart every moment he’s on screen? The dude made Thank You for Smoking watchable, so he has talent.
But I was really surprised by the downbeat, slow pace of the film. Abigail Breslin breaks your heart, as a recently orphaned pre-tween forced to move in with her emotionally immature Manhattanite Aunt. Still, she finds the energy to scheme and guilt her stunted Aunt into falling in love with the goofy sous-chef that wears Crocs… Did I mention that Eckhart wears freaking Crocs in this film?
But, I really focused on little Breslin – everyone knows her from the absurd, hacky Little Miss Sunshine – but that’s too bad. She’s oddly affecting in this film, and her character is much more rooted in reality.
Each aspect of her (Karen O’s) stage identity finds equal expression on these songs, which only makes them sound more immediate and affecting. In fact, Is Is may be their most instantly accessible release, which is not a critical dig but just a way of saying it finds a good balance between alienating and inviting, between song and performance.
It was produced by Australian Nick Launay (who recorded Gang of Four, Killing Joke, and Public Image Ltd). Not too shabby.