Monthly Archive for August, 2008

What Could Possibly Make Someone Want to Leave New York and Move to Buffalo?

Buffalo #1
Lisa’s tattoo confirms that Buffalo is indeed #1.

New York mag­a­zine has an inter­est­ing fea­ture on New York­ers mov­ing to Buf­fa­lo, NY, the very city that Lisa and I were raised in and sub­se­quent­ly couldn’t wait to leave from after high school.

Some peo­ple will read this as a sto­ry of defeat. They will look at Her­beck and Cloyd and think, They came; they couldn’t cut it; good rid­dance. That’s also a famil­iar New York nar­ra­tive, one that’s espe­cial­ly com­fort­ing to those of us who stay and stick it out. Because, sure, stained glass and spare bed­rooms are nice and all, but no one moves to New York because they think they’re going to get a great bar­gain on an apart­ment. You move here because you want to live in New York City.

The writer then goes on to say that this is not a sto­ry of defeat, but rather an oppor­tu­ni­ty:

But New York, for all its mythol­o­gy, is no longer a fron­tier. Buf­fa­lo is a fron­tier. And when you think of the actu­al fron­tier, you’ll recall that no one ever packed up and moved West to a gold-rush town because they heard it had real­ly good local the­ater.

Um, okay… Truth is, I know more for­mer 716 area coders that are now in 212 or 718. But, it’s a pro­vok­ing premise for a city famous for lit­tle more than snow and four con­sec­u­tive failed Super­bowl bids.

Vivian Girls @ Death By Audio

Vivian Girls

Cassie Ramone and Vivian Girls perform.

Last week I saw Vivian Girls play at Death By Audio in Williams­burg. It was my sec­ond time see­ing them, and cer­tain­ly won’t be the last. The Times print­ed a rave review:

Even though this band’s music tends toward the dis­cor­dant, Vivian Girls … are roman­tics at heart. Their taut, no-non­sense songs brim over with noise and touch­es of shoegaze reverb, but at the cen­ter are glo­ri­ous, gen­tle har­monies.

They open for Son­ic Youth tomor­row, August 30th, at the McCar­ren Park Pool, or you can catch them again at Death By Audio on Sep­tem­ber 2nd.

Neighborhood Envy, Gossip Girl in Carroll Gardens

I’m no stranger to neigh­bor­hood-envy, but it’s nice to hear some direct­ed our way:

Gos­sip Girl Invades Car­roll Gar­dens, Olds Are Befud­dled, Enraged »

I’m going to refer to my neigh­bors as “Smith Street whip­sters (wealthy hip­sters)”, uniron­i­cal­ly and with zero self-aware­ness, from now on.

Embeddable Flickr Slideshows, and the DNC Convention Stage

The Democrats are going “game show” in Denver.

Flickr revamped their slideshow fea­ture, and the results are stun­ning. The full-screen mode is espe­cial­ly nice, and videos are now inte­grat­ed:

One of the main improve­ments we’ve made is that you can watch videos as they appear in a slideshow. When we come to a video in a slideshow, we’ll play it before we move on to the next item.

The slideshow above is from the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Nation­al Com­mit­tee, show­ing what the stage will look like at for the party’s con­ven­tion in Den­ver, which starts Mon­day. It’s just about the cheesi­est Deal or No Deal thing I’ve ever seen, but per­haps it will play well on TV. (The Cau­cus has a pho­to of the Repub­li­cans’ stage, as well.)

Or, if kit­ties are more your speed, here is a gallery of our cats Katya and Mouse…

1 Year in New York City

Brooklyn Bridge 5

Lisa and I on the Brooklyn Bridge, taken some time in 2004. (I realize that it was not taken in the past year, but it’s a great photo!)

I can’t let this pass with­out a men­tion – last Fri­day was the 1-year anniver­sary of our move from Cam­bridge to Brook­lyn. Since then, we’ve start­ed new jobs, recon­nect­ed with old friends and made new ones, and had an all-around great time.

I miss Boston from time to time, but couldn’t be hap­pi­er liv­ing and work­ing in New York City. Why would any­body live any­where else?

Yearbook Yourself

Yearbook Yourself

Upload a photo of yourself, and they’ll take it from there – 1970, 1976, and 1986 respectively.

I had a lot of fun play­ing with Year­book Your­self, a site that will take your bor­ing head­shot and turn it into embar­rass­ing year­book pho­tos that nev­er were.

The tru­ly amaz­ing thing is that the 1970 com­pos­ite (left) is a dead-ringer for my Dad around that time. This is what my mom kind of looked like in the ear­ly 60s.

Pool for Sale

The pool of my child­hood is for sale. My, how things fall apart!

The Macktivist

macktivist
Illustration by Shira Golding

My friend of some 15+ years, R. Alvarez, just launched a sex col­umn for The Indypen­dent, New York City’s lead­ing social jus­tice news­pa­per. It’s called The Mack­tivist, and she intends to make the col­umn a “sex-pos­i­tive, edu­ca­tion­al, kink-, vanil­la-, homo-, het­ero-, bi-, trans-friend­ly, smart go-to for the dis­cern­ing read­er.”

Not only is Ms. Alvarez a dear friend, but she also hap­pens to be an enter­tain­ing and gift­ed writer. Go read her col­umn now, leave her a com­ment, and send in your ques­tions!

Feral Child in Florida

If you’ve got a few min­utes, read this heart­break­ing sto­ry of a fer­al child in Flori­da:

Three years ago the Plant City police found a girl lying in her roach-infest­ed room, naked except for an over­flow­ing dia­per. The child, pale and skele­tal, com­mu­ni­cat­ed only through grunts. She was almost 7 years old.”

There is also a com­pan­ion mul­ti­me­dia piece, with a video slideshow about Danielle’s progress, includ­ing speech ther­a­py ses­sions.

If you’re curi­ous about life in this small Flori­da farm­ing town, the New York­er has an unre­lat­ed piece on Plant City this week.

John Lydon Still Makes Me Laugh

John Lydon still makes me laugh, even if only uncom­fort­ably so.

nytimes.com Outage

Graham

Reaction from Twitter user Graham Mudd, on the nytimes.com outage this afternoon.

Nytimes.com has been down for about an hour, and thank­ful­ly it wasn’t my turn to watch it. I haven’t heard of any expla­na­tion yet, but it could be any­thing from prob­lems with DNS or our CDN. Who knows? I’m just a design­er here.

It seems like just yes­ter­day, when every­one was com­plain­ing about recent down­time trou­bles at Twit­ter and Ama­zon, includ­ing us.

Adrienne
Despite Adrienne Shaffer’s tweet, we’re housebroken, I swear!

Hope­ful­ly this is just a tem­po­rary blip. But, I had a good time read­ing people’s tweets.

6:27 pm UPDATE: The site is most­ly up, but some func­tion­al­i­ty is not work­ing, such as Search.