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>.
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.
Parlophone Records recently put all 22 Blur videos up on YouTube, which is pretty cool. It’s interesting to compare the Popscene video from 1992, with the iconic Song 2 video from five years later – there are a lot of similarities, (though I wish music video directors would refrain from putting sing-a-long lyrics on the screen).
Blur was my favorite band back in the 90s, and I’ve seen them perform live a handful of times, the best of which was a raucous small show downstairs at the Middle East in Cambridge, MA in 1997. [MOKB]
In fact, we should start thinking of “the fold” as something other than a hard line with an “above” and “below” portion, and we should stop thinking of the vertical positioning on a page as equivalent to priority. Scrolling up and down through a web page is a fundamental aspect of the web user experience, and there is much more to it than simply seeing what’s on top and then gradually seeing everything else (emphasis added).
I have no doubt that this is increasingly true, but wonder why ads are consistently placed “above the fold”. Is this just a remnant of this older thinking, or do they perform significantly better there?
Dr. Horrible’s Sing-a-Long Blog is a fantastic three-part web-only musical, starring Neil Patrick Harris. I can’t underline enough how good this is. Available online for free until July 20th, and then available in iTunes for $3.99.
The transition from .Mac to MobileMe was a lot rockier than we had hoped. We will be extending subscriptions by 30 days to customers free of charge to express our appreciation for their patience during the transition period.
Workmen remove a flyer left behind by David Malone, who climbed the New York Times Building several hours before.
For the third time in five weeks, someone has scaled the outside of The New York Times Headquarters. This time, however, it was over and done before most of us got out of bed:
Unlike the two previous climbers, this one — identified later as David Malone, a 29-year-old activist from West Hartford, Conn., who studies Al Qaeda — did not attempt to make his way to the roof. Instead, he unfurled a banner around the fifth floor of the 52-story building, before climbing a few more stories.
Thsrs seems like a good idea: when you’re having trouble expressing yourself on Twitter in less that 140 characters, query the only thesaurus that only gives you synonyms shorter than the word you’re looking up.
Kenny has applied a business management style to running her schools, focusing on attracting smart teachers, nurturing talent, using reams of data to improve performance, and putting a huge emphasis on rewarding results.
“For travelers who want to get from New York to Boston for less than it would cost for a cup of coffee at Starbucks, two emerging bus lines may have the answer.”
We’re frequent riders on the discount Chinatown bus lines, despite their tendency toward breakdowns and shenanigans. And, a while back I was excited about Vamoose Bus, which was supposed to begin NYC–Boston service with free wi-fi and a guaranteed seat. This seems to have fallen through, as there is now no mention of Boston on the their web site.
But it’s interesting to note the emergence of BoltBus and MegaBus – because both are owned by traditional bussing companies, not scrappy Chinatown startups. Greyhound owns Boltbus, and Megabus is run by Coach USA, parent of Gray Line sightseeing bus line.
Both are taking a “Southwest Airlines” approach by offering cheaper fares to those who book early, but last-minute bookings will cost about as much as Greyhound. $1 fares are nice, but I’m most interested in the free wi-fi, power outlets, and entertainment options. Those features are worth paying a little extra.
Three cities, two serious relationships, one child, 200,000 frequent flier miles, at least seven jobs, 14,500 posts, six designs, and ten years ago, I started “writing things down” and never stopped. That makes kottke.org one of a handful of the longest continually updated weblogs on the web.
Kottke.org is 10 years old today. Jason’s weblog has been a big inspiration for me as a weblogger; his enthusiasm for design, media, science, and all things web, has launched a thousand memes, and made him an indispensable voice in digital culture.
The Slits, Mercury Lounge, Wednesday March 5, 2008 – NYC
It’s not 1976 any more, but it was great to see Ari Up perform Slits songs. She’s so full of energy, still sporting those crazy dreadlocks, and was wearing a fantastically terrible American-Apparel-gone-wrong hand crafted space outfit. At one point she complained about the tights, and encouraged everyone to shoplift from AA.
“Barackula is a short political horror rock musical about young Barack Obama having to stave off a secret society of vampires at Harvard when he was inducted into presidency at the Harvard Law Review in 1990.”
I didn’t make any exciting resolutions this New Year, except to get back to my fighting weight, and land a more permanent design job. Looking back on 2007, one thing that stands out is that my Flickr photostream finally became a more real-time photo reflection of my life, with the convenience of my iPhone and its unlimited data plan. Sure, the quality of my photography might have deteriorated, but I’ve always preferred to shoot from the hip anyway. The iPhone suits what I want to do with Flickr.
But for 2008, I’d like to make one small resolution: do more with video. I bought a new point-and-shoot camera that does OK VGA video, (Canon Digital Elph SD750), so I want to put it to use. It’s output is a little grainy, especially in low light, but I think it suits what I want to do with it.
Here is a little idea that I got while walking around the Meatpacking district this past weekend: the Theory store on Gansevoort street has these amazing pulsating colored lights in the window – so I shot them, and then looped them in iMovie, set to The Knife’s live arrangement of “Heartbeats”:
The Iowa Caucus results last night got me thinking about the many competing political cultures present throughout American history. Individualist vs. communitarian, rich vs. poor, urban vs. rural… but, at the core of our national psyche is this tension between the lofty ideals set forth by the Founders, and our attempts and failings to live up to them. For every shining example of Lincoln, FDR, and Martin Luther King Jr., there are generations of back-sliders who prey upon fear in order to gain political advantage. Sure, to everything there is a season, but I’m glad to see that the voters in Iowa embraced hope and rejected cynicism, on both sides of the political spectrum.
History is written by the winners, which is why Americans tend to think of our colonial past and democratic beginnings as built upon and in reaction to English institutions alone – but the story is a little more complicated. It’s not often that I do book reviews, but I just finished re-reading The Island at the Center of the World, The Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan and the Forgotten Colony that Shaped America [excerpt] by journalist historian Russell Shorto, and wanted to recommend it to anyone looking for some interesting reading on the origins of this country.
The traditional telling of colonial America focuses almost exclusively on the English colonies in Virginia and New England. But, Shorto reminds us that the Dutch were the first Europeans to settle the island of Manhattan, and built some of the most lasting ideals and institutions into the fabric of American political and cultural life.