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>.
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?
This morning, Lisa and I had lunch with her Grandma and Grandpa, who visiting this weekend from Buffalo. Grandpa Dick is a retired professional wrestler, who used to be quite big in Japan. In addition to winning numerous wrestling titles, the masked “Destroyer” was a star on the most watched comedy show in Japan’s television history, along with Wada Akiko. But he also was famous in the West – Debbie Harry of Blondie sported some camel-toe in a t-shirt from Dick’s bad guy alter-ego, Dr. X… Hott.
So, we ate a ton of Japanese food while Dick entertained the chefs and waitstaff with his antics and Japanese linguistic skills. The shot above is of a Japanese newspaper.
More photos, and a video of The Destroyer wrestling a bear, after the fold.
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”:
December 22 came and went, and now I’m 30 years old. I can’t even comprehend that statistic. Growing up, I figured that I would have accomplished so much by that age – it seemed so far away. Today, 40 seems ridiculously far away. There is probably some kind of lesson in that.
It was announced yesterday that Google Maps’ Street Viewcomes to more cities, including Boston. So naturally, I looked up our previous apartment in Cambridge, MA. The weird thing is that myself, and our friends/upstairs neighbors Tyler and Sarah are pictured!
We’re having our moving sale, and that’s my Saab in the foreground. I can probably peg the date taken to August 11th or 12th, 2007 – the weekend before we moved.
Click the photo to see notes, look at it big, or check it out on Google Maps yourself. I am a little creeped out.
This is why I love thanksgiving – invite some family and friends over, cook a ridiculous amount of food, crack open 7-8 bottles of wine, and go to town. Lisa has the right idea here:
For our first Brooklyn Thanksgiving, we invited Lisa’s sister Kelly, Rohit, Shane, and Megan, and it was amazingly fun. I am thankful that everyone could join us in our new home. I’m also thankful that Lisa is such a good cook, because it was so tasty.
In six years, Kenny’s vision has grown into a trio of charter schools under the rubric of Village Academies, located in New York precincts where a muscular poverty has thrived for generations. The numbers alone tell a compelling story. Locally, passing rates for seventh-grade math hover around 30 percent. At HVA, the rate is a stunning 96 percent.
We went Apple Picking upstate, in Warwick, NY. Jason and I discovered something more challenging than chucking apples at each other – spearing them with a stick, and then attempting to fling them at each other. The one pictured above is bouncing violently towards me.
It’s been 3 years since we last went apple picking.
Lisa and I still keep in touch with a lot of friends from high school, some of which we’ve known since grade school. We were all trying to remember today if there was an alma mater anthem for our High School. As none of us were particularly rah-rah back then, we couldn’t remember.
Three of us, however, could remember the words to our grade school anthem – which is a bit shocking, considering the last time I heard it was sometime in 1988, in the fifth grade. I think they forced us to sing this thing during assemblies, throughout the school years:
Country Parkway is our school,
where we learn to obey the rules.
We do our best and take great pride,
with our Country’s flag flying high.
Here we work and here we play
Learning new things everyday.
From north to south and east to west,
Our Country Parkway is the best.
Creepy, in its emphasis on conformity – especially for a fairly progressive public school district.
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?
I’m doing some coding (and drinking iced coffee) today at Darwin’s, near Harvard Square – and I did the unthinkable. I found a Nikon D80 (with a nice lens) left behind by another customer, and I turned it in to the staff.
The (Un)Happy Planet Index is a fascinating examination of countries’ economic and ecological footprints. Like much of social science, I’m not convinced that it shows anything concretely useful at all, but it does satiate my need for rank-order and self-examination. Here is how they designed the study:
The Index doesn’t reveal the “happiest” country in the world. It shows the relative efficiency with which nations convert the planet’s natural resources into long and happy lives for their citizens. The nations that top the Index aren’t the happiest places in the world, but the nations that score well show that achieving, long, happy lives without over-stretching the planet’s resources is possible.
One of the smartest things I’ve ever done, was to pay a little extra for Certified Pre-Owned status on my used 9-3, which more or less just extends the warranty. For an extra $1500 or so, I’ve received more than double that amount in parts and labor over the past 2 years.
So, on thursday, I dropped the 9-3 off in Framingham so they could replace the Water Pump, which was going bad. Look at the piece of crap they gave me as a loaner:
Later that afternoon, I received a call from the service department, saying that I also had a blown head gasket… great. That’s not good. So, they keep it overnight, and I don’t hear anything all day friday… so, I call them up, and they ask to keep it until monday, because they hadn’t finished up the job. All the while, I’m riding around in a tin-can american car, with no power-windows, no Fast-Lane, and it’s bright-cherry-fucking-red.
So, today (monday), I call them up, and they tell me that they can’t get good oil pressure. WTF? And they want to replace the engine’s short block… which is a huge job. I can’t figure out what the hell happened, but I’m getting to the point where I can’t wait until the day when I don’t have to rely on a car every day of my life.
Happy New Year, everybody! I’m back at work today, after a (I think) deserved rest. New Year’s Eve was a bit more restrained than years past, but it was a nice cap to a great year.
My only real resolution is for us to finally cut the cord on Boston, and move to NYC. Presley finishes Grad school in September, and I need to think more seriously about my career, grad school, and the future in general.
A lot of things could happen, but that remains my #1 goal for 2006. What’s yours?
On this day, in 1977, I was born. At 5 lbs. 6 oz., I was six weeks early, and spent my first Christmas in hospital.
I used to think that 28 sounded so old – time for marrying, house-buying, and thinking about kiddos. Now that this day has come, those things seem as far away as they did when I was 20. I’m always amazed that people I know are doing these things now… my younger cousing Maggie has 3 kids, and she’s 2 years younger than me. My first real girlfriend from High School is married. And, it seems like every weblogger that I read is either getting engaged, married, or having a child.
So, I’m 28. I may have been in a hurry to come into this world, but hopefully I’ve learned to slow down a bit. I’ve got a great girl, good friends, and a lot to be thankful for… those other “grown-up” things will fall into place, in time.
We spent the weekend eating and drinking to near excess with Matt & Sharon, who were visiting from New York.
Presley outdid herself again with the meal- conjuring a delicious turkey, all the fixings, and a couple of pies for our enjoyment.
Matt and Sharon even brought along a bottle of 1995 vintage Dom Perignon champaigne. Sharon received it as a gift from her work, but we estimated that this vintage is worth more than $150 per bottle… it was tasty, but we agreed that it didn’t leave any better impression that a $8 bottle of Korbel.