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’ve been neglecting the blog lately, though I am tentatively sketching out big plans for its future… some day, (probably in the fall), I’ll get back to this.
But, in way of an update, Lisa finally posted all of her photos from our little European adventure a couple of weeks ago, see below. 10 days with Jason and Cristen in Paris, Amsterdam, the Rhineland, Bavaria and Berlin.
Berlin is an amazingly weird place — I feel like we only scratched the surface, I must go back.
A few colleagues and I walked over to Times Square at lunch to check out the new Broadway—now shut off to cars, it’s another attempt by the city and the Bloomberg administration to reclaim the streets for pedestrians.
The Times architecture critic Nicolai Ouroussoff says:
Now, standing in the middle of Broadway, you have the sense of being in a big public room, the towering billboards and digital screens pressing in on all sides.
This adds to the intimacy of the plaza itself, which, however undefined, can now function as a genuine social space: people can mill around, ogle one another and gaze up at the city around them without the fear of being caught under the wheels of a cab.
There’s a couple of great slideshows, too. And, don’t miss Michael Crowley’s New York Magazine profile of the woman behind it all, NYC Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan.
Victoria Bergsman, DJing at The Bell House in Brooklyn.
Nedward: Victoria Bergsman (formerly of The Concretes) is DJing at The Bell House, much to my delight. Waiting for Camera Obscura!
As big a fan of Camera Obscura as I am, the more interesting bit Tuesday night was a special guest DJ, Victoria Bergsman. A lot of people know her voice as the female counterpoint in Young Folks, the Peter Bjorn and John sing-along hit from a couple of years ago. But she was also the singer in one of my favorite bands, The Concretes. (Camera Obscura fans should check out their eponymous debut album.) She has since left the band, and formed a solo project under the name Taken By Trees, (also a great debut).
Anyhow, I might have been the only person in the crowd that had any idea who she was – or cared – so Lisa encouraged me to say hello. But, I’m just not one of those people who walks up to a famous person, and just gushes in their face. Call it shyness, call it fear of disappointment… the bottom line is that I chickened out.
To make matters worse, Lisa went over to the DJ booth without me, and told Ms. Bergsman that “her friend was a big fan,” but that he “didn’t want to bother her.” Nice. So now I’m shy, and embarrassed.
I don’t really regret it that much, but I would’ve liked to show off some dance moves from The Concretes’ On The Radio video. I’d like to think that she would’ve laughed.
A USAirways plane that took off at 3:26 p.m. from La Guardia Airport landed in the Hudson River five minutes later, where it remains mostly submerged. Ferries and other boats converged to help with a rescue effort, as the plane drifted south. There was no immediate information about the 151 people on board.
According to Channel 4 television news, the plane, USAirways flight 1549, took off from LaGuardia Airport at 3:26 p.m. was bound for Charlotte, N.C. and had 146 passengers and 5 crew members. The plane, according to the news report, may have hit a flock of birds. The pilot tried to return to the airport when the plane fell into the Hudson.
Photo of the rescue, posted by Janis Krums on Twitter/Twitpic.
I watched from the 21st floor of the Times Building, as the plan drifted south with the tide. I believe that the rescue operation completed before it came into view, and it has since drifted out of view.
The plane did not break up on impact; divers, commuter ferries and a lot of emergency personnel are assisting with rescue operations. Everyone is reported to have survived the crash and rescue, as of this moment, but there are injuries. CNN is currently interviewing passengers, live on-air.
Sure there’s been a lot of recent bad news about the New York Times Company, and newspapers coast-to-coast are pulling back coverage, filing for bankruptcy and closing. But there is also another story to tell.
New York Magazine has a piece in this week’s issue on the Times Multimedia, Graphics, Interactive Tech and R&D groups, titled The New Journalism: Goosing the Gray Lady. It details some of the organizational steps taken by the Times, in order to position itself for the day when the online product eclipses the print edition in reach, revenue and relevance.
Things have been quiet around here over the holidays. I turned 31 years old on December 22, and then Lisa and I spent some time in Buffalo with our folks, where I got to see my newest baby cousin Aline.
The MASS MoCA campus was once the Sampson Shoe Company.
Then, after a few days back in Brooklyn, we headed up to the Berkshires for New Year’s Eve in North Adams – it’s not the most exciting town to ring in the new year, but we visited MASS MoCA, stayed in a wonderful hotel called The Porches, and had the best meal North Adams has to offer at the Gramercy Bistro.
I didn’t do a lot of reflecting and resolution-making, but I am thankful for my family and friends, and for how great 2008 was for Lisa and I. Lisa is fond of saying that each year has been better than the last, which is more than one can hope for in this world.
Buffalo is home to some of the greatest American architecture of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with major architects like Henry Hobson Richardson, Frederick Law Olmsted, Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright building marvels here. Together they shaped one of the grandest early visions of the democratic American city.
Yet Buffalo is more commonly identified with the crumbling infrastructure, abandoned homes and dwindling jobs that have defined the Rust Belt for the past 50 years. And for decades its architecture has seemed strangely frozen in time.
There is also an accompanying slide show, from which the photo above was taken.
Everybody wants a souvenir of Obama’s victory, and you know what makes a great souvenir? That’s right, a newspaper. This is a photo of a line outside the NYT building on 40th Street of people waiting—for a newspaper!
I hope that people still come to the Times for more than just a souvenir.
Me, standing in, as lighting is set for a David Pogue shoot.
Today, myself and a few colleagues helped Zach Wise set up and shoot some green screen video of New York Times Technology Columnist and near-Broadway performer David Pogue. The video will be integrated into a multimedia piece that Zach and I are working on, which should be done before Thanksgiving.
This is the first real video shoot that I’ve worked on, (having in the past done a lot of voice-over work with sound engineers). What’s scary is that we did this largely by ourselves – Zach found a studio at the nearby CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, we hung the green fabric, and we set up the lighting with a little help from their engineer.
David Pogue came in a short while later, I grabbed a boom mic, and we were off to the races. It was a lot of fun, and Pogue nailed the takes – I have no idea how he did it without a teleprompter, but he had us all laughing several times. And he was very patient and friendly throughout the shoot, even when we had to embarrassingly scramble back to the office for more P2 cards.
So, that was the hard part – now we have to design and build this thing.
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…
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?
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.
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.
NYTimes.com isn’t the only NYT property that’s doing interesting things with blogs these days – Boston.com launched a different kind of photo blog earlier this month, The Big Picture. With its oversized photos, minimal ads, and hardly a promo to other site content, the presentation is clear and striking – and praise is pouring in.
Firefighters work to contain the Humboldt fire which started Wednesday, had grown to 19,000 acres and threatened more than 5,000 structures. (AP Photo/Jason Halley – Chico Enterprise-Record)
Another interesting facet about the blog is that it not written by a Globe photographer or photo editor, but by one of their website developers. Andy Baio posted a great interview with the blog’s creator and author, Alan Taylor, where he discusses his inspiration, methodology, and what it’s like being a web developer working in a journalist’s world. When asked why more newspaper sites haven’t done this before, he replied:
“Even some of my favorite photo sites are often limited to ‘Photo of the Day’ or ‘24 Hours in Pictures’ features. That’s interesting, and you can find some mind-blowing images there, but I always felt like it lacked context, depth, story.”
Brandon Smith carries his two cats, Fry and Bender, to dry land from their flooded and evacuated home on June 12, 2008 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (Photo by David Greedy/Getty Images)
As we move to an age where motion graphics and video regularly enhance our traditional news presentation, it’s interesting to take a step back and consider the power still photography has to tell a story. And working online without the space constraint of print, news organizations have an opportunity to bring more depth and context to readers, through excellent photojournalism.
This week, the nytimes.com Design group says farewell to two really talented colleagues – Sean Villafranca and Louise Ma. Sean is leaving to become Design Director at time.com, and Louise is going to freelance, full-time.
I’m still new around these parts, but Sean and Louise made me feel at home. We’re going to miss you guys! (But, we are hiring…)
Volvo, somewhere in Williamsburg between Berry and Wythe.
Lisa and I spent a good chunk of the weekend furniture shopping, and spring cleaning. On Saturday, we ventured deep into Connecticut to go to an estate sale, in pursuit of what turned out to be an American-made Danish “style” dining set, which was just too big and ugly to buy. From there, we drove over to Beacon, NY, which has a couple of nice stores with mid-century furniture, (Anna found some amazing stuff there). We had some coffee (photo below the fold), but left empty-handed.