Blog posts tagged "nyc"

The Seattle Coffee Shop Experience

August 17th, 2003

In New York Stabucks is pretty much all that is left in terms of coffee shops. A city which prides itself on good taste, and high culture drinks the flavorless swill, and super sweet milkshake like connoctions, gratefully. Gus tells me of a corner where you can stand and see 4 (or was it 5) Starbucks within a block.

Seattle is subtler and more prickly, they appreciate their coffee more, and their independence. The number of independent, and generally excellent coffee shops in the city is staggering, But there is sinister forces at work. I stood and watched people yesterday choose between Starbucks, Seattle’s Best Coffee (owned by Starbucks), and Torrefazione Italia (owned by Starbucks). This is a city under seige.

That said I haven’t had much time to go prowling the city coffee shops, but I’m already very fond of Zeitgeist (weekends with the laptop), Espresso to Go (mornings), Chai House (afternoons), and the americano at Espresso Roma (though perhaps not “the Ave”‘s atmosphere)

Re-reading my collected Borges this evening, I was struck by the fact that mermaids (sirens) are given a category all their own.

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NYC Fare Hike

May 15th, 2003

It looks like the NYC fare hike may be rolled back. Which would be shocking. Just because the MTA provably lied through its teeth you don’t expect that to actually have any effect on the political outcome. And it still might not, as the there is alreay a stay on the judges order.

My question is the same as Robyn’s

Now is somebody going to be arrested for hundreds of millions of dollars in government fraud?

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Expect Outages

February 11th, 2003

So Yada, the server that hosts both LaughingMeme and is being pounded in anticipation of events this weekend, in New York and elsewhere. This partially a problem of poorly written code (the site software behind is about 3 years over due for an overhaul) partially too little memory in the box (it could use another 500M) and partially too much damn traffic. I hate wars, everytime it looks like we’re going to have a war, our load jumps to like 400. Its so annoying, just cut it out with the war mongering, I’m not sysadmin enough to handle it.

Coverage has already started rolling in over at NYC IMC in anticipation.

Speaking of NYC IMC, I just got my Threat to Peace poster tonight, and its amazing. (hmmm, the Indypendent server is also having load trouble)

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A Threat to Peace

January 30th, 2003

The NYC Indypendent, the amazing newspaper from NYC IMC has started to put up their new website. Not much there yet, but you can order a copy (or 10) of their brilliant Threat to Peace poster.

From the website:

Whether you’re a budding weapons inspector or just a trivia buff, A Threat to Peace can give you the scoop on nuclear manufacturing facilities, chemical and biochemical weapons facilities, weapons manufacturers, nuclear testing and launch sites, and much, much more.
  • Quickly pinpoint terrorist training camps and private mercenary companies in the U.S.
  • Track down your favorite domestic or imported war criminal in minutes!
I hear that weapons inspectors is a growth industry these days. Get started now on your path to fame and fortune.

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On Going Home

December 20th, 2002

Being without a car in this culture is always a strange expirence, sometimes its frustrating, a few times its surreally sublime. My recent voyage home for the holidays started Monday, 10:30am, Dec 16th and ended Wednesday, 11am, Dec 18th.

  1. Walk out Jasmine’s door, carrying Tom Bihn shoulder bag for laptop, and large reg Gregory backpack for everything else.
  2. Walk 4 blocks to Orange line.
  3. Take Orange line to Ruggles stop.
  4. Stop have lunch with Jasmine.
  5. Catch communter train from Ruggles to Providence.
  6. Walk 4 blocks to Kennedy Plaza.
  7. Catch 99 RIPTA bus to 43 Doyle (the new house) to meet the new landlords.
  8. Catch it back.
  9. Kill 2 hours at AS220.
  10. Catch 69 bus back to Kennedy Plaza.
  11. Take Greyhound to Port Authority.
  12. Pray feverently that the New York transit workers will not go on strike.
  13. Take the 7 out to Queens for the night.
  14. Take the 7 back to Port Authority.
  15. Take the A to Howard Beach.
  16. Catch the shuttle bus from Howard Beach to JFK.
  17. Fly to Oakland International.
  18. Wait for AirBART to start running (6:05AM)
  19. Take AirBART to BART Colesium.
  20. Take BART to Embarcadero stop
  21. Transer to N-Judah, and take to Caltrains depot.
  22. Take Caltrains to San Jose Diridon.
  23. Transfer to Amtrak bus, and take to downtown Santa Cruz.
  24. Call home, and plaintively asked to be picked up in a car.

Read: Magician: Apprentice, Magician: Master, Talking God, and Driving Mr. Albert.

Escape to New York

December 2nd, 2002

Going through another quiet spell. Probably has to do with being totally overwhelmed with:

  • looking for housing – any leads on housing in and around Boston, particularly the Davis Sq. area is appreciated
  • preparing a grant application to the Open Society Institute to fund IMC open editing tools
  • preparing a presentation to Five Colleges Inc, to convince them to reprise their role as first paying customer for the latest round of calendar software. they were the people who funded the original development of Calendrome, and made possible

Spent the week down in New York City. Learned that preparing Thanksgiving dinner in a kitchen that usually gets used for making coffee, and the occasional quesadilla is not a good idea.

Found out that a friend of a friend has spent 3 years trying to get accepted to the Army. I found that very sad and ironic. I tried to talk him out of it, but without success. (is there a way to represent that as FOAF?)

Learned Bloomberg is trying to destory public transit, both raising the fare to $2, and continueing the policy of hard balling transit workers.

Discovered that my New York friends contain a surprisingly large percentage of unemployed philosophers from whom I learned of the Unemployed Philosopher’s Guild, the only place you can buy Will to Power bars, plush Freudian Slippers, and a Karl Marx beanie baby.

It was also one of those strange weeks, when everything you read seems to relate to each other.

Ecology of Fear takes a surprise swerve to talk about the “demonized Other”, feminized utopians, and Octavia Bulter, Decoding Gender in SF‘s bread and butter, who in turn is talking about Donna Haraway and her cyborgs, as discussed by D&G in 1000 Plateaus which is threatening to insert itselfs in my (re-)reading queue. (because as Calvino says, “One never reads the classics, only ever re-reads them”) Strange.

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Chinatown <-> Chinatown

June 6th, 2002

I heard rumors when I lived in Boston, of a bus that ran from Boston’s Chinatown, to New York’s Chinatown, and back again.

Useful to be sure as I was (and am) dating a girl who lived in New York. However I was doing that dotcom thang and it always seemed simpler to simply take Peter Pan (or once fly) then deal with figuring out something new.

Now, I’m back on the East Coast for a few weeks, needing to get to Boston, and here is what I’ve found.

Its appears that the bus departs about every hour and half, costs either $15 or $25, and in New York at least leaves from 97 Bowery St.

Further updates tomorrow on the reality of the situation.

UPDATE: It works great, though I admit to breaking down and taking Peter Pan on my most recent trip from NYC to Boston, as it was raining, and I was carrying a heavy bag, and Port Authority was significantly more convient then the Bowery. The Boston pickup/drop-off location is, however, very convient to the orange line Chinatown stop.

More info at Travelpack USA Chinatown Bus website. Make sure to really look at the schedule, depending on the time of day, fares very from $10-$25 one way (still half of Peter Pan at its most expensive) and you might be on a full sized “motor coach” or one of those vans that the gypsy bus operators run over the George Washington Bridge. (the same ones Lift Line uses, if you’ve never commuted over the GWB) But I would reccomend against buying the tickets online as the buses sometimes fill up.

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Wireless at Bleeker/MacDougal

June 2nd, 2002

Dissatified with I went searching for a better location to work from. In the months in San Francisco, I first used 802.11 ready coffee shops as an escape from our overly small apartment. Since them, I’ve come to depend on them, the bustle of strangers, the music in the background, the ready supply of caffiene, a fast net connection, have become key components to a productive work session.

I stil haven’t found the ideal location, but the node at Bleeker & Macdougal seems to do alright. I found a quiet cafe, most bistro then coffee shop, that was all too happy to serve over priced iced coffee during the dead period between lunch and early dinner. I saw several more promising locales, but they were much too crowded to find space and electricity, still, with more patience, determination, or battery life, they could have been ideal.

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