Filed under: COOL SHT, Feature | Tags: Angelino, Apple, Beauty, ESPN, Facebook, Foursquare, Glamour, iPad 3, Jeremy Lin, LA, Linsanity, Mountain Lion, New York City, NY Knicks, NYC, Pop-Up, Twitter, Whitney Houston, WhitneyHoustonRIPocolypse, Winter
THIS WEEK: HOUSTON, WE HAVE LINSANITY
Stan Honda / AFP / Getty Images / February 18, 2012
Whitney Houston’s funeral Saturday drew more star power than the Grammys the weekend before including Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keyes, R Kelley, Bobby Brown, and Aretha Franklin. Wait, those last two weren’t there. Bobby Brown left because of a “seating incident” and Aretha Franklin had leg issues even though she performed in concert that very night. [raised eyebrows] I thought Kevin Costner’s words concerning his work with the star on the Bodyguard were intriguing. Not only were they clearly heartfelt but they demonstrated the challenges of being a worldwide star. Incidentally, both the Grammys and Whitney Houston’s funeral both clocked in at 3.5 hrs.
After being in NYC for 10 days, I attempted to mimic that city’s RIPocolypse love. From snow storms to Whitney’s death, everything on Foursquare is a RIPocolypse in New York City. I also wanted to see if a location of this nature would trend in Los Angeles like it trends in NYC. One problem. It never showed up in search results. I contacted one of the co-founders of Foursquare who told me the search results take a bit to update. 3 days later. Same issue. I know we’re on the opposite coast and a little bit farther south than where digital hearts show their affection, but damn it, we Angelinos are digital nerds too. Where is the love?!
Apart from the digital snafu, I also noticed how polarizing Whitney Houston was when I asked friends to check-in to my newly dubbed WhitneyHoustonRIPocolypse. Some were eager to jump on and some simply flat out said no, not because they didn’t want to break out Foursquare, but because they didn’t “feel the love” for Ms. Houston. I do find it intriguing that certain folks feel so negative towards the pop singer because of her demons with drug abuse. I certainly don’t condone it. That said, entertainers, while making a ridiculous amount of cash, are owned by their audience, incapable of living away from prying eyes. Entertainers have the ability to inspire so many but they are human beings like all of us. Let’s be honest, we all have our demons. So, with that, I will continue to want to dance with somebody and yes, my love is your love.
Along with the pop star’s farewell, the din of Linsanity, an homage to the popular NY Knicks player Jeremy Lin, has been reaching fever pitch. Unfortunately, ESPN made the mistake of running a racially fueled headline on Friday bringing Lin fans to punches. Thankfully for the fans, the Harvard alumnus finally joined the social network and took the dive into his first public Facebook page.
In other news, a warmer winter has slowed sales of typical winter purchases, gossip surrounding the coming iPad 3 announcement on March 7th has erupted, and Twitter gets yet another boost from Apple, this time with the release of the Mac operating system Mountain Lion. Take that, Facebook overlords.
Some more Cool Sh-t:
Filed under: Feature | Tags: BMT, IND, IRT, MTA, New York City, NYC, Subway, Subwaysigns
NOTES FROM THE UNDERGROUND: THE ART BELOW
Photo Credit: Subwaysigns.com
As a former New Yorker and daily commuter on the New York City subway, it never dawned on me that the transportation system itself could be a form of art. In the daily grind that is a work commute, the act of observation is not a highlight. Since leaving New York City and re-locating to Los Angeles, a city lacking a well-used public transportation system, the subway I used for eight years started to have more shine.
After learning more about my grandfather’s work as a change agent and then a motorman on the NYC subway beginning in the 1940’s, I decided to seek out a vintage subway sign. I poked around for a bit and settled on one of the only remaining signs still available from Manhattan.
Photo Credit: Subwaysigns.com
The sign above used to live on the R9 train, a train that ran along the IND or Independent line. I located the sign on Subwaysigns.com, the first and largest online store for vintage signs from the subway system. This particular sign was on the original 8th Avenue line. Before the current system we enjoy now, complete with the 1, the 9, the A, and my most traveled L, the lines were the IRT (Interborough Rapid Transit), the BMT (Brooklyn–Manhattan Transit) and the IND (Independent Subway System). The remains of these lines still exist today with the BMT trains & IND trains translated to the lettered trains and the IRT trains translated to numbered trains. The original subway lines (BMT & IRT) were independently owned and operated while the IND line, which came along in 1932, was owned by the municipal government. The first subway fare was only 5 cents.
My grandfather, William Giegerich, worked on the IND line, from the time he returned from World World II till he retired in 1974. The R9 trains were retired from service in 1977. As it turns out, the sign I purchased could have lived on a train my grandfather operated. This was a fact that I did not come to know until after purchasing the sign and learning more about my own family history from my father. It’s hard for me to imagine the stories my father tells, of my grandfather picking up my father on the train and taking him to Coney Island. The weight this sign will carry in my home will be palpable.
Gramps and I 1981
As the world progresses and our family histories are transpired over social networking pages and email to each other, what physical reminders will we leave behind for our grandchildren? If one of mine is reading this some day, I suggest an L train sign. While I personally loathed getting on the train at 1st Avenue for my daily commute, I will never forget the 4 years I spent coming home along that line.
I will never forget my favorite waiting spot or the many ridiculous moments that transpired over the pathways of each train. I will never forget the moment I heard that a friend fell between two cars at a station in Soho and the train severed her leg. I will never forget the day World Trade fell or the city blacked out and every New Yorker was forced to find a new way home. I will never forget the day I sat mesmerized watching dancers back flip flawlessly while the train was in motion. I will never forget the day I saw a woman step in front of the train and take her own life.
Every moment while along the subway system, either within the underground or on the platform, is an instant I will try to hold on to as long as I live. This connects me to every moment my grandfather must have shared along the same tunnels I traveled every day. The subway system is a living, breathing memento of our lives, each train and pathway a reminder of those seconds, minutes and hours shared. The next time you step onto the platform and wait for that train, think about all the moments you’ve spent throughout the tunnels in NYC and the ways these have defined you. Art, after all, is a reflection of our own subjectivity. Reflected in this vintage subway sign hanging on my wall is a collusion of histories: my grandfather’s, my father’s, and my own. From New York City to Los Angeles, from the 1940’s to today, the sign continues to transport.
If you’re looking for more on the history of the New York City subway system, also check out Steve Duncan’s trips underground.
Filed under: Feature | Tags: 2009, California, Castro, Downtown Los Angeles, LA, Los Angeles, Mariachi Square, New York City, NYC, San Francisco, Santa, Santacon, Santarchy, SF, United States, Washington Square Park
SANTACON: DON’T MAKE SANTA MESS YOU UP
Downtown Los Angeles
Photo Credit: Daily Marauder
Over the weekend, the Santas converged, ready to get their drink on. Santacon began in 1994 in San Francisco when a group of 30 Santa’s converged on downtown SF and caused a bit of Kris Kringle mayhem. That spontaneous coordination of Santa fun has progressed into an international phenomenon. Saturday, Santacon dropped in on NYC, San Francisco and Los Angeles. The crowd descended on a Santa-infused pub crawl bringing chaos and fun in its wake. Did you happen to catch the red and white tide? If so, here’s a few pics to catch you up on the fun you missed.
Mariachi Square, Los Angeles “Sado Masachristmas”
Photo Credit: Daily Marauder
We were in attendance on this one and it was truly an interesting array of creative holiday spirit. Locations were communicated either through traditional means (shouting) or through more digital means (Twitter). As this is a driving town, I was relieved to find that the flask-bearing crowd took the subway from location to location.
And who knew Santa had beef? In this shot, clowns show up to protest Santa’s progression through the streets. And yes, it rains in LA.
La Perla Los Angeles
Photo Credit: Daily Marauder
Here the singing Santas take over the subway. Yup, I didn’t know LA had one either…
New York City
Washington Square Park, NYC
Photo Credit: Sdavisk
Castro, San Francisco
Photo Credit: Jon Bauer
For more information on Santacon coming to a city near you, check out this calendar of events. Happy Holidays from one Santa to another.
Filed under: Feature | Tags: Bicycle, Bike, Biking, Brooklyn, Commute, Cycling, Downtown Los Angeles, Helen's Cycles, Los Angeles, New York City
NYC VS. LA: COMMUTING VIA BIKE
Photo Credit: the bocket
For the past 2 years, I’ve fancied myself a biker. Not simply one of those Spandex-wearing weekend riders but someone who commuted to her midtown office from the East Village frequently. Upon moving from NYC to LA, I thought my cycling would surely increase in intensity. After searching tirelessly for a new bike after mine was stolen in Brooklyn, I picked up some new wheels from Monty at Helen’s Cycles in Santa Monica.
My Baby at the Starting Point/ West Hollywood, CA (I can finally rock a spoke card)
After procrastinating for far too long, I left my house at approximately 9:45AM. I took the diagonal down to Venice Boulevard along San Vicente. The wide road and easy traffic left me feeling over-confident. The computer on my back in my messenger bag started to ping my former shoulder injury almost immediately. Venice Boulevard in sight, I made the left and continued on ‘glee’-ful that I would finally have a bike lane. I did, for perhaps 2 lights. Le sigh.
Then, it was bike lane-free for the remaining 7 miles downtown. The traffic was light which made things fear-free.
After arriving at work, I picked up the prerequisite coffee and quiche and carried my bike up the 4 flights of stairs to our office. I was exhausted and what’s more, at around 5PM, I would have to do it all again. Speaking of which, the ride home was by far scarier darting in between cars and buses pretending to be a bad ass while I tried to keep from peeing in my pants.
Distance: 26 miles roundtrip
Time: 2 hours and change
Hills: YES. OK…maybe I’m exaggerating here but I’m used to FLAT.
Pride: You can suck it LA. I’ll be back out there next Monday. This time, I think a back pack is in order.
NYC vs. LA
A Statement on the MTA/ Taken at 42nd Street/6th Avenue
In NYC, my morning commute would only consist of 3 miles each way. I would wear my cute dress and flip flops and ride along with the bike messengers to prove you can fashionably pass on the left. I would breeze into HBO feeling hardly challenged and park my bike in bike parking in the basement. The bike messengers and mail people in the building thought my daily commutes were pretty hysterical, especially as I suited up in my heels whipping out my BlackBerry as I motored for the elevator. Bike Barbie in. Professional Barbie out.
In LA, I bike 13 miles to work sneakers and Lululemon wicking fabric in tow. On the eastside, I arrived at work with 2 computers staring back at me. In LA, my MacBook Pro travels on my back. NYC doesn’t do hills unless you count the approach to the George Washington Bridge which really only applies to weekend rides for most people. LA’s got hills boy…HILLS. The last thing you want to see after 12 miles home from work is a wall of hill staring back at you.
Let’s talk cars for a second. Yes, NYC drivers are mean, cut in and out of traffic and will swear at you on a daily basis.
But here’s the difference: at least they know you’re THERE.
LA drivers hardly seem to be paying any attention at all trying to get in that text while looking for the closest Coffee Bean. Wake up y’all! Between NYC and LA, far too many of my friends have been hit by cars. A friend was recently hit in Brooklyn and more than twelve weeks later is still walking with a boot. Hell, I’ve been hit by a cab before. Be careful out there. I know some bikers can be assholes. I’ve seen them and ridden with them. They drive me nutty. Keep in mind; they are the few. Most of us are cool people who just want an alternative means to work outside the 4 wheels and gas tank (not to exclude you hybrids out there). So, in whatever city you live, go get your bike commute on and drop me a note and let me know how it goes.
Bike Commuting in NYC:
Bike Commuting in LA:
Filed under: TECHNOLOGY | Tags: Apple, New York, New York City, Plastic Logic, Ron Johnson, SanDisk, TiVo, UltraVision
In early 2010, Plastic Logic is hoping to introduce a new e-reader that will challenge the dominance of Amazon’s Kindle. Plastic Logic’s entry into the field would be marketed to business professionals and feature an E Ink reading screen with touch capabilities, a very thin body and Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity. The New York Times/Bits blog (5/27)
Despite the economic conditions, Apple is setting out on an aggressive strategy to remodel 100 of its existing stores this year and open new ones in New York City, Paris, Italy and Germany, according to Ron Johnson, senior vice president of retail for the company. “We know that a lot of people are cutting back, but we’re doing the opposite,” he said. “We’re investing in the downturn.” USA TODAY (5/27)
Comcast will tap TiVo as the primary DVR option for subscribers in a yet-to-be-announced tru2way market in the near future, according to Tom Rogers, president and chief executive officer of TiVo. Comcast this summer also is expected to allow TiVo users in its New England service area to record programs from any Internet connection. Multichannel News (5/27)
Hitachi Home Electronics rolled out new LCD HDTV models in its UltraVision and Alpha series. The features-heavy UltraVision tops out with a 55-inch model that retails at a suggested price of $1,800, while the value-priced Alpha line has a 32-inch version for $500. TWICE (5/27)
Samsung and SanDisk have agreed to a patent licensing deal in an effort to avoid litigation and forge a new partnership in the crowded memory chip market. Although financial details of the agreement were not revealed, the pact is expected to keep the two companies out of the courtroom. ClipSyndicate/Bloomberg (5/27) , The Wall Street Journal (5/28)
Filed under: TECHNOLOGY | Tags: Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud, Blu-ray Disc, Consumer electronics, New York, New York City, Television, United States, VUDU
Amazon revealed its third Kindle today at a jam-packed press conference in New York City. The new Kindle, which Techcrunch first caught wind of last year, is expected to have a larger screen to be used for reading newspapers, magazines, and textbooks. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/05/06/the-big-kindle-revealed-liveblog/ 5/6)
Old Kindle vs. the new Kindle.
Looking to add to its subscriber base, Vudu will begin offering its collection of movies to Entone, a company that supplies set-top boxes and DVRs to regional TV providers. Vudu’s library includes more than 14,000 movies and TV programs. CED Magazine (5/2009) , xchange (5/5)
Sales of “connected” consumer-electronics products — including TVs, set-top boxes, servers, consoles and Blu-ray players — will reach 100 million units by 2013, according to a new study by Parks Associates. Kurt Scherf of Parks said the trend toward connected CE systems was fueled by consumers who wanted “whole-home access” to content as well as the ability to bring Web content to their TVs. Dealerscope (5/6) , CEPro.com (5/5)
Filed under: Feature, TECHNOLOGY | Tags: AIDS Lifecycle, Cadence Cycle, Computraining, Cycling, iPhone, LA, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco
COMPUTRAINING: BIKE RACING ON A COMPUTER SCREEN
Like Oprah, I have my list of favorite things. Apart from the obligatory items like pedicures and Twizzlers, my bike and my computer are at the top of my list. Especially now, as I train for the AIDS Lifecycle ride from San Francisco to LA, cycling has become the main focus of my weekend diet. So, after biking 55 miles to Piermont in the morning, I met up with Ray and Martha at Cadence Cycle in NYC to try out a free computraining class.
Put your bike on a trainer and hook it into a computer which automatically changes the resistance according to the selected course.
Calibrate the bike and stare down your surrounding competition.
The names and weights of all bikers are loaded into the computer. In the screen above, the elevation is at the top of the screen and the columns at the bottom indicate each biker.
Start peddling furiously and talking smack to surrounding bikers.
Along the course, a green line (towards the top of the screen in the image above) indicates a decline in elevation from the current elevation. A red line indicates an increase. It’s not quite like an outdoor riding looking at a hill as the change in elevation could be a big increase/decrease or slight. The image above was taken from my iPhone. The much better, brighter picture at the top is a stock photo.
Of course, I get seated next to Ray, ultramarathoner on my left, and overly-intense cycling dude on my right. Regardless, it was a nice experience to spin using my own bike. The added competition pushed me to a mph must faster than a traditional spin class. I also enjoyed knowing that everyone was at the same resistance. There’s always that person in every spin class who is told to turn it up ‘one full turn’ and makes a fake-out hand movement and then spins like a nut job. You know who you are.
If you want to take a class, the first two are free. $25 per class moving forward. Click here for more info either on the Philadelphia or NYC location.