I totally geeked out seeing their workstation of old drives for reading obsolete digital media like floppies (3.5/5.25/SD/HD/SS/DS), Zip disks, Jaz drives, and (soon) optical. I got nostalgic for the Commodore 64s and Amigas I owned during childhood. I also got a little sad thinking about all the data lost forever on the floppy disks I threw away.
I’m glad exhibits like XFR STN exist, because I don’t think there’s nearly enough awareness of the digital dark age we’re potentially living in. I made Digital Antiquities a few years back in an attempt to bring attention to this issue and I have a feeling I’ll revisit these ideas in future work. I hope this is a topic that becomes part of the cultural conversation in a bigger way, soon.
But my Bike Friday turned twenty this year (I bought it second-hand in 2005) and it may finally be showing its age. So I’ve been looking for an affordable way to let the Bike Friday transition into semi-retirement. The goal was to find a good-quality folding bike that could be my commuting and grocery-hauling workhorse, which would let me use the Friday as my stripped-down, go-fast recreational bike.
Introducing my new used 2012 Tern Link D8. I found this bike on Craigslist from a woman who was leaving New York. She’d purchased the bike last fall after Hurricane Sandy knocked out the subways downtown but stopped using it once the trains returned. The dust all over the bike seemed to back up her story, so I took the plunge. For $280 in cash, I got the Tern, a Kryptonite lock, and a Bern helmet.
The Tern is extremely sturdy and easily carried 25 pounds of Trader Joe’s groceries over bumpy Manhattan streets. I hope I get a good twenty years out of it. And another twenty from the Bike Friday now that it doesn’t have to carry produce anymore.
Visiting a friend’s house on the Upper West Side and seriously enjoying the view.
Rooftop water tanks have their own secret community high above it all.
A Brooklyn brownstone is still my NYC dream house, but I’m pretty sure a Manhattan penthouse like this would satisfy me as well.
I’m a regular user of the First Avenue bike lane in Manhattan and I love it. It’s by no means perfect — there’s still too much pedestrian dodging required in the East Village and Upper East Side — but it’s a huge step towards a safer and better use of that very wide avenue.
These days, my favorite stretch of the lane is the segment in front of the United Nations. The urban planner in me just loves how the bike lane merges beautifully with the vehicular lanes on the south end of the First Avenue tunnel, taking you comfortably past an area that used to be tricky for cycling. As an added bonus, there’s also now a Citi Bike station directly across the street from the Secretariat Building.
The only improvement I can think of would be giving one lane of the tunnel to bikes if cycle traffic one day warrants it. I’d love to see that in my lifetime.
The transformation of far west Chelsea is really breathtaking, especially since it’s nowhere near over. It’s part of a decades-long metamorphosis of the west side of Manhattan that stretches from the Village to the Upper West Side and which shows no sign of stopping.
I remember how these blocks on Tenth Avenue used to feel so desolate, forgotten, a little dangerous. It always seemed like this part of Manhattan was secret hiding in plain sight, not far from the busy corridors but never really seen.
Then over the course of twenty years came Chelsea Piers, Hudson River Park, clubs, galleries, Chelsea Market, the High Line, Google, IAC, and high-end residential.
And with Citi Bike stations all over the neighborhood, now even those long blocks from the subway on Eighth Avenue don’t seem so long anymore.
I haven’t circled Manhattan on my bike in several years, so I decided last-minute to try it again yesterday afternoon.
The good news: it’s easier than ever to do this route now, despite the few missing links. The path almost everywhere is in very good condition and you’ll have plenty of company except along the Harlem River parts.
The bad news: at one of the missing links uptown, I ran into a dead end (on the FDR!) which extended my ride. Those few extra minutes were enough to fully drain the GoPro’s batteries, so you won’t see my triumphant finish in this video.
But it’s all about the journey not the destination, right?
Who knew Houston, of all places, had a bike share system? I won’t have a chance to try it out on this trip, but I hope it’s even better and bigger the next time I visit.
I’ve eaten crawfish only a handful of times in my life, usually as an ingredient in a dish like gumbo, never by itself. I’ve always enjoyed it, but in NYC you have to go out of your way to find crawfish. As a result, I don’t eat it much.
So you can imagine my delight when my sister told me that my family here in Houston have been cooking up large batches of it every Friday this crawfish season.
It helps that the price of live crawfish has been as low as $.99 per pound at H.E.B. , because last night they bought thirty-nine pounds of it.
That’s my uncle skillfully cooking the crawfish. The meal was accompanied by equally yummy garlic corn-on-the-cob and Seafood Alfredo. He says he learned how to make all of this from watching Top Chef.
The best part about eating food that requires disassembly is that it forces you to eat slow and chillax with your dining partners. Here, my sister and stepmom fill me on family
gossip news since my last visit to Houston.
Here’s what the pile looked like after we finished. I stayed at the table to continue shelling the crawfish, which my uncle will cook into other dishes like Crawfish Fried Rice.
My uncle ate last after cooking the entire batch of crawfish. Dessert was Häagen-Daz ice cream bars.
Needless to say, this was my favorite meal of the trip so far.
My relatives here all live outside the core, so this road is a part of virtually every car trip we take when I visit. I love looking out into the distance of this super-wide thoroughfare. It may not represent the best urban planning, but it’s a mesmerizing sight for a New Yorker.
It’s been a few years since I last visited, but I found myself easily adapting again to the peculiar customs of Houston.
Were it not for the shirt, I believe I could have passed for a native, as you can see in these photographs.
I’m no good with puzzles, but I’m forced to do a moderately challenging one the night before every trip that I bring my Bike Friday on.
It’s been a while since I’ve travelled with the bike so I was a bit rusty at the packing tonight. It took about forty-five minutes to get it right. (I think my personal best is twenty on a lanai in Honolulu.)
The photo inside the suitcase is nominally for TSA so that they can get the bike back in. But truth be told, I use it too. It gives me confidence that I’ve solved the puzzle before.