Architecture City Life

King Tower

Transit Urban Planning

Seward Park

After Years of Delay, a Lower East Side Gap Is Ready to Be Filled” from today’s New York Times:

For decades, advocates of affordable housing sparred with residents of the powerful Grand Street co-ops, who preferred more market-rate housing and commercial uses for the site. The new agreement splits the difference, calling for 1,000 new units of housing, half of which will be permanently affordable. The 500 affordable units will be a mix of housing for seniors, and low- to moderate-income housing for families earning from 60 to 165 percent of the area’s median income.

This is exciting news. Curious to see what will happen below this site, which I covered for MTA with my late colleague Peter Hine in 2011:

Peeps Three Questions

Three Questions for Yasmine

What are you looking forward to?

Working on a film set again. Hopefully soon.

What song have you been listening to most lately?

Just Give Me a Reason by Pink.

What do you believe with all your heart to be true, but can’t prove?

Soulmates are real, that I have more than one, and that I will be lucky to meet one of them.

(Photographed at The Meatball Shop, Chelsea on February 26, 2013. Follow Yasmine at @nobodysweasel.)

Chinatown City Life Urban Planning

A New Chinatown Uptown?

From “Chinese Moving to East Harlem in a Quiet Shift From Downtown” in today’s New York Times:

It also thrust into violent relief an otherwise hidden demographic change in East Harlem: The population of Asian residents, mostly Chinese, has quietly ballooned in the last decade, doubling in the southern part of the neighborhood and tripling in the north, according to census figures.

I moved to Central Harlem from Brooklyn four-and-a-half years ago. I love my current digs, but I missed the convenient access to Chinatown that I had when living on the Q train, which passed through the heart of Manhattan’s Chinatown.

I used to eat and shop in Chinatown at least once a week; now it’s more like once a month. I miss the cheap and tasty restaurants, the cheap and fresh groceries, the easy availability of the “ying yang” tea/coffee drink I’m addicted to.

Given how Chinatowns have sprouted up around NYC, I’ve been hoping that new one would grow in Harlem or the South Bronx. If this article is accurate, it looks like it might finally be happening.

Ailurophilia Helena Monday is Cat Week

Monday is Cat Week: Helena at Home

She’s only been here five months, but Helena pretty much owns the place now. Nobody’s complaining.


An Oversupply of Veterinarians?

From today’s New York Times:

America may be pet-crazed and filled with people eager to buy expensive fetch toys and heated cat beds. But the total population of pets is going down, along with the sums that owners are willing to spend on the health care of their animals, one of the lesser-known casualties of the recession.

Today, the ratio of debt to income for the average new vet is roughly double that of M.D.’s, according to Malcolm Getz, an economist at Vanderbilt University. To practitioners in the field, such numbers are ominous, and they portend lean times for new graduates.

This article is really surprising and disturbing to me on so many levels. My takeaways:

  1. Virtually all the vets I’ve ever had to bring my cats to have been awesome. It pains me to learn that so many vets are struggling given the important work they do.
  2. Pet ownership and the amount spent on pet health care should rebound as we get further away from the recession. In a country where the population and the economy are growing, more people have pets and they spend money on them. If both numbers continue to drop, that means our future is probably fucked.
  3. The student loan situation is fucked now.
City Life

Long Island City

City Life

Times Square

Elmo: What up, Grover? What are you doing here?

Grover: Oh, just meeting up with some friends at Bubba Gump. You wanna join us?

Elmo: No, I can’t. I’m seeing a play at the Roundabout.

Grover: Cool.

Elmo: Yeah.

Grover: All right, see you later.

Elmo: Catch you later, man.

Ailurophilia Eating Helena

Sodastream Anxiety

As far as I can tell, there’s no way to know if you’re near the end of a Sodastream tank. Is there a name for the anxiety that comes with this uncertainty?

NO points for answering “first world problem.” None whatsoever.


Back to the Blog

In December 2004, I began this blog as Bklyn Blggng, a humble Blogger-based cameraphone blog. (If you want to see that original blog in its current blown-out, spam-infested, decrepit state, look here. This is what happens to abandoned Blogger sites.)

It’s hard to believe eight years have passed. I started photoblogging because I wanted to get into the habit of “writing for an audience” in a simple, immediate way that also included visuals. Not least, the ability to shoot, write, and upload via my Treo 600 was also hugely appealing to my geek sensibilities. Blogging during my lunch hour quickly became a regular pastime.

Thanks to my good friend Mikael, the blog eventually moved to its own domain and Movable Type. For the next several years I photoblogged regularly and had fun making tweaks to the site with his generous help. As I accumulated more film and theatre credits, I added pages to show off my work.

Somewhere around 2009-2010, our MT installation started failing on a increasingly regular basis. I started posting less as a result. In 2011, we moved the blog over to Posterous, which worked well for a while but had its own complications fitting into the Flickr-based blogflow that I’d gotten used to. The posting decreased further and I found myself using Twitter and Facebook more and more to share photos and thoughts.

Earlier this month, Posterous announced that it was shutting down, a widely-predicted move following its purchase by Twitter last year. This development was actually good news for my blog and my site, as it got me back together with Mikael to create this new WordPress-based site.

So, I’m back to blogging and the website looks better than ever. I’m feeling that the blog will go in a more free-form direction this year, so each post won’t necessarily be tied to a cameraphone photo.

2013 is going to be a busy, interesting year for me and I’m looking forward to sharing it all here with you. Thanks for reading.


Note: for now, I’m leaving the Comments function off. If you feel moved to share your thoughts about anything I’ve posted, respond on Twitter or Facebook and we’ll chat there.