What a perfect article to welcome me back on my visit to NYC: Here Is New York, Right Where We Left It. Phew! Except of course the author is talking about old New York: hat shops, places to get a mug of beer for fifty cents, and pigs-knuckles lunches. It's a neat look at the small New York shops, bars, and restaurants hidden amongst the ever-increasing sprawl of national chains springing up around the City. At the very end of the article is perhaps the most important bit:
One thing the streets surely stand to lose when these frayed patches of New York's vast tapestry are finally replaced is a measure of their human scale. These remnants of a less mobile and more local New York speak of a more modest urban life in which goods and money traveled in smaller amounts between slightly less hurried parties moving in slightly smaller orbits.
No one goes to these old places to be seen or find the perfect pair of shoes or have a life-changing culinary experience or stock up on Turkish pistachios or toilet paper. If for nothing else, people go to these unfancy places because they embody a hidden truth about New York: that it is possible in almost any part of this monstrously huge, indifferent city to feel strangely at home.
How perfectly true.
As someone who's started two companies, I know the horror and thrill that comes with giving up a steady paycheck to follow a dream, and I'm so happy to see that Jason has decided to join the ranks of entrepreneurs and devote himself to full-time blogging at kottke.org.
Jason is not going to support himself through advertising, rather he is asking for readers to act as micropatrons of his site and contribute to its upkeep. Please consider supporting him, not only because he writes a great site and because supporting dreams is important. This is the chance to support something new: an "amateur" deciding to edit a blog full-time without corporate support and without advertising. It's a long time blogger chosing to go pro, and Jason is the perfect person to do it.
Digital Lifestyle Day 05 is underway here in Munich and happily my panel was not only the very first one, but I was the first speaker. So now my work is done and I can enjoy the conference and the mingling and the snacks and coffee! It's been very interesting so far and fun to share the stage with people like Caterina (from flickr.com) and Michael (from last.fm). My brain's bubbling with lots of thoughts, most of which would be clearer if I weren't quite so tired. Still, the conference is fun so far. Check out the website for more information, I believe they're putting up streams of the presentations so you can see what's going on.
Drat, here I am about to leave for Munich in a few hours, and I just now remembered I hadn't posted asking for recommendations of what to see while there. I'm sure I'll find some Internet connection when I arrive, so go ahead and let me know what I can't afford to miss during my brief sojourn to the Bavarian capital. Neat architecture, pretty scenes, and cool cultural suggestions are appreciated. And of course, if there's something I just shouldn't miss (a museum? a food? a beer?), let me know. Thanks.
The amazing interstingness of miscellany, specifically Schott's Food and Drink Miscellany has provided me with several hours of pre-sleep delight as I've perused its pages in bed. Last night I discovered that both the loganberry and the boysenberry are not in fact wild berries, but derivatives of raspberries! Beneath the heading, "Epicurean Eponyms," Mr. Schott explains:
LOGANBERRY · the sweet purple berry of the raspberry plant Rubus loganobaccus · created by the American judge and experimental horticulturalist James Harvey Logan, who developed the plant (c.1881). Some forty years later the botanist Rudolph Boysen created the hybrid BOYSENBERRY from the loganberry, the raspberry, and the blackberry.
No wonder I've never seen a loganberry bush in the wild! I'm loving this little book and all its wonders. Highly recommended for any foodie or food-curious person.
Some of the things I had no idea were on my computer's desktop, discovered while cleaning it up:
- A recipe for Pickled Oysters with English Cucumber "Capellini" and Dill
- A map of the Madaket (Nantucket) bus route
- Various torrents of things I never listened to, like Jon Stewart's Crossfire appearance
- More strange .pdf files that I must have inadvertantly downloaded than I care to admit
- An Excel spreadsheet from 4/2003 comparing the costs of purcasing an espresso machine to going to the local coffee shop to making due with my French Press pot at home
- My brother's "updated" résumé from early 2004
From here on out, I resolve to be neater! Next job: cleaning up the 6,935 emails in my inbox (all either read or skimmed), oldest dating back to 9/13/01!
Perhaps the most succinct — and best — advice about software development that I've ever come across. Jamie Zawinski, in this post about groupware, boils it down to:
If you want to do something that's going to change the world, build software that people want to use instead of software that managers want to buy.
So simple, and yet nearly impossible to accomplish.
I'll be heading to Munich at the end of the week for a conference, and while I'm there, I need to continue my training for the Paris Marathon. I found this article from Runner's World, Travel: On the Road: Munich, Germany that suggests many areas to run in the city. Of course, it assumes it's not winter, and extoles the lushness of the parks and warns of nude sunbathers. The routes sound good though and I'm looking forward to exploring the city on my training jogs.
Living again in New England, I've rediscovered my love for maple syrup (specifically of course, Vermont maple syrup!) and have been using maple products on everything possible in nearly every meal. The other day I picked up The Official Vermont Maple Cookbook (second edition) to help feed (literally!) my maple passion. It contains such yummy items as "Maple Pudding Cake", "Vermont Maple Chicken" (which sounds like something my mom used to make when I was little, a maple syrup chicken that was second only to mac and cheese in the list of favorite dinners), and something called "Maple Dream." Mmmm…maple dream! When the sap starts to run in the next month or so, I may even put in some time as a sugaring apprentice! Having a sugarbush on my own land someday is my maple dream.
Last night's Super Bowl was pretty good, especially once the Pats started playing better in the second half. To show our support for the team, we made 'Teddy Bruschettas' — one set topped with chopped mushrooms sauteed in butter with garlic and dried sage and the other with warmed tomatoes, basil, and garlic cooked in olive oil. Both types were delicious, and I'm sure supported not just Teddy Bruschi but all the Patriots! Aside from burning the first batch of toasts so badly that flames were shooting out the oven, it was pretty successful. I recommend Teddy Bruschettas for all your Patriots game dining needs.