Posts tagged “NYC”


I’m here in the Millenium Hilton directly across from the World Trade Center site. I went out about 9:30 pm and there were more than 50 police cars parked alongside the road. Some had flashers on. Police were walking around and standing around. I walked through the area to see what was up; eventually it seemed that they were staging for something else. After about 30 minutes they peeled off in heats of 5 to 20, every few minutes, with lights flashing, and sires whooping. They went in the same direction, but then turned off different side streets.

Why? What was this about? There was one TV crew there; I’ll see if anything is on the news about this.

Update: the waiter in the restaurant says that the police do this every morning, staging before their morning assignments. Maybe this was the evening version? Seems awfully dramatic.

f00d pr0n

We had a really nice lunch at a fancy-type of Italian restaurant in Midtown yesterday. I just spent 3 minutes on Google maps to see if I could find the name if I knew where it was, but really, it’s too much of a chore and if anyone really cares, they can write me and we’ll figure it out. At any rate, here are the appetizers and the freebie dessert plate. Looked and tasted great! No entrees because maybe we were too hungry when they came?

Food Rescue Me

Here’s what I’ve seen outside an Au Bon Pain store in Manhattan on two separate nights – a huge amount of food being discarded. Easily noticeable is dozens of bagels; no doubt other stuff as well.

Does Manhattan no longer have a hunger or homeless problem? Where is the food rescue organizations to pick this up and deliver it to someone who can use it? I’m not picking on Au Bon Pain specifically, it’s just what I’ve seen casually walking about. No doubt the problem/opportunity is more widespread than simply one store that I observed personally.

I ate dinner in Chinatown last night (despite picking a Chowhound etc. fave, I wasn’t that impressed, I’ve had better in SF and environs easily), and had quite a bit left over. I took it to go, even though being in a hotel there was no way to eat it. But the homeless dude I saw on the way in had packed up, and I couldn’t find anyone in Midtown either. But there are these buildings with atrium (atria? I dunno – they each only have one) that are designated public space (is this a tax thing or what?) and open til 10pm. I walked by one and there were many people playing chess. It wasn’t clear to me if these people had homes or money or were just chess enthusiasts, or if it was a mixture. I saw a lot of backpacks that seemed fairly full. I walked in nonchalantly past the security guard, and just left my food on an empty table. It’ll probably get thrown out, but if those people are in need, maybe someone will take it.

And just for some extra context – I don’t give money to people on the street. Ever. I rarely look or acknowledge, etc. I’m not boasting about what I did yesterday, or defending what I do normally, it’s just who I am and how I’ve chosen for now to handle these things.

What does motivate me more than any sense of “charity” or “giving” as an abhorrence of waste. My leftovers and the Au Bon Pain bounty are waste that could be leveraged. That appeals to something in me. One thing I’ve done is start a local freecycle group that allows people to exchange unwanted goods instead of tossing ’em out.

subway advertising


If they spend all this money to advertise a show and then a disaster happens and the show isn’t going to go on, wouldn’t they ante up with the budget to remove those ads? It’s almost a month old, which is bad, and of course the show never premiered. It just seems sloppy and embarrassing. Won’t the MTA take them down themselves?

Don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone

11taxi2_lg (Custom) (2)
The New York Times reports on a grassroots taxi redesign effort: A nonprofit group called the Design Trust for Public Space plans to ‘define the ideal taxi and taxi system of the future.’ At a workshop on May 24, designers, architects, city officials and representatives of taxi owners and drivers sketched out an array of ideas. Matthew W. Daus, the chairman of the Taxi and Limousine Commission, has given cautious support to the effort. “This is a good exercise to get the perspectives of consumers and passengers, and also of architects and designers who are not involved in the day-to-day business of cabs.”

Yet the perspective of consumers and passengers is not included in the process! This seems like a fantastic opportunity to try to understand the needs of the users of the system from another point of view, rather than as users of the system who presumably arrive at these workshops already ready to solve the problems they’ve defined. Let’s take a step back and try to understand what isn’t working for someone else. Ethnographic study of the cab-riding experience, anyone?

W Hotel

I’m off to New Jersey/New York this week. I’ll be doing some meetings in NJ to kick off an exciting new project, and then hanging for a couple of days in NYC (staying at the W Hotel) to see some friends. It’s been nearly a year since I’ve been out there; looking forward to it!


About Steve