Friday, March 30, 2007

Austin: worth exploring.

Monday, March 26, 2007

CLT wifi down?

Poach from "crew room" on concourse D.

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Saturday, March 24, 2007

Going to VA now.

Really need sleep.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Wow.

A lot of people read this shit.

Spike's

The RI-based hotdog chain serves up an AWESOME Buffalo chicken sandwich of two tenders on a bun. They must make their own sauce with butter and hotsauce. Tangy and home-made tasting.

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Apparent Sprawl-Powered Growth

Greetings from Berkeley.

Check out this CNN list of the Census Bureau's fastest-growing counties in the U.S. Four of the top ten are in the DFW area. They're going to need more transit, fast, to stay livable. I have a hunch that places like Dallas and Houston will become economically punishing to their residents over the next few decades.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Annual warm welcome to wayward WWNers.

Keep your power up.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Time to put a fork in Astoria?

When the Globe writes about how cool it is, I fear my favorite neighborhood may be done.

Friday, March 16, 2007

To our newcoming fanatics:

Please see RB post from Sunday, July 31, 2005.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Terror Envy and LNG Hysteria (but mostly just terror envy)

The week of the recent Mooninite disaster, a Joshua Glenn, writing on an "ideas blog" apparently hosted by the Boston Globe, made the audacious but mostly true claim that
Bostonians remain, in some sick, twisted way, jealous of New York because terrorists deemed a NY landmark world-famous enough to be targeted for attack. Anyone who followed local news coverage in the days after 9/11 knows exactly what I'm talking about.

Last week, in an unusual piece of schlock, the Phoenix ran as its cover story a piece of fiction about WHAT COULD HAPPEN if terrorists struck an LNG tanker in the harbor. Exhibiting severe symptoms of terror envy, author/douchebag Stephen Flynn suggested that terrorist "mastermind" Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (who just today claimed "responsibility" for 9/11 and the beheading of that WSJ guy) would
[like] the symbolism of striking so close to Logan airport, which had served as one of the stepping-off points of the 9/11 attacks.

Let's get something straight, particularly what Boston had to do with 9/11. Because dimwitted private security guards at Logan Airport let crazy Muslims with boxcutters on airplanes, 2,752 people in New York were killed. That's it. That's the significance of Boston to 9/11.

Since then, Lite Brites cause city-crippling bomb scares. I am detained and questioned for taking a picture of a tugboat, but Trusted Media Outlets like the Globe can regularly publish photos of real threats like this (also published today)...



As Boston tries to find its terror target significance, I have to wonder: is it envy or is it really just guilt? Perhaps a mix of both.

UPDATE: Now that I've sort of slept on this, I think the conclusion is too narrowly focused. I guess the average citizen has every right to be scared (combine "average" intelligence + "culture of fear" media...). And the scary things are: 1) Boston's hypocrisy (claiming to be a top terror target while allowing energy corporations to send 900-foot LNG tankers through downtown). 2. Standard-practice overreaction (again, check out Mooninitegate....what's to come?). 3. Fake, or mostly fake, empathy for New Yorkers. Well, maybe that just scares me.

UPDATE #2: PANG OF CONSCIENCE: I shouldn't have forgotten about the Bostonians on the planes that attacked New York. They were murdered, too. But it still seems to me that Boston is always seeking to have had a greater role or significance in 9/11. Is that something anyone but a first responder should want?

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Call for attendees: National Buffalo Wing Festival.

Every Labor Day weekend.

Held in a large, minor league ballpark in Buffalo, the annual festival features dozens of restaurants who compete in the area of sauce. The contest organizers provide cooked wings, which each booth douses in its own sauce. Admission is $5 per day.

Last year's entertainment included a Jimmy Buffet tribute band and the crowning of Miss Buffalo Wing 2006.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Best of Plastic Shitcam

I lost my digital point and shoot camera and have been using my el cheapo fixed focus 35mm camera with semi-expired film I just got two rolls back from the drugstore.

Drugstores leave their own mark on your photos. They fuck up cutting negatives, fuck up alignment on prints, fuck up scanning, etc. Their computer-controlled lab machines make the same mistakes humans used to. In addition to the regular slew of imperfections, the machine at Walgreen's neglected to print or scan what I thought would be the coolest picture in the set, a shot of a Bobcat's demolition claw crouched over a dumpster in South Beach. It will get here eventually.

More from plastic shitcam:

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New Photosets

New Orleans


New York Harbor, 12/28/06


And here's a recent Macworld interview with Flickr co-founder Stewart Butterfield that provides absolutely no information or insight into the future of Flickr, save for slight suggestions and hints that all for-profit internet and media outlets will continue to grow at the expense of their content providers (you).

Coming tonight: The New Adventures of Old Plastic Shitcam, Part 1.

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Interesting facts about independent newspapers in Queens, a large, urban place that no one knows anything about

There are 55 community newsweeklies and 29 immigrant papers there.

Best quote comes from a Maureen E. Walthers, publisher and editor of something called The Times Newsweekly of Ridgewood, on reporters for the city's megapapers: "Nothing personal, she said, 'but you’re dealing mostly with people that came from Iowa.'"

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Pause: Holy Fuck.

This is the 4th day in a row I've woken up after noon. It's 3:47, adjusted EST, and I'm eating beef barley soup and diet coke for breakfast. I've done four time zone changes in the past week, and if I'm not getting paid to think about something, I haven't been thinking about that something very much. Yet I have discovered new sources of BBQ (typed BBW--not what I meant) and saw some excellent bands last night.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

art time

Brothers are up at 6:58 today to work on photos and music.

Friday, March 09, 2007

MACEO set to announce US tour dates

Ladies and gentlemen, Maceo Parker, The Funkiest Saxophone Player in the World, will be playing in the US this June. Keep an eye on maceo.com. This show is not to be missed; in fact, I'd say that it's worth traveling to from wherever you are. The man won't last forever.

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Thursday, March 08, 2007

BBQ, The Great Unifier, at work in Denver

Last night I dined at Wolfe's Barbecue in Denver, right across from the state capitol in a neighborhood that seemed unusually seedy. Wolfe's is like the dingy Chinese restaurant of the barbecue world, a one-man operation in a small storefront. [Read all about it here.] I had the address written down and walked right past the place on my first attempt.

Wolfe himself seems like a real character. He's a short, white-bearded dude in an apron. He charges $.50 for use of a credit card, $2 to make change for non-customers, and he gets free web hosting out of his Sam's Club business membership.

His BBQ, however, cuts no corners. To attain surprisingly authentic flavor, he uses a hickory/charcoal combo to smoke his meat. I tried the three-course dinner: brisket, pork, and beef sausage were my meat selections. The brisket was thin-sliced and a little dry, with a faint, smoky flavor. The edges were also a bit fatty. The pork turned out to be big, delicious, and smoky chunks--not pulled or chopped, and thus dippable in Wolfe's sauce. The sausage was the real surprise. The "all beef" links had the perfect blend of flavor and heat.

"It's made for me, using my own recipe," Wolfe told me. "No nitrites or preservatives."

For my two sides, I chose BBQ beans and slaw. The slaw was tasty, though not extremely fresh. The beans were delicious--probably store-bought, then doctored with ketchup, spice, and pork. I went up for seconds. Wolfe said I could pay "a buck or a buck and a nickel." I gave him a ten dollar bill, and he scoffed, audibly, at having to make change.

As I doused my dinner roll in hot, house recipe barbecue sauce, over-under-dressed hipsters with bad tattoos ordered bbq tofu sandwiches and discussed having their bands play together. State house types in suits came in and got some cue to power them through a boring night of research. And proprietors of other East Colfax businesses also came in to pick up dinner.

An anomaly like this deserves to last. I only wish I had heard about the lemon pie before leaving town.

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GOOD MORNING

Now on my own time. Time zones irrelevant.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Denver

is still really a real city, though the trolleys play recordings of horns and bells instead of actually having horns and bells.

I am really kicking myself for not bringing my SLR. It's peak season for feeling uncreative.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

College Point Christmas Eve

Two months after the fact, you're invited to explore this Flickr photoset.

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Saturday, March 03, 2007

Major realization achieved through business travel no. 1: some cities aren't real.

Many Americans and Canadians who think that they live in cities actually live in large, suburban agglomerations ringed by highways, with little or no public transportation and nonfunctioning downtowns. This is bad for all involved.

If I had spent all my time in New York and Boston, I would have continued thinking that everyone thinks that a city is a city. Not so: geography usually doesn't lie. I currently rank Indianapolis, Houston, Dallas, and Calgary as pretend cities.

Why does it matter? It seems that people raised in suburbs and fake cities have an unrealistic perception of how the other half (actually, way more than half) lives. Bostonians frequently complain that the city's 200,000+ college students, many of them suburb-raised, lack street smarts, common sense, and understanding of how a/the city works. (They sound like farm-raised salmon.) I'm noticing that many members of our federal governments and their corporate overlords lack the same necessary education.


Cities visited since January 1: Chicago, Seattle, New Orleans (twice), Miami, Greensboro/Winston-Salem, Dallas, Houston.

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Thursday, March 01, 2007

1:52am EST

Arrive in suburban Houston hotel, 2 hours late.

Read more of Little Children on the plane. It's boring as a story, but interesting me as a school novel set a decade-plus after the fact. Brain churning.