One of my biggest pet peeves is an overstuffed wallet. Hopefully Coin will solve some of the problem.

Still, I need to carry my metro card, ID and since I love street food, always some cash on hand. Enter Raphael Quality Goods. I saw a post on Twitter a few weeks ago, and this is an elegant solution. James hand crafts these wallets from one piece of leather to create a slim and simple solution for organization.

I love leather goods because they are lifetime buys, and they really adapt to your usage. I was very excited to receive my new wallet in the mail today.

To and fro and whereever the roads are paved.. and the speed limit is under 40 mph

Have been reading back on old blog posts. This one from the summer of 2005.

Got my scooter the other day, finally.  Cem skipped town for the warmer environs of Istanbul, so I’m the inheritor of his vehicle… for a cool $1200.  I think I can resell it for $1600, but who knows.. I want to get it off my hands in late fall.  Hopefully I’ll find buyers.

For the time being, exploration begats new possibilities – tremendous opportunities to get lost, to stop and imprison the moments in my viewfinder, to escape into the oblivion of motion-speed.

Had dinner at the Boat Basin Cafe on the Upper West Side after work – zipped up to 79th on Weez in no time.  Made friends with the most precocious dog in the world, yapped and yipped on meditation and memories and had a beautiful ice cream time with Chaise and Brian.  I’ll miss her when she’s gone. 

I named the scooter Weez because the brake pads are kind of worn so it wheezes and whirs when I ride it.  I should get it checked out but the front brakes work well enough so I figure it’s not such an issue cause I’m gonna sell it soon enough anyways.

Scootched back to Billburg from the mid 80s in about 40 minutes — not bad.  By subway, especially late at night, it would have taken more than an hour.

Going over Williamsburg bridge is a harrowing experience first time round, but the winds! the air! the pointissimal lights of Manhattan dotted like diamonds on black velvet — on both sides! Spectacular.

Picked up Caroline in her pjs and off we went exploring the neighborhood.  Discovered Grand Ferry Park – we stumbled upon a fistful of Hasidic nightlovers hanging out at the water’s edge, their wide brimmed hats made funny UFO shapes against the Mahattan skyline.  Also bumped into a gigantic column, decorated with friezes and bricked up near the pier.  I thought silently that it must be a pagan monument erected as a fuck you to the snobbish inhabitants across the Hudson river.. does it matter if there is a fuck you in the middle of the woods and no one cares?  It does…  Caroline didn’t care for my reflections as she skipped back to Weez and off we went again. 

Up to Greenpoint. Cut through McCaren Park. Then over to Grand and saw the flickering lights of the Italian Festival as it wound down for the night.  We stopped and strolled through the littered streets and smelled the persistent aromas of sausages, sugared cakes and calzones. Young sweaty boys shoved each other for the last spot at a shooting gallery game, younger girls twittered next to cotton candy stands in their sequined white dresses – burly policemen stood in bunches, waiting for the rides to shut down so they can go home to wavy TVs and dark bedrooms…

Now that Weez is a dear friend, I can’t help but worry.  Got a parking ticket already, but since I detached my license plate from its holder while I park, I don’t think it’s a big issue.  Apparently all scooter owners don’t have license plates when they park.  You just reattach it when you drive.  But conversely, if I park somewhere without a chain (i.e. not on the sidewalk or at home), if someone steals the bike, then I have no way of tracking it down because the license plate is not on..   ah.. the trade-offs!  I think I’ll stick with more flexibility.

The only problem with Weez?  I have helmet hair.

I have started to browse the NYTimes comments more and more. It’s a small but thriving community, and I have learned lots that add to my understanding of the articles. The socialness within the NYTimes is basic, there is no cross referencing or engagement outside of the articles, but there is depth of conversation. I do think the NYTimes is undervalued if they can unlock more of their nascent and invisible community, perhaps as a counterweight to the superficial communities on lesser quality media platforms. It may go away from their core knowledge of news reporting, but an interesting thought exercise nonetheless.
Update: Looks like I need to do more research (thanks jasonsmithtx) as the NYTimes is actively developing their comments platform:

The Times, which will commit up to six employees to the project, said that it had considered buying available software but concluded along with The Post that it would be easier to customize a platform built in-house. Such a platform would also allow the publisher to retain valuable user data instead of handing it to a third party.
Through the new platform, the news organizations said in a release, “Readers will be able to submit pictures, links and other media; track discussions; and manage their contributions and online identities.” The news outlets can then collect and use the reader content “for other forms of storytelling and to spark ongoing discussions.”

Admirable work!

I have started to browse the NYTimes comments more and more. It’s a small but thriving community, and I have learned lots that add to my understanding of the articles. The socialness within the NYTimes is basic, there is no cross referencing or engagement outside of the articles, but there is depth of conversation. I do think the NYTimes is undervalued if they can unlock more of their nascent and invisible community, perhaps as a counterweight to the superficial communities on lesser quality media platforms. It may go away from their core knowledge of news reporting, but an interesting thought exercise nonetheless.

Update: Looks like I need to do more research (thanks jasonsmithtx) as the NYTimes is actively developing their comments platform:

The Times, which will commit up to six employees to the project, said that it had considered buying available software but concluded along with The Post that it would be easier to customize a platform built in-house. Such a platform would also allow the publisher to retain valuable user data instead of handing it to a third party.

Through the new platform, the news organizations said in a release, “Readers will be able to submit pictures, links and other media; track discussions; and manage their contributions and online identities.” The news outlets can then collect and use the reader content “for other forms of storytelling and to spark ongoing discussions.”

Admirable work!