Discount on the IDEA conference and SmartEx Classes in NYC

I’m psyched that IDEA — a conference on designing complex information spaces of all kinds — is happening in New York this year, with a great lineup of presenters like Jake Barton, Alex Wright, and Chenda Fruchter.

And from now until September 15th October 3rd you can get 10% off the price of the IDEA 2007 conference when you sign up for a class at Smart Experience.

And, if you register for IDEA by September 15th, you receive 20% off any Smart Experience class. Here’s the details.

NYC Lectures, Jan 2005

Malcolm Gladwell talks about his new book, Blink, at Barnes and Noble Union Square at 7pm on January 13th. Free.

Jared Diamond lectures on his new book at the 92nd St Y, 7:30pm on Jan 16. $25.

The editors and writers of a new magazine called Plenty discuss the mag’s view on the intersection of business, products and environmentalism, at my local The Half King, 23rd St west of 10th Ave, at 7pm on January 17th. Free.

Nooch for noodles

Nooch restaurant in New York

Nooch is a new Japanese and Thai restaurant in my hood of New York, a chain originating in Singapore. I was skeptical, but I must admit Karim Rashid’s interior works well, balancing modern with comfortable through comfy seats and colorful but subdued lighting. The food is yummy and surprisingly inexpensive. The drink menu focus on martinis evades the tired martini rut with an emphasis on fresh fruit juices. Recommended.

Touring Ground Zero

If someone was to ask me how the new PATH station at the World Trade Center was situated and how the train arrived, I know what I wouldn’t say. I wouldn’t say it comes in above ground (the PATH is mostly underground) and tours the perimeter of the property, first traveling East along the North side before turning around and traveling in the opposite direction before stopping, ready to head straight back into New Jersey. But that’s just what it does, giving the rider a panoramic view of the ground at Ground Zero. It would be weird if Ground Zero wasn’t essentially a construction site these days, and if all of this wouldn’t be underground soon, under buildings and footprint pools and footprints. I snapped this lame shot from the window as the train rounded the corner…

Otterness

There’s so much good art in galleries and museums in New York, the public art pretty much sucks, having put our resources into nifty architecture and parks instead.

The rare exception is Tom Otterness, who has installations all over town. Many, like the figures sprinkled throughout the 14th St IND station, carry a clear political theme, like cute little capitalists being dragged into manholes by alligators.

I used to walk through Battery Park on the way to work, where there’s another group of Otterness oddities. The funny thing about them is that little stories can unfold depending on which viewpoint you have. I used to walk by and wonder about this little guy and his worm friend being eyed by the bird…

…and later noticed the lemur-like creature eyeing the bird…

…and much later, only be taking a different path home around the wall, did I notice the dog eyeing the lemur…

…but the dog is tied up to the water fountain. Why? Is he doomed to watch this scene as it unfolds, unable to participate, to save the bird or bite the lemur?

Opera in the Park

Lying on the grass listening to La Boheme reminded me of when I was young, lying on the grass listening to Godspell in Thomas A. Edison Park.


Tendency to Subway

I was just trying to explain to Nick why I usually ride the subway. It’s economical, yes, that’s a big part of it. He asked, ‘The community?‘ and yes, but really no. It’s not as if people socialize down there. It is the people though, the great Walt Whitman celebration of the democratic city (‘Leaning back in their open barouches, bare-headed, impassive, Ride to-day through Manhattan.’). It’s also the freedom, different than a car but empowering also, that puts me within walking distance of somewhere else entirely, somewhere fantastic, all for pocket change, all without a license or equipment and only a glance at the map.

Update: T., whose site is in a perpetual pre-launch state, is so right: ‘I feel like I can let my mind wander and daydream when I take the subway. Maybe because I’ve taken it so often I can go on auto-pilot. However, if I take a taxi, I don’t feel more relaxed at all. In fact I feel a bit more stressed because I have to pay attention to what is going on.

Paul, however, reveals the limits of the subway experience.

Independence Day, 2002

They’re selling vegetables on Broadway
A man is runnin’ for the train
Strollin’ down 42nd Street
On our Independence Day
Rub-A-Dub on 57th Street
It’s our Independence Day!
Arm in arm on 82nd Street
On our Independence Day

The Salon

I’m becoming convinced that the salon is a great model for meeting in person the people to whom you already have an online network connection. A few weeks ago I participated in an IA Salon, and tonight I was invited to another group interested in social network analysis and the like. Both events were attended by fantastically interesting people, most of whom had never met. They were all selected by a central host and took place in a home.

Other events I’ve attended, like groups of bloggers, just don’t have enough in common for conversation to flow naturally. At a salon the connections are more interesting, the atmosphere warmer. Not to mention it’s all easier on the wallet. Recommended.

Puerto Rican Day

It’s Puerto Rican Day in New York, complete with parade. I’m listening to West Side Story

ROSALIA: When I will go back to San Juan.
ANITA: When you will shut up and get gone?
ROSALIA: Everyone there will give big cheer!
ANITA: Everyone there will have moved here!