New York City artisan shop begins selling tap water – filtered by $25,000 machine, ultraviolet rays

New York is known for its food niche stores: The Hummus Place. The Doughnut Plant. The Dumpling Man. Even a spot dedicated solely to rice pudding.

But this week, a store in the East Village went a step further: It sells New York City tap water.

Not just any tap water, insist the owners of Molecule. They say the water streams through a $25,000 filtering machine that uses ultraviolet rays, ozone treatments and reverse osmosis in a seven-stage processing treatment to create what they call pure H20.

“I mean it’s subtle, but if you have a sensitive palate you can totally tell” the difference, said co-owner Adam Ruhf.

Water quality has long been a point of pride for New Yorkers, touted by Mayor Michael Bloomberg as one of the city’s signature distinctions.

The owners of Molecule vehemently disagree.

 

Keep reading: Wall Street Journal – What Are They Drinking in New York City?

 

 

Continue reading New York City artisan shop begins selling tap water – filtered by $25,000 machine, ultraviolet rays

The art of Joe Hodnicki – official artist of the San Diego Surf Film Festival

Handplane Art.

 

Program Cover for the Festival.

Continue reading The art of Joe Hodnicki – official artist of the San Diego Surf Film Festival

The story of Ballet shoes

The story of ballet shoes, from the factory to the stage. Filmed on location at Freed of London & the New York City Ballet.

Client: New York City Ballet
Director + Editor: Galen Summer
Producer: Kristin Sloan
Director of Photography: Hillary Spera
Sound Mixer: Guillermo Pena Tapia

 

// Thx – José Vega

A lesson on patience

A NYC Taxi driver wrote:

I arrived at the address and honked the horn. After waiting a few minutes I honked again. Since this was going to be my last ride of my shift I thought about just driving away, but instead I put the car in park and walked up to the door and knocked.. ‘Just a minute’, answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor.

After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 90’s stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940’s movie.

By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets.

There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard
box filled with photos and glassware.

‘Would you carry my bag out to the car?’ she said. I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman.

She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb.

She kept thanking me for my kindness. ‘It’s nothing’, I told her.. ‘I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother to be treated.’

‘Oh, you’re such a good boy, she said. When we got in the cab, she gave me an address and then asked, ‘Could you drive
through downtown?’

‘It’s not the shortest way,’ I answered quickly…

‘Oh, I don’t mind,’ she said. ‘I’m in no hurry. I’m on my way to a hospice.

I looked in the rear-view mirror. Her eyes were glistening. ‘I don’t have any family left,’ she continued in a soft voice..’The doctor says I don’t have very long.’ I quietly reached over and shut off the meter.

‘What route would you like me to take?’ I asked.

For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator.

We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl.

Sometimes she’d ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.

As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, ‘I’m tired.Let’s go now’.

We drove in silence to the address she had given me. It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico.

Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move.
They must have been expecting her.

I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.

‘How much do I owe you?’ She asked, reaching into her purse.

‘Nothing,’ I said

‘You have to make a living,’ she answered.

‘There are other passengers,’ I responded.

Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug. She held onto me tightly.

‘You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,’ she said. ‘Thank you.’

I squeezed her hand, and then walked into the dim morning light.. Behind me, a door shut.It was the sound of the closing of a life..

I didn’t pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly lost in thought. For the rest of that day,I could hardly talk.What if that woman had gotten an angry driver,or one who was impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away?

On a quick review, I don’t think that I have done anything more important in my life.

We’re conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments.

But great moments often catch us unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.

 

// Thx – Kristoffer Sorensen

Thousands of never-before-seen-photos from New York City – 100 years ago

New Yorkers cool off in the Astoria public pool with the Hell Gate railroad bridge looming in the background in the summer of 1940.
Murder most foul: A detective took this crime scene photo in 1918 after children found the body of Gaspare Candella stuffed in a drum and dumped in a field in Brooklyn, New York.

Continue reading Thousands of never-before-seen-photos from New York City – 100 years ago

Kickstarter project: build a NYC park in an abandoned, underground trolley terminal

We want to transform an abandoned trolley terminal on the Lower East Side of Manhattan into the world’s first underground park, called Lowline.

This space is quite large, by New York standards: 60,000 square feet, or 1.5 acres. It was built in 1903 as a trolley terminal, for streetcars traveling over the Williamsburg Bridge, and has been out of operation since 1948. We fell in love with the site because of its architectural details: old cobblestones, crisscrossing rail tracks, vaulted 20-foot ceilings, and strong steel columns.

To build this park, we’re planning to use a cutting-edge version of existing technology– which we’ve already built in prototype. It uses a system of optics to gather sunlight, concentrate it, and reflect it below ground, where it is dispersed by a solar distributor dish embedded in the ceiling. The light irrigated underground will carry the necessary wavelengths to support photosynthesis– meaning we can grow plants, trees, and grasses underground. The cables block harmful UV rays that cause sunburn, so you can leave the SPF-45 at home. Sunglasses optional (for cool kids).

We think a year-round public space will be valuable for everyone. Farmers markets and vendor stands can feature fresh produce and locally made goods, supporting local and sustainable businesses. Art installations, concerts, and performances can help showcase the incredible creative spirit of the Lower East Side. Youth programming and educational opportunities can offer rich experiences for kids and parents. And a safe haven from the hectic feel of Delancey Street will serve as relief in a very car-centric corner of Manhattan.

When it’s really cold, or pouring rain, how much fun is it to hang out in Central Park? The High Line? Not so much. The LowLine can be the 21st century answer to traditional parks: instead of building up, let’s build down!

via Kickstarter

1 World Trade Center – tallest building in NYC and most expensive in the world

One World Trade Center hit a milestone at the end of January when it passed the 90th floor and became the most expensive building in the world.

Now, with construction passing the 93rd floor, it’ll soon hit another milestone: in the next few weeks, it will pass the Empire State Building to become the tallest building in NYC.

Eventually, the 104-story tower will be taller than 1776 feet (including spire and antennae). “It’s a statement of fortitude and determination and the absolute best of mankind.” The tower’s three-level observation deck on the 100th, 101st and 102nd floor—around 1,269 feet up—is projected to be open to the public by early 2014.

Gothamist also has a video that takes place around 1,200 feet up.

 

Photos from @WTCProgress:

Great Night Shot of 1 WTC - taken tonight, Dec 12, 2011
For today, check out the morning fog from the 84th floor of T1 - overlooking Jersey and downtown NYC.
1WTC - 80th Floor Looking East. Hello Brooklyn!
Looking up the Western facade of 1 WTC, Feb 1, 2012

Wikimania 2012 is in Washington, D.C.

The Wikimania 2012 conference will be held July 12-15, 2012, at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

  • Meet the wiki community in Washington.
  • Join a gathering of experts, enthusiasts, and those who are just curious, in a center of academia, culture, and technology.
  • Engage at the official annual conference of Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects.

Wikimania is the annual international conference of the Wikimedia community (which includes Wikipedia). It allows the community and the general public to learn about and share their experiences with free knowledge initiatives all over the world.

  • Submit a talk/panel/workshop for Wikimania! – Deadline is March 18.
  • Registration is now open! – Early registration discount until April 23.

This conference provides a unique opportunity for the Wikimedia community and its projects – Wikipedia, Wikibooks, Wikinews, Wiktionary, Wikispecies, Wikimedia Commons, and Wikimedia – to come together, share their common goals, and develop better ways to work together on an international level.

 

Schedule

  • July 6–9: Wikimania Takes Manhattan (special pre-conference event in NYC)
  • July 10–11: Hackathon
  • July 12–14: Main Conference
  • July 15: Unconference

Pre-Conference hacking days and Unconference are open to all attendees. The program for these days will be primarily informal.

 

Program Structure

The Wikimania 2012 program structure is designed to create multiple opportunities for conference participants to actively engage with the subject matter, the environment, and, most importantly, each other. Washington, D.C, can play an important role in Wikimania 2012 as a locale that gathers interest in government, culture, media, and academia around the general goals of the Wikimania conference series.

Tracks:

  • Wikis and the Public Sector
  • GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums) & cultural outreach
  • WikiCulture and Community
  • Research, Analysis, and Education
  • Technology and Infrastructure

 

Wikimania 2012 in Washington, D.C.

The Apple Store at Grand Central Station, NYC, an open store with no walls (photos)

The store covers two connected balconies on the second floor.
Stairs to the second floor serve as the entrance.

Continue reading The Apple Store at Grand Central Station, NYC, an open store with no walls (photos)

Entrepreneurs Taking on Cabs

A few years ago I was in New York chatting with a cabby. The fellow was dirty, smelly, and overweight but fun to talk to. Especially since we were asking him about the black sedans that were all over the city. You can get in one, trade cell phone numbers with the driver, and have your own personal sedan service.

The cabby completely hated those sedans. He said they were unregulated and dangerous. They were obviously stealing business from the city regulated cabs. Throughout the whole conversation he didn’t say one thing that would deter me from taking the sedan.

I mean who doesn’t want to be in a clean black sedan with tinted windows, leather seats, and a clean driver in a suit?

Turns out I’m not the only one wants this. The personal sedan service in NYC is booming and so is Uber the start-up trying to capitalize on the business.

The company operates in a super efficient system. You text that you need a ride, they pick you up and drive you to your destination, and the price/tip is automatically charged to your card.

Right now the company only operates in San Francisco and NYC, but it won’t be long until it spreads like Zipcars.

That is if it can overcome the city bureaucracy, cab unions, and government law suits.

MG Siegler has written up how the city has slapped them with 20,000 hours of jail time with a cease-and-desist letter. The latter link goes into detail on why the company is so disruptive and threatening to the traditional cab system. It’s a fun read and super exciting for it’s revolutionary prospects in taxi industry (aka make it easier, cleaner, and safer).

I’ll go on the record right now and say that cabbies can be real a-holes. They seem to drive like they own the streets and can do whatever they want. Cleanliness, A/C, and politeness are like a dice roll. It’s as if they have a monopoly and are in need of competition…

We’ll see what happens with particular attention focused on tomorrow’s San Francisco cab strike and Uber’s half off discount during the strike, lol.