Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Fallen Fruit

Now this is an LA export that we'd be happy to have. Fallen Fruit is all about mapping fruit trees on public property so you can get your grub on. Oh yeah, and they also want to encourage the creation of community gardens and smart planning of public space. Beginning in the Silver Lake neighborhood of LA, Fallen Fruit later branched out and created fruit maps of neighborhoods in Seattle, Portland and Santa Fe. They also do some crazy shit like night fruit walks and communal jam-making. Above: what you can find in Griffith Park.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

The Pre-Civil-War Buildings of Brooklyn Heights

(source: Brooklyn Geneology)

Brooklyn Streets That Are No More

When I bike out to Coney Island along Ocean Parkway, judging how close I'm getting by where I am in the alphabet of street names that starts at Avenue D and ends at Avenue X, I often wonder what happened to the missing letters. There's no A, B, or C, or for that matter, no E, F or G. (I must note, though, that except for E, each of these streets starts with the appropriate letter (Ablemarle, Beverly, Clarendon, Farragut, Glenwood)). And, in fact, both Farragut and Glenwood used to be the more simple Avenues F and G.

If you want to see other Brooklyn streets that used to be known by another name, check out Steve Morse's list, which compiled by poring over old maps and city directories.

Some streets haven't just changed names - they've disappeared altogether. For those, the master is Kevin at Forgotten NY. Many of the Brooklyn streets that he catalogues were destroyed by construction of the Brooklyn Bridge, Cadman Plaza, city and government buildings, or by Robert Moses' construction of the BQE.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Travel-Time Maps

Travel-time Maps, originally uploaded by NIXON*NOW.

From Nixon*Now comes this color-coded map showing how long it takes to get from one area of London to another. He says:

"These are much more complicated questions than those about individual journeys, but one thing they all have in common is transport: can I get to and from the places I'm considering quickly and easily?"

The maps on this page show one way of answering that question. Using colours and contour lines they show how long it takes to travel between one particular place and every other place in the area, using public transport. They also show the areas from which no such journey is possible, because the services are not good enough."
Basically, this answers the question of "how early do I have to get up to work on time?" Now if only someone would make this map for the New York subway system. More at mySociety.

Photo Tour of Borough Park

Borough Park is home to a large community of Orthodox Jews. While the Satmar Hasids are based in Williamsburg, the Hasidim in Borough Park (also spelled Boro Park) primarily belong to the Bobov community.

Giving a taste of the neighborhood, a community blog suggested possible neighborhood slogans, among them "Boro Park- my Rebbe is bigger than your Rebbe"; "Boro Park- nu, so where else are you going to live? Flatbush? Why don't you just put on a knitted kipa, you freier. Feh"; "Boro Park- otherwise you'd have to go to Yerushalayim to see Chasidim riot"; "Boro Park: The World's Competitive Eating Capital!"; "Boro Park- come on, Bobov can't fight forever"; "Boro Park- just leave your car anywhere"; "Boro Park- the nicest frum neighborhood on Earth, more or less," and last but not least, "Boro Park-The Melting Cholent Pot."

13th Avenue is the main shopping strip in Borough Park, a lively thoroughfare lined with kosher meat markets, bakeries, clothing stores and more. It evokes an earlier era, as the lettering and graphics of many storefronts have not changed since the 1950s or earlier. Here's an assortment of sights from the strip:

Clothing Stores
Freund's F&F Family Shop
Domonick's Shoe Repair
Yeedl's Juvenile Shop
sells furniture for children's rooms.
Brach's outfits
the well-groomed gentleman.

Food Shops
Shem Tov restaurant and catering
Paskesz kosher candies. They say they
marketed the first kosher chewing gum.

The New Thirteen Avenue Bagel Corp
another 13th Ave bagel shop
Tuv Taam Fish Market & Appetizing
Ossie's Fish Market
Appetizing Plus
Meal Mart
Deli D'Lite
Herbst Mehadrin Meats

Wig stores
Many Hasidic women wear wigs (sheitels) as part of tzeniut (modesty) standards.
Halacha (Jewish law) requires married women to cover their hair.
Books & Judaica
Flohr's Judaica
Tiv Tov Book Bindery

Getting around

Yeshiva Beth Hillel school bus
Zion Car Service
For another cool photo tour of Borough Park, check out Bridge & Tunnel Club.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

What Was Hot in the State of the Union Address

I meant to upload this a while ago and am finally getting around to it. If you parse Bush's annual State of the Union address, despite all the bluster you can discern which issues he is turning his attention to and which have fallen by the wayside. This shows how many times each year Bush used the phrases below.

Unsurprisingly, Iraq is bigger than ever this year, while he continues to have amnesia when it comes to Afghanistran. And he's finally starting to talk about oil.
(src: New York Times)