Category Archives: NYC

Free Music is Good (right?) for Musicians


I subscribe to Very Short List and I am happy that I do. Recently they highlighted John Doe’s new album, A Year in the Wilderness.  They do this interlocking pie chart meant to show that the subject is a combination of the performances in the graph. In this case the chart included Billy Bragg & Wilco, Richard & Linda Thompson, and Don Delillo. 


That was enough to make me click through to the free, streaming album. It sounded pretty good so I forwarded to bunch of people including a friend with punk rock leanings. He thanked me for the turn-on and then pointed out that John Doe was playing in town the following evening. We went to the show and from the front row right it was great, and ever since then I’ve had the song The Golden State stuck in my head.


Now, here’s the rub. Mr. Doe (can I call him that?) is streaming the new album for free. I can hear that cool California song all day long if I want. Consequently, I don’t want to buy the album. But, I probably wouldn’t have gone to the concert without the streaming album. So, even though I won’t buy the album, it’s good that the music is available for free, right?


Nice John Doe interview/performance here, and I love this video of The Golden State with Cindy Wasserman.

     John Doe sings


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Filed under, Golden State, John Doe, Music, NYC, video, Wilco

Three Cellos and a Drum

Break of Reality 

I went fishing in Central Park this morning with my son. The little stinker caught two fish, and I caught zero. Afterwards we had a hot dog at the Bethesda Fountain (which is now a beautifully planted water garden) and watched a band called Break of Reality. They have three cellos and a drummer and played with a rockin’ style that was dark and powerful. They have a blog, and here’s one of many YouTube videos: Break of Reality

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Filed under City Adventure, Fishing, Kids, Music, NYC

Opposite Views of Manhattan

What was it like before we got here, what will happen when we’re gone?

Eric Sanderson of the Wildlife Conservation Society (the folks who run the zoos of NYC) is leading a project that is attempting, “to reconstruct the ecology of Manhattan when Henry Hudson first sailed by in 1609…” What was this island like before Europeans got here? Stay tuned for an exhibit at the Bronx Zoo, and a interactive web site. 


Alan Weisman has written a book called The World Without Us that describes what will happen to the earth if all the people were suddenly gone. Here is a good interview with Weisman, and check out the slideshow of what will happen to New York City when we’re all gone.


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Filed under books, environment, manhattan, NYC, zoo

The Number Seven

820953010_e0ed2cfba7_m.jpgYesterday, my son and I– along with two school friends and their parents– took the number seven train out to the NY Hall of Science in Queens. In our house we call it the Queens Museum, and it is our favorite city adventure. Getting their is at least half the fun as we always ride in the front car of the seven train and the kids (who are not used to trains that go outdoors) get to look out the front (and side) window.823011617_451394c5b5_m1.jpgIt was a bit much yesterday as all three of the kids wanted to be lifted to see out the front, but we persevered and arrived at 111th Street and the short walk to the museum. It’s a great museum with lots of hands on activities and a great outdoor science playground. My son loved showing the other kids where stuff was, we all did a nice little butterfly project, and got a small taste of the playground. We vowed that the next time we go, we’ll head right up to the science playground. The journey home is always the worst part, but it went fast and a good day was had by all…


Filed under 7 Train, City Adventure, Kids, MTA, Museums, NY Hall of Science, NYC, Queens, Subway


About a year ago I started making mind maps using Mindjet’s MindManager software, and I have become totally addicted to it. I don’t make lists anymore, I make maps. It’s just easier for me to structure and understand information. Others are blogging about it too. It reminds me of the ideas of Edward Tufte and the graphical representation of information (check out his book BEAUTIFUL EVIDENCE). I think this idea of representing information graphically will continue to be more and more important as the number of information sources increases. I wish I could draw you a picture now, or show an interesting graph, but alas all I have are words and links. Give me a break. This is my second post.And I already have regrets about my first. I am sure I could have found a better example of lame-ass videos than Fareed’s Newsweek videos. He’s a smart guy, asking good questions. And he has such a nice smile.I am taking the day off on Friday and spending it with my kid. We’re gonna have some kind of city adventure (perhaps mommy poppins can help?) or we’ll just go fishing in central park.

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Filed under City Adventure, Fishing, NYC, Tufte