January 2003


West 43rd St., Manhattan.  #

West 43rd St., Manhattan.

Park Slope, Brooklyn.

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Meine Kleine Stadt ("my little town") is a nice photolog with animated bits. Via Jeff Jarvis.

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After reading my story about mix-CD swaps, Eszter decided to start her own mix club.


Fourth Ave., Not-Park Slope  #

Fourth Ave., Not-Park Slope (TLH says some jokers call it "Gowanus Heights"), Brooklyn.

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I wrote the cover story for today's Circuits section in the NYT: For the Mix Tape, a Digital Upgrade and Notoriety. It's about the culture of mix CDs, the people who make and swap them and the people who want to wipe them out.

I've been thinking about this story for several months and accumulated a lot of related bookmarks in the process. I'm dumping them here for your exploration. The list kicks off with some of the sites mentioned in the story.

-- Crabwalk.com: CD Mix of the Month Club
-- Yahoo! Groups : CD_Trading
-- The Art of the Mix - Making Mix Tapes, Mixed CDs and MP3 Playlists
-- Copyfight: Should Non-Commercial File Sharing Be Illegal?
-- Glorious Noise - Wedding Mixes
-- WeddingCDs.com - make a custom CD for your wedding
-- Metafilter | mix CDs and tapes
-- Washington Post on the death of cassettes
-- Lonely Regicide : A MeFiSwap mix
-- Raspberry World - Music - My CD Mixes
-- Metafilter Swap II
-- The Ataris: Song for a Mix Tape
-- The Automatic Mix Tape Generator
-- Harvard Law School News: Q&A with Jonathan Zittrain on music
-- EFF Copyright and Fair Use FAQ: Sharing Music
-- Macworld: Rip. Mix. Burn. Steal?
-- halfass.com: Comment on The Neglected Mixtape
-- You are talking too loud - Making mixes
-- US Code, TITLE 17 , CHAPTER 1 , Sec. 107. - fair use
-- ZDNet: RIAA response--you're dead wrong

When I was interviewing people for this story, almost everyone mentioned "High Fidelity," Nick Hornby's ode to mix tapes and romantic confusion. Mr. Hornby was kind enough to answer some of my questions about mix CDs by e-mail, but his comments didn't make it into the final story, which ended up focusing more on swapping. I've asked him if I can post his comments here. Stay tuned.

Mr. Hornby's latest project is "Songbook," published by McSweeney's Books. It's a collection of little essays on 31 pop songs. The cover is meant to look like a beat-up old mix tape, but in the back is a CD with 11 of the songs discussed in the book. I wish the eclecticism of the essays had carried over onto the CD, which is too consistently Starbucks-ish, but overall it's a very fun package. Proceeds go to the favorite charities of Mr. Hornby and Mr. Eggers.


Fourth Ave., Not-Park Slope,  #

Fourth Ave., Not-Park Slope, Brooklyn.

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Some photologs you can go visit:

-- halftone*
-- Zollland
-- Inconduit (via Photodude)
-- Infrangible
-- KDunk
-- isthisyou

...and pretty much everything else on Fotolog, which has turned into a very browsable little Web universe.


Park Slope, Brooklyn. .  #

Park Slope, Brooklyn.

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McSweeney's: On "She Came In Through the Bathroom Window." I guess Paul wasn't so bad.

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Do you ever listen to a radio show called Carson Daly Most Requested? If so I have some questions for you. Please contact me via the e-mail link at the bottom of this page. (I doubt Carson and I have much audience overlap, but you never know...)


Midtown Manhattan. . .  #

Midtown Manhattan.

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Bill Werde wrote a nice piece for the NYT on the awesome power of Craigslist.

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Through the magic of print-on-demand publishing I've helped resurrect a book co-written by my mom that has been out of print for ten years: The Learning Theory of Piaget and Inhelder. It's "the only book in English that clearly explains Jean Piaget's revised theory from his last books, some never before translated," so it's really a must-read if you're into that sort of thing.

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My friends got another cat, necessitating an update.


Deep freeze, Central Park,  #

Deep freeze, Central Park, Manhattan.

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Richard Linklater and friend have a not-so-bad proposal for Ground Zero: Make it kind of like Central Park's Sheep Meadow, only with a herd of buffalo.

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Engrish.com, the world's finest collection of Japanese English sightings, is now updating sort-of-daily. Check out the recent discoveries. (Engrish.com sends busloads of visitors to my Japan photos.)


American Museum of Natural  #

American Museum of Natural History, Upper West Side, Manhattan.

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This story was published on the NYT's Web site a week ago but didn't make the print version until today: Roommate Service Clients Report E-Mail Barrage of Holocaust Revisionism. I wrote up some background info on it last week.

After the story ran on the Web, Mr. Santomauro sent it and my e-mail address to many of his revisionist friends. Soon I was getting spam from people who run a Web site with actual swastikas on it. I discovered that Nazis don't even pretend to offer you a way to unsubscribe from their mailing list. Resistance is useless!

I also received some hate mail that prompted a little research:
-- spam.abuse.net FAQ: Isn't spam protected by national free speech laws?
-- Mark Roberts: Spam Threatens Free Speech


Gowanus, Brooklyn. . .  #

Gowanus, Brooklyn.

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A friend is looking to rent out a duplex loft penthouse in Soho. He did some serious renovation and built the amazing staircase. It is an excellent place to have a party. See also old work-in-progress photos.

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Artist's obsession: 10 tons of typewriters. Via Romenesko.


Bayside Fuel Oil Depot  #

Bayside Fuel Oil Depot Corp., Gowanus, Brooklyn.

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Scott notes that photo blogs are wired, not tired, says Wired.

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This AT&T Worldnet Member Directory lets you find out the full name and hometown of anyone who uses AT&T for Internet service as long as you know their e-mail address. Do AT&T customers know that their anonymous e-mail may not be so anonymous? Imagine the uproar if AOL did this.


Gowanus, Brooklyn. . .  #

Gowanus, Brooklyn.

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Something I wrote for the Metro section of the Times: Users of Roommate Service Receive Anti-Jewish E-Mail. It has yet to run in the print edition.

I started digging around on this story a few weeks ago when I got an e-mail with the subject line "Jewish real estate entrepreneurs swindle Holocaust survivors." It was from someone named Michael Santomauro and included a link to his Web site, RePortersNoteBook.com, which bills itself as "a collection of journalist truths suppressed by the mainstream media." The suppressed truths mostly involve some variation on the idea that Jews are bad and the Holocaust story is a sham. (Don't go near the message board if you've eaten recently.)

The e-mail was sent to an address I had used exactly once, when I was looking for a roommate a few months back and signed up with a service called Roommate Finders. (Since I own a domain name, I give out different addresses to different sites so I can catch this sort of thing. This one was finders@....) It arrived soon after I received a weird holiday greeting from Roommate Finders, sent to the same address.

As it turns out, Mr. Santomauro is also the founder of Roommate Finders.

As my story indicates, Mr. Santomauro is quite proud of his Web site and sees no shame in being a Holocaust revisionist or a spammer, especially when the spam is helping him sell a lot of books. But he repeatedly denied that he knowingly put the addresses of people who signed up with Roommate Finders on his RePortersNoteBook.com mailing list. I report, you decide.

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A postscript: I heard from one person, Enrique Vargas, who started getting spammed by RePortersNoteBook.com during his apartment search last fall but couldn't remember giving his address to Roommate Finders. Last week he sent me this:

I think I just found out how roommate finders leeched on to me.

When I first started looking for a roommate, I contacted this woman, "MMolly", about a share she was advertising on craigslist. She told me, sorry, she already rented out her room thru a service, that they were great, and would I like to contact them. She emailed me the promotion, but I went in a different direction shortly thereafter, and rented an apartment outright.

That is exactly when the reporternotebook mailings started.

Now that I'm on the other side of the fence ('renting out', rather than 'looking to rent', a space), I looked up this woman to see if she could help me -- she seemed very happy with the service, and I'm running into nightmare after nightmare looking for someone half-way decent to share my domicile with me.

I'm forwarding you her response that I got just one moment past.

The e-mail from MMolly222@aol.com had the subject line "I just found it.....*******" and was a copy-and-paste of this page on the Roommate Finders site, with a few modifications.

I e-mailed Mr. Santomauro and asked him if he had used Craigslist as a source of addresses for his mailing list. He responded: "What's Craig's list?" I pointed him to this ("MMolly," his service's phone number) and this (his e-mail address, same phone number) and this (his personal address, message about Roommate Finders). He said I should talk to his webmaster, who is traveling the world until April.


Gowanus Canal zone, Brooklyn.  #

Gowanus Canal zone, Brooklyn.
Read about the Gowanus Dredgers Canoe Club.

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Nominations for the brand-new Photoblog Awards are open. I swear this is not a hint.

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Memeufacture: weblog and automated trend reporting. Interesting variation on weblog pop charts.


East Village, Manhattan. Poster  #

East Village, Manhattan.
Poster by this guy.


Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. Soho,  #

Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn.

Soho, Manhattan.

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This story in the American Journalism Review is about what happened on some journalists' weblogs after I wrote a story about what happens when journalists get weblogs.

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Start-up marries blogs and camera phones. Via Dave.

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Kerouac slept here. Via Jason.


Taxis, Manhattan. . .  #

Taxis, Manhattan.

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I came up with a little scoop that's in today's Times: New Service Offers Made-to-Order CD's From TV Show. Build your own "Dawson's Creek" soundtrack here.

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While reporting that story I went looking for the Web site of SoundScan, an important service that compiles the sales data used in the Billboard charts, among other places. I found this ugly creature. It's not just ugly, it's also shockingly unfriendly, apart from this helpful bit:

SoundScan's On-Line Help screens utilize an "underlining" hyper-text convention. Therefore, while using the help menu's and text screens, click on any COLORED UNDERLINED WORD. This action will open additional screens, providing more, in depth explanations and graphical representations. Try it now!


Ziegfeld Theater, Midtown Manhattan.  #

Ziegfeld Theater, Midtown Manhattan.
At a showing of Chicago the moviegoers, perhaps confused by the proximity to Broadway and the opulence of the theater, spontaneously applauded after all the song-and-dance numbers.

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Lots of aviation geeks have been checking out the TWA Terminal photos lately. From this discussion I learned that the relevant authorities are still arguing over what to do with the shuttered building, and that it's featured in Catch Me If You Can (nice retro Flash, by the way).

Also, a reader in Athens writes:

Looking at the pictures triggered waves of nostalgia since the terminal was my very first "point of contact" with the US many, many years ago, when I first arrived as a student from Greece to your beautiful shores... In subsequent years, I often passed through the terminal, coming and going... One time, I spent the entire night lying on a bench in that central sitting bay overlooking the tarmac as a storm raged outside. ... I truly hope they find a way of preserving it. I bet many other people have feelings similar to mine regarding the building...

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Jason recently posted about a geographically accurate map of the London Underground. The distortions of New York's subway map have no doubt had a big impact on people's mental maps of the city, their perception of how far away things are, perhaps even how much they pay for real estate. I always think my neighborhood is somewhat southeast of Manhattan, when in fact I'm really just south.

Speaking of mental geography, these maps are big in Australia.


A less cryptic version of  #

A less cryptic version of an earlier request: I am interested in hearing from current or former customers of the New York-based company Roommate Finders who have received unusual unsolicited e-mail about Israel and Judaism. I am in touch with several such people already. Please pass this request along to anyone you know who might have signed up with Roommate Finders in the past year. Thanks.


Times Square and vicinity,  #

Times Square and vicinity, Manhattan.

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If you are in New York and are interested in helping out with the gentrification process on the Lower East Side, you will want to bookmark LockhartSteele.com's LES Awards, parts one and two.

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Two years ago: Blizzard. Also: 'Blog.' That seems like ancient history.


Canal Street 1-9 station,  #

Canal Street 1-9 station, Manhattan, 2:30 a.m.

New identities for the new year, courtesy of some guy with a bunch of stickers.

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Thanks to the Village Voice's entertaining film critics poll I now know that Adaptation is really just a ripoff of Duck Amuck.

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