March 2003


I was on the  #

I was on the train for a good 20 minutes before I spotted this.

. . .

My contribution to the glut of war coverage, in the 'Nation at War' section of today's NYT: Military Families Find Closeness Online. It's mostly about wives and moms of soldiers who have online journals or weblogs. Some of the sites mentioned:

-- Oklahoma Reflections
-- Letters From the Homefront
-- BackBite
-- Sgt. Stryker's Daily Briefing (especially the posts by Sgt. Mom)
-- (currently down)

While surfing around for this story I came across some bits of Web culture that were new to me: blinkies, blog quilts and the wildly popular "country crafts" Web design movement, which is fiercely protective of its intellectual property.

. . .

A friend in Kuwait is producing these audio reports from correspondents for They're labeled 'Times War Briefing' on the home page.


I'm looking for some volunteers  #

I'm looking for some volunteers for a quick collaborative photo project. Each participant will be required to take one digital photo. Send me an e-mail if you're interested and I'll give you the details.

Update: I think I've heard from enough potentially interested people.Thanks!


Someone managed to hack Al  #

Someone managed to hack Al Jazeera's site so as to display a big old American flag. Here's a screen grab someone sent me. This should really help us win the hearts and minds of the Arab world.

Update: Here's a story on the hack. The site has run into lots of trouble lately and appears to be offline now.

. . .

I wrote something for Circuits in the NYT: Agents Seize On a Scope That Betrays Forged Documents.


Metropolitan Museum of Art,  #

Metropolitan Museum of Art, Manhattan.
How do they decide who gets to sweep up the coins from the pools at the Temple of Dendur?

Graffiti, imported from Egypt, as if we need more.

. . .

My Web neighbors, courtesy of GeoURL.


Chelsea, Manhattan. Zero-Max Pullers.  #

Chelsea, Manhattan.
Zero-Max Pullers.

Positive thinking, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn.

. . .

The Guardian: Baghdad calling. Salam is a bigger overnight cross-cultural phenomenon than Mahir ever was. He's also a much better writer.

Update: Apparently he's also in the New Yorker this week, but the story seems to have been posted and then pulled.


Upper West Side, Manhattan.  #

Upper West Side, Manhattan.

. . .

A year ago: STORAGE.


While looking for war  #

While looking for war news without bluster I came across a video feed from Baghdad on (link at upper right: "LIVE Now! Baghdad skyline"). Most of the time it's showing an eerily beautiful moonlit sky with clouds sliding over. At first the soundtrack was of cars passing and the occasional honk. Then there were footsteps, and several men, apparently Iraqis, wandered in front of the camera, which is mounted at knee level. I'm now eavesdropping on their conversation and wishing I had a translator.

Update: As of 3 P.M. it looks like the feed is down.

. . .

Not really related: A message board where many many confused people are looking for a new country. Via Google.


Park Slope, Brooklyn. Ten  #

Park Slope, Brooklyn.
Ten helicopters have been circling the the neighborhood for an hour. The last pass was directly over the house and perhaps 50 feet up.

Is this going to be an all-the-time kind of thing?

. . .

For future reference, the phone number for the press office of the Department of Homeland Security is 202-282-8010. I had to call the F.B.I. to get this number. No joke.

. . .

I've been doing some long-distance editing for Italy Weekly, formerly Italy Daily, where I worked for a while in 2001. This week they ran some of my photos with an article on the Cinque Terre (1.6MB PDF, link good until Friday), a string of cliff-hugging villages that's a great place for a hike. The other photos are by Monica, who wrote the article.


See the U.S.A. in your  #

See the U.S.A. in your Chevrolet.


Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln  #

Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center, Manhattan.

. . .

Scott's Meetup gets a great writeup in the NYT's Circuits section. All the Dean stuff makes me think Scott's crazy idea just might work.

My friend Joanna also gets a plug in Circuits for her project.

. . . "Dogs in Cars does exactly what it says on the tin. Photos of dogs... in cars."

Via Steve Outing, who ponders the implications of camera-phones and reader-submitted photos for media outlets.

. . .

Signs to be obeyed.


Park Slope, Brooklyn. Upper  #

Park Slope, Brooklyn.

Upper West Side, Manhattan.

Prospect Heights, Brooklyn.

. . .

L.A. Times: I too want to have sex in the city! Via Scott. I'm thinking that the Barenaked Ladies gathering is also going to be a hit over there.


Chelsea, Manhattan. Times Square,  #

Chelsea, Manhattan.

Times Square, Manhattan.

Upper East Side, Manhattan.

. . .

A short item I wrote for the business section of today's NYT: The Man Who Would Buy Everything, Everywhere. It's about an elaborate plan by Rob Cockerham, creator of the excellent, to foil his grocery store's efforts to track his shopping habits. See also Rob's writeup.

. . .

Alex, a former Prospect Heights resident now living in Chicago, wrote to say that he was saddened by my recent post about the demise of the non-real estate office:

I liked passing by that window. I even appropriated it once as part of a logo for a theater company that never got off the ground. It's funny that a person picks up on little visual signposts like that and kind of internalizes them....

. . .

I said a while back that I wished there was a Ziboy in Baghdad. Raed Salam is there. Let's hope he takes more pictures.


Central Park and Upper  #

Central Park and Upper East Side, Manhattan.

. . . is live. (It's not mine.)


Upper East Side, Manhattan.  #

Upper East Side, Manhattan.
Toy robots march to nowhere in Master/Slave, part of the Diller + Scofidio show at the Whitney, which was good, but not as good as Listening Post downstairs, which is only there until Sunday. (You can read a New Yorker thing about it. Where can I buy one of these?)

. . .

A friend just launched, which offers "a productive way to confront rude people without creating further conflict." From the launch announcement:

The project is based on an innovative combination of interactive, Web-based technology and a paper-based marketing technique: A friendly looking business card which reads, "You are behaving badly. For more information, go to Respect is contagious -- Pass it on." When someone receives a CivilCity Card and goes to the Web site, they discover basic etiquette suggestions on subjects like cell phone usage, cleanliness, driving, and any number of other social peeves. A trial run has shown that people generally receive the cards with an interesting mix of confusion followed by sheepish, polite acknowledgment.

. . .

Know anyone who might be interested in sharing a big two-bedroom apartment in Park Slope for three months starting April 1? E-mail me.


East Village, Manhattan. Neglected  #

East Village, Manhattan.
Neglected by the rebranding squad.

. . .

Scott's worlds collide next Wednesday, which is International Fotologger Meetup Day. He says people whose photologs aren't on Fotolog are welcome to attend.

. . .

Google image search: Wanted.


Penn Station, Manhattan. A  #

Penn Station, Manhattan.
A lot of public art is supposed to make people feel better about their surroundings. Andrew Leicester's "Ghost" murals in the vast basement that is Penn Station are meant to remind them that their surroundings used to be a lot better. See also 1.28.2002 and 10.28.2002.

. . .

It seems every story on Google lately has mentioned this survey on branding in which Google was named "2002 Brand of the Year." It's important to note that the people who volunteered to take the survey were all visitors to a Web site about branding, and as such were more likely to be aware of hot Web brands than the general population. Reuters didn't get around to noting this until the end: "Perhaps the fact that Interbrand's survey was hosted on the Internet had something to do with the results." Perhaps.

. . .

Federal Highway Administration: Noise Barrier Aesthetics. Via Jason.

. . .