new york city

Archie’s Press’ Circular City Maps

Here’s another map I stumbled upon and loved, this week: Manhattan, as interpreted by Archie Archambault, a designer from Portland, Oregon.

Manhattan map, by Archie's Press

My eye was drawn to the clean lines and the simplicity of the circles. Plus, he did a nice job calling out most NYC neighborhoods. (Though he could have included my own little ‘hood, Hudson Heights, in that blank spot between 180th and 190th, between the river and Broadway!)

On his site, Archambault explains why he uses circles in his maps:

New research indicates that GPS’s are hindering our ability to create mental maps of our surroundings. My maps aim to install a “Map from the Mind” for each city, simplifying structures and districts in the simplest terms. The circle, our Universe’s softest shape, is the clearest graphic to convey size & connection.

Archambault has also mapped San Fran, DC, Boston, Portland and many other cities. See them all on his Etsy shop.

(Image via Archie’s Press; found via Pinterest)

NYC Summer, from Above

While we’re on the topic of feel-good summer photos, here are a few others I came across, recently: George Steinmetz’s aerial photos of NYC.

He perfectly captures the lighting that is summer in the city—it’s that brilliant, golden haze that envelops the boroughs, then disappears all too quickly.

A few of my favorite shots:

Domino Sugar Factory, Brooklyn | George Steinmetz

Chelsea Piers | George Steinmetz

Central Park Tennis Center | George Steinmetz

Prospect Lefferts Gardens | George Steinmetz

 

Other amazing aerials, from previous posts: beaches and airports.

(Images by George Steinmetz; found via NPR)

Dinner in NY: Intimate Portraits of New Yorkers Eating

When you’re eating dinner, what’s your usual set-up? Do you eat alone or with your partner? Are there kids in the picture? Do you sit at a kitchen table or a couch? Do you watch TV or check your phone or surf the web while you eat?

Your dinner habits, in a way, reflect who you are. Photographer Miho Aikawa explores that in her Dinner in NY project. According to Aikawa:

Having dinner isn’t just about eating food, or even about nutrition. It reveals so many aspects of our lives, much more than lunch or even breakfast would. And because dinnertime is usually private, it uniquely reveals a part of a person’s lifestyle.

Aikawa’s intimate photos also demonstrate how much technology has changed the ways people people enjoy supper. Many diners are eating in front of a TV or laptop.

A few of my favorite shots:

Garro Heedae, a musician, has dinner late at night after intensive drum rehearsal sessions. Age: 28. Time: 1:20 a.m. Location: Vinegar Hill, Brooklyn.

Garro Heedae, a musician, has dinner late at night after intensive drum rehearsal sessions. Age: 28. Time: 1:20 a.m. Location: Vinegar Hill, Brooklyn.

Zheng Yun lives with her daughter and son, but usually eats dinner alone while watching TV. Age: 52. Time: 8:54 p.m.  Location: Vinegar Hill, Brooklyn.

Zheng Yun lives with her daughter and son, but usually eats dinner alone while watching TV. Age: 52. Time: 8:54 p.m. Location: Vinegar Hill, Brooklyn.

Jessie Zinke, a designer, has leftover for dinner on her bed while watching her favorite TV show. Age: 27. Time: 6:54 p.m. Location: Chelsea, New York.

Jessie Zinke, a designer, has leftover for dinner on her bed while watching her favorite TV show. Age: 27. Time: 6:54 p.m. Location: Chelsea, New York.

U Pa Mok Kha is a monk from Myanmar who cannot eat after noon. Local people bring him food and after he is done, he shares the rest of the food with them. Age: 55. Time: 11:17 a.m. Location: Jackson Heights, Queens.

U Pa Mok Kha is a monk from Myanmar who cannot eat after noon. Local people bring him food and after he is done, he shares the rest of the food with them. Age: 55. Time: 11:17 a.m. Location: Jackson Heights, Queens.

Chelsea Olson, a model, concentrates on her food while reviewing her busy day. Age: 20. Time: 8:13 p.m. Location: Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn.

Chelsea Olson, a model, concentrates on her food while reviewing her busy day. Age: 20. Time: 8:13 p.m. Location: Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn.

See even more photos—and stories—on Aikawa’s site.

I’m such a creature of habit, that I know exactly how my dinner photo would look: Each night, around 10-10:30, after ballet, I sit on my living room floor, on a big cushion, and eat at my coffee table. My meal usually involves veggies and eggs (poached eggs in a spinach soup, huevos rancheros, scrambled eggs with a side of sauteed greens). The room is dark, with one dim lamp on, and I’m watching Top Chef or So You Think You Can Dance? on DVR. My hair is pulled back in a bun, and I’m wearing a tank top and shorts.

How would your dinner photo look?

(Images by Miho Aikawa; found via Fast Co. Design)

A Neighborhood Bookshelf

A few weeks ago, this appeared outside Cafe Buunni, a great coffee shop in Washington Heights (my neighborhood).

Nomat Book Club: A bookcase where people can take and leave books, in Washington Heights

The idea is incredibly simple, but brilliant: It’s a bookcase for the whole neighborhood. People can take or leave books as they please.

I love everything about that bookcase.

It fosters a sense of community—I like the idea of neighbors sharing books. It’s a money-saver—I’m all about supporting authors, but it’s a treat to get books for free! But perhaps the thing I love most about the bookcase is that it gives me a place to pass along books I no longer want or can fit in my apartment.

I think it’s fair to say that most New Yorkers are short on space—apartments in the city are generally small, even in pre-war buildings in more affordable neighborhoods, like my own. As a result, we’re always purging in an effort to maximize our spaces.

I’m a strong believer in the sharing economy, and really appreciate having places to donate or drop off items so they’re not going to waste. My building, for example, has a clothing and textile bin that benefits a local charity. I can’t count the number of times I’ve dropped in clothing or shoes. And that’s why I welcome that communal bookcase to my ‘hood. It’s a great addition, and it’s amazing more neighborhoods don’t have something similar.

Is there anything in your building or area that encourages sharing among neighbors? I’m curious and would love to know.

NYC by Night, On a Scarf

Last year, I posted a stunning photo of NYC by night:

NYC by night

It was taken by NASA in March 2013. The picture astounded me. I was amazed at how clearly you can see the gridded streets that make up the city, along with the bridges that connect the boroughs.

Today I stumbled upon an NYC-based design company who was just as inspired by that image: Slow Factory creates silk scarves from NASA’s aerial city photos—including the one above:

TRUAX_SLOWFACTORY_SHOT1-320_re

They also have scarves printed with images of Paris, the USA and London (below) by night.

london by night

Just stunning.

(Top image by NASA, bottom by Slow Factory; found via SwissMiss)

New Yorker Beach Covers

Though I haven’t taken any other summer trips since LBI, I’ve made a point to hit the beach at least one day each weekend. Like I’ve been saying—the sun and surf are so refreshing after a week spent in an air-conditioned midtown office building!

Sure, NYC-area beaches don’t have the cleanest sand or prettiest water. And yeah, they can get crowded. But I do love seeing my fellow New Yorkers, from all walks of life, basking in the sun and splashing in the water.

That’s why I love this week’s New Yorker cover, by Mark Ulriksen, celebrating summer on Coney Island: It’s a vibrant and accurate depiction of New Yorkers taking advantage of their beach within the city. (Funny, I’ve been to Long Beach, Rockaway, Robert Moses and Jones, but not Coney Island, this year.)

MARK ULRIKSEN’S “CONEY ISLAND”

The magazine also has a gallery of past covers that featured the beach. I loved this one, from 2009, of a couple wading in the moonlight:

banyai couple

And I really got a kick out of these two, from the 1930s:

1937_08_14_Hokinson_Beach

1939_07_08_Taylor_Beach

It’s amazing how little a day at the beach has changed since then. The styles and technology are different, but packing a picnic and/or eating hot dogs and battling crowds are still part of the experience!

(Images via the New Yorker)

So Ready for a Beach Weekend!

Large Wall Art Large Scale Photography Coney Island Beach II Archival Art Print 30x30"

Happy Friday! For the first time in ages, it’s the weekend and I have absolutely nothing planned. But since the weather forecast is looking pretty good, Evan and I are thinking maybe two beach days in a row—or sneaking away for a night at a nearby beach town. Ahh, summer weekends…

Hope you have a relaxing few days planned, as well. Until next week, a few of my favorite travel-themed links from around the web:

Gorgeous beach photos, including the one above, of Coney Island, by NYC-based photographer Mina Teslaru.

Books that feature flying. Have you read any of them? I’ve been wanting to check out The Skies Belong to Us.

Photo #28. Talk about the coolest World Cup-viewing party!

Amazing photos of floating markets.

A few of NYC’s coolest park benches.

How powerful is your passport?

A bike pizza slicer!

Where’s my jetpack rental?!

(Image via Minagraphy)