Saturday, October 22, 2005

I'm sad

Sitting in Tom's Restaurant on 112th St and Broadway listening to Suzanne Vega on your iPod is really lame, isn't it? Oh well, I suppose it would have been even lamer if I had bought one of those new video iPods and used it to watch an epsiode of Seinfeld.

(The restaurant is clearly a New York institution, but knows it is a tourist attraction none the less. There is a lot of Seinfeld memorabilia on the walls, and someone just asked the waiter to take their photo).
Another reason why New York rocks

Seemingly every time I turn my laptop on, it connects to the internet. This happens seemingly anywhere in Manhattan, and in a lot of Brooklyn also. Some of these are no doubt from people who have left their routers open in apartments above me, but a lot of these are simply businesses - bars and cafes and others - who provide free WiFi for their customers. It's great. (For one thing I didn't bring a guidebook, but my laptop can easily perform that function for me if it is connected to the internet). London is not like this. Density is lower, and the culture of free hotspots hasn't really taken off.

Friday, October 21, 2005

I am in the Apple store in SoHo.

Internally, it is pretty much exactly the same as the Apple store in London. Externally, the SoHo store is more interesting, as the store is an interestingly redeveloped old post office. This is typical though - Apple does great design with its retail stores just as it does with its products.

(No Michael, you can't have a new iPod).
Very Belated Redirection. (Hi Natalie).

A number of days ago I posted a piece discussing my first visit to New York in 1991 and the start of this trip over at Samizdata.
Around Canal Street

The shops selling seafood in the Vietnamese annex of Chinatown really do have some amazing stuff. It's much more diverse than what I can get in London, and so much cheaper.


I would really enjoy cooking meals based around some of this. Actually the really big prawns would be great. Make a fresh curry, and garnish perhaps with a bit of coriander. And serve with a Sancerre, perhaps. Yum.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

I am in Poughkeepsie, New York.

Not much to say about it, but I love the name. (Actually, plenty to say about it. This stretch of the Hudson was where the very rich people of the Gilded Age built their mansions, and Franklin Roosevelt's presidential library and home are nearby). Very pretty suspension bridge across the river here, too. Actually there are a whole lot of very pretty suspension bridges across the hudson starting in New York City.

And I have exceeded my previous high for "ludicrous rental car upgrades". This time I ordered an "economy" car and was given a full size sports utility vehicle. Driving it in Manhattan on a weekday was, well, fun.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


I have my Sony Vaio T2XP laptop with me on this trip. It is the smallest full function laptop I know, which is why I bought it. It weighs practically nothing and is the perfect travel laptop. (Disadvantages: the keyboard is a little cramped, the 1.8 inch 4200rpm hard drive is a little slow and the computer thus takes a little while to start up, and the Matsushita DVD+/-RW drive is one of the few models I know that can't be made region free). But it allows me to remain connected when I am on the move. It is great in the US because there is just so much internet connectivity if you want it.

I bought the laptop just prior to my last trip to the US in July. On that occasion the screen broke on the flight over and I spent the trip mourning the laptop rather than using it. This time though everything has gone great.

Two reactions yesterday. Firstly, I send one of my friends an instant message saying that "I am drinking Bavarian beer in a bar in Brooklyn just near the Williamsburg Bridge", and I got a response along the lines of "Well switch off the computer and enjoy yourself then". Which was fair I suppose. The other reaction was in a Starbucks (also in Brooklyn). I was using Google Earth to find a hotel location and various other attractions in New York, and after a bit of zooming in and out, making various map featurs appear and disappear and the like, I realised that an NYPD officer was watching over my shoulder. "Is that a map of the whole city?" he asked. I sort of nodded, and demonstrated it a bit more, showing him how I could zoom in to individual streets and buildings. He was really impressed. I didn't tell him that it was in fact a map of the whole world. (OF course, few if any other parts have as much detail as do New York City).

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