Monday, December 13, 2010

Hillsong NYC

This video's not mine and it's not from the night I went, but it helps show the praise and worship part of the service :)

Rock instruments and rhythms and waving arms greeted us as we walked into Irving Plaza last night. I was with my friend V and her parents, we were going to church. But, I grew up Catholic, got confirmed as a Catholic, and continue to attend Catholic mass every Sunday. We walked into a concert hall instead of a church with a rock band instead of a choir and a woman preaching. Hillsong NYC was not my typical church experience, but it was an amazing spiritual and faithful experience.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Ghost Bikes

Spread throughout the city are bikes painted white and left chained to street signs. Some have placards, some have flowers in a handlebar basket. Every single one of them is placed at the site of a biker's death. Every single one is a ghost bike serving as a reminder and memorial to a biker's life and the pursuit of safe streets for all.

Ghost bikes are an international phenomenon that began in New York City in 2005. 67 bikes are placed around the city. Between 1996 and 2005, 225 bicyclists were killed in NYC. Between 1996 and 2003, 3,462 bicyclists were seriously injured.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Washington Square Park Construction Update

Washington Square Park has been under renovation for a couple of years now. As an NYU student, it's central to my experience in New York and my sense of space and place also. I lived on the park as a first-year student and, as a senior, I'm living on the park again. In between, I spent most of my time in the buildings (and bars) within walking distance of the square. When I think of New York, I think of WSP. And now, the park is nearing the end of it's renovations, check out these picture I took, one from near the fountain looking in at the construction zone and one from my window showing how nice the new lawns look!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

NYU's Center for Academic and Spiritual Life Construction Update

In the fall of 2009, NYU and the Archdiocese of New York came to an agreement on the sale of the old Catholic Center to NYU. Deconstruction, followed by new construction soon followed and has been progressing quickly ever since. The new Center for Academic and Spiritual Life is planned to open in the summer of 2012.

As seen, the construction crew has begun enclosing the building, designed by Machado and Silvetti, in a brownish, sandstone like stone facing. Once the facade is complete, the construction will shift from stage two to stage three and the crew will begin working more intensely on the inside of the building.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Winter's Here

Winter is officially here in New York City: the Rockefeller Park lawn has been closed, though the sheets usually laid down to protect the lawn from geese haven't been put down yet. No more sports practice, picnics or relaxing on Battery Park City's largest lawn until next April (give or take a couple weeks).

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Hudson River Park, You Rock!

One of my first "New York" experiences was running from Washington Square Park to Hudson River Park (via Christopher Street) and then running south on the Hudson down to Battery Park. I fell in love. The different piers and park areas and public plazas made my run interesting and the views of Ellis Island and Lady Liberty reminded me of why I came to New York: it's a city that contains the whole world.

On Sunday, I was walking on the Hudson with a friend and discovered that Pier 25 opened! I wasn't expecting it to open until spring. The Hudson River Park Trust has added lots of activity areas to the pier: a children's playground, a skate park, volleyball courts, an Astroturf field, mini-golf, boat moorings and public bathrooms. Some of the areas won't fully open until Spring, but the skate park, Astroturf field and skate park opened on November 4.

Here're are a few pictures I took:

Astroturf field 

Sand volleyball courts 

looking back at the mainland


Skatepark (street-style)

And for extra fun, there was a dude with a parrot walking in front of us on the Greenway:

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Meet David Trejo, creator of Mixest

I've been using Mixest for a little over a month now; both its website and Android application. David Trejo, 20, designed the simple indie music site with Eric Zhang. David is from Berkeley, California but goes to school at Brown University where he studies computer science.

What is Mixest?
Mixest is a Pandora style internet radio site focused on only the newest indie music. We especially like obscure music, the music you would only find after spending hours scouring the internet to find.

How did you get involved?
Eric Zhang and I were inspired by HipHopGoblin, a site that does the same thing except for new Hip Hop. I helped the front-end developing of the site. That means that I focused on simplifying the interface, culling bugs, and improving the user interface. I also coded the recent songs list, wrote the code that handles hotkeys and easter eggs. I also wrote the client code that handles unique song links.

Friday, November 19, 2010


My blog is named Transplanted because, when I created it, I felt uprooted. I had moved from Wisconsin to New York, had visited several countries with NYU, including a summer session in Dublin, and was preparing for a semester abroad in France. I wanted to document my experiences as a citizen of the world, as someone whose roots were spread from WI, was studying in NY, had lived in Dublin, and was preparing to live in France.

Lately though, I've had so much homework and so many meetings that my "world" has been my desk, my books, and my bed. With Thanksgiving coming around the corner, and Christmas soon after, my time will free up a little and this blog can go back to its basic function, to show that one's home is where he makes it, and that more than one physical place can still be home. To show cool experiences and interesting moments of my life wherever I am backed up by everywhere I've been.

You, my readers, can expect continued music posts and posts on whatever's going on in my journalism courses, but you can expect more experiential posts with pictures from my life in New York and elsewhere. Cheers!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tuesday Tunes: Matt Wertz

I found this song in my iTunes over the weekend, it's a little old but good. I like the simple lyrics and acoustic guitar. Matt Wertz's "Red Meets Blue," for me, really captures the feelings of a beginning relationship, of the sweet and simple love and admiration of something fresh and yearning for more. Enjoy!

Monday, November 15, 2010

A New Way to Look at Time

For about $1000 (or free, keep reading...) you can buy QLOCKTWO by Biegurt + Funk, it's a pretty slick clock that forces you to read the time. "It is a quarter to nine," or "It is ten after three."

The secret, though, is that a dot in each corner also lights up, so that 1:18 would read as "it is a quarter past one" with three dots lit up. Before the half hour passes, you add the dots to the time. After the half hour, you subtract them. This means that 1:48 will read "it is ten to one" with two dots lit up. This makes the first half hour go by slower than real time and the second half hour go by faster because a casual glance at the clock would probably mean you aren't adding or subtracting the dots.

The best part is that everyone can enjoy this eloquent, almost time-bending clock. Developer David Trejo, who I will soon be profiling for his work on, created a virtual version that anyone can access on an internet connection.

FastCompany profiled the clock today, but I know I've seen it before, either way, they get credit for motivating this post, though they didn't link to David's version which the makers of QLOCKTWO seem to have called a "nice Application with JQuery and CSS!"

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Meet Nick Troiano from myImpact

Nick Troiano (pic credit)

Nick Troiano is from Milford, PA and is attending Georgetown University. This 21-year-old entrepreneur and his friend Chris Golden started to help volunteers record, share and track their impact on Twitter.

Is myImpact important? 
Yes! There is a large body of research that indicates a platform like myImpact can help with volunteer recruitment and retention. Our goal is to use new technology and social media to engage more Americans in citizen service, increase the effectiveness of service programs and demonstrate that service is a solution to systemic national problems. 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Twenty years

(This is another poem I found in an old notebook)

Twenty years from womb
burst out crying, burst out small and red
began to grow and walk and humanize
learned to talk an harmonize.
Always in its warm, protective shadow
I remained.

Stumbling forward hands and feet first
mouth open and eyes in wonder
I wandered knowing always how to return
to that safe, sound spot
where, against the howls,
I could remain.

And now, twenty years from womb
from remaining and leaving, I have returned.
What I found, where I discovered, who I am
returned to you to share these things.
In disgust you turn away, close your eyes.
Once refusing to see, I can no longer ignore
that twenty years from womb
I've escaped your tomb.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Great Song by The Matthew Show

"A Brighter Place in the Sun" by The Matthew Show
The video's not the best quality so you can check here for an mp3 stream. Also, the video's two songs and I selfishly didn't bother to listen to the second, I just went back and did "A Brighter Place in the Sun" again.

I especially like the chorus: 

You are not the only one 
Standing on your own 
And someday far away you may find 
It’s not that hard 
To find a brighter place in the sun 

So far to the only place we see 
Where things are want, and never need, and meant to be 
Shadowed by the graveyard waltz of fear 
And if you run far enough, it won’t come near 

Monday, November 1, 2010

What Issues Inspire Voters?

Image from Good Transparency

The people over at Good Transparency create some amazing infographics on a wide variety of topics. Their newest one, here, takes survey data taken from Pew on which political issues are most important to Americans each year from 2001 to the present.

It gives a nice, clear, visual breakdown of data that might otherwise take a long time to sift through. It also shows the breakdown by party to show how each party's priorities have changed over the years. While it shows survey data from January of each year instead of October, the trends are still worth considering when questioning which issues could have the largest impact on bringing voters to the polls.

I think it's most interesting that there is no data on immigration until 2006. Legal and illegal immigration, and the contexts separating the two, have been issues in the United States for decades, if not centuries. Even so, the chart shows that Pew didn't ask the question, or maybe no one answered the question, until 2006, halfway through Bush's second term. Today, it is toward the bottom of the scale as far as political priorities go. Only 40% of Americans see it as a top priority. I bet, though, there are many thousands of Americans for whom immigration policies and status are first or second. This points at another potential negative of Pews survey, from which the data is drawn. If Pew calls or sends mailers, it is very likely that, more than the other categories, immigration priority numbers would be misrepresented because many illegal immigrants might not have phones or addresses or might not respond to anything having to do with their immigration status for fear of deportation.

Either way, this infographic shows valuable data. And, the questions arising from the data might be even more important than the data itself.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Facebook Connect

I am not a coder, nor do I understand most of what is said when I read about or listen to people talk about code. Even so, it seems that Facebook Developers' tools would allow me to do the technical things that I believe will make my site unique and more useful than existing sites.

This page lists many of the permissions a site can obtain from a user using Facebook Login as the default site login. Some of the things I would like to do, like access group data, would require extended permission codes, which people may be hesitant to allow. This means that I will have to ensure that my site's features, especially the friend and group based focus, are simple enough and compelling enough to convince users to give it a try.


After an LSAT, a leadership retreat, and a Teach for America interview, I'm ready to jump back in and plug away at this thing called entrepreneurship. October really showed how important it is that an entrepreneur's idea can and is and must be his baby, that nothing is more important, even if those other things floating around are much more real and tangible than an idea in one's head. I've lost almost an entire month so now it's time to get my act together and put things at full speed.

My Dad sent me a website he thought was similar to my idea: It's a superbly organized and it looks great. It is similar to my idea in that it connects service organizations to volunteers. It also seems to be mostly targeted to high school students, which would be part of my target audience. The difference, though, is that mine would connect to Facebook, which allows for a viral marketing effect to happen in a much quicker and more efficient manner.

One of the best things about SweatMonkey? It's creator was a sophomore in high school!

Monday, October 4, 2010


Found in a pocket journal, dated 5/12/09

Words rise from gaping mouths
Empty sounds with meaningless power
Light pierces from their eye, from your eye
Piercing my heart, pith giving fire
consuming my whole

Words rise from gaping mouths
Empy sounds with meaningless power
Warmth spreads from my hand,
your touch drying my tear-soaked depths
stilling my shivers

Words rise from gaping mouths
Empty sounds with meaningless power
Saying more in their silent omissions
Than in thousands of speeches before
Unlocking desire, hope, future
though just one of many locks

Words rise from gaping mouths
Empty sounds with meaningless power

I don't know if I meant to add more stanzas, the apparent pattern would seem to say "yes" but maybe ending there was supposed to be a resounding "no."

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Remeber: Just Breathe

I first heard "He is We" in Paris via Purevolume. I was instantly grabbed by Rachel's and Trevor's acoustic sound, heart-filled melodies and honest lyrics. Here's one of my favorites songs: "Breathe." It reminds listeners to take a minute to breathe when tragedy or stress or fear strike. Follow the link to a "He is We" fansite for the song's lyrics.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I'm Not Alone

I found a website today that works on a similar principle as the one which I proposed last week. My Impact allows users to track and share their volunteer activities via twitter. It has a good layout and sponsors and is easy to navigate. The idea's really solid and the twitter integration is certainly a good idea.

Though we might compete, I don't think that the existence of MyImpact precludes the utility of another option, specifically one connected to Facebook. The FacebookConnect option allows for more social connections for volunteerism and would allow for a larger userbase, as more people are on Facebook than Twitter.

I'll keep looking for other sites that work on similar ideas as mine. And, good luck and all the best MyImpact!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

My First Big Idea

For my entrepreneurial journalism class, I will be creating a business plan for an online company. Our final project will be presenting our plan to venture capitalists and many of our assignments will be based on coming up with, researching, or putting together our plan. Even though it isn't secret, I'll be using the tag "secret project" to keep track of my ideas and such. Note that all written content (and much of the photographic content) on this blog is my own, and so will be my ideas for the project.

My first "big" idea came to me either while falling asleep last night or waking up this morning. Luckily, I didn't forget it as I do most things that I think of at either of those times. It would be a website promoting volunteerism and active citizenship for all ages. It would use Facebook connect as its log-in (like Jibe) and using the users Facebook profile and groups, each users page would work as a hub presenting various service opportunities within that users interests, networks, and groups. It would also track service via a simple interface that would allow users to submit it and then potentially compete against other users on an individual, group, or network basis.

Monday, September 20, 2010

A Sunny Day in Ireland

In 2008 I spent six weeks studying at Trinity College Dublin. We took a weekend trip to Letterfrack. These pictures come from our day exploring Omey Island and a hike up a mountain behind our hostel.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Lovin' this song by The Maine

I heard this song the first time a few weeks ago. It's catchy and I like the almost-country tone it has, plus that it sounds kind of like something I would've listened to in middle school. 

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Firefly’s Dance

Flash, drift, darkness, flash
their glow shines ‘cross the field
warming the cool northern breeze
blowing through bulrush blades.
And, solitarily, I watch the dance,
longing to join. To flash and drift
through any blade, against any breeze,
with you for whom I flash.
Watching, ever watching, I search
for that single flash that, launching lightening,
will speed me straight to you
who cannot—or will not—see through the dark.
So, here I wait, near the waving ocean of grass
and amidst a flashing pool of light
in my own black hole of sorts
watching, waiting, hoping for your flash.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Guess Who's Back, Back Again...

Summer has been fast and hot and busy, busier than I expected back in May. Here's a quick rundown of what I've been doing since my last post:

May: applying for jobs, reading, enjoying early summer
June: Badger Boys State, some time at home, started working my three jobs
July: decided I will be applying for law school, working three jobs, ending one, studying for the lsat,
August: studying for the lsat, working two jobs, running again

and of course I've been seeing friends here and there throughout. I'm also aware that this is a terrible little post but (like running) I'll have to get back in the habit of writing, and this is simply my first step out the door. See you soon!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Don't Judge a Book(store) by its Cover

What this picture doesn't show is the 
attitude of the place as I walked in.
It wasn't negative but a, "what are you 
doing here?" type of reaction.
My bike broke yesterday. The parts holding the derailleur to the frame fell to the floor while I was leaving my building. Luckily, I could still roll it on the sidewalk. Together, me and my peugeot walked up LaFayette to Bicycle Habitat. My bike is old and they didn't have the parts to fix it. What's a boy and his broken bike to do?

I remembered a bike shop near my apartment on Avenue C last year. Landmark Bicycles specializes in bikes from the 1950s to the '80s. My bike fit snuggly somewhere in that range. And, best of all, a quick phone call said they had the parts I needed... and, wait for it, they could repair it on the spot while I waited.

Dashing out to the shop, I quickly realized that they would need time to fix it. I didn't have anything with me. "It'll be an hour," they said. All my stuff was 20 minutes away, not worth the walk back and then back to shop again. I asked the owner if there was a book store nearby. "Go back to first, take a left, there's one a block or two down from Houston," he said.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Inspiration: It's what I need

I've been wanting to write something in here this past week. I even have a friend whose blog I've promised to read and he'll read mine, and we'll comment on each other's posts. We ran into each other today and he mentioned I haven't written. He's holding me accountable I guess, but that doesn't change the fact that it's almost 2:30 a.m. and I have class at 9:00 a.m. and need to sleep.

But... here are some ideas I've had floating around. Maybe you all can tell me what you want to read about?

  • Leadership and who makes a good one, especially from my perspective as a student leader
  • Freedom, I'm in a philosophy class this semester and we talk about it a lot
  • My summer job search (or lack there-of)
  • More posts about biking
  • Poetry (if only I could write something about the cherry blossoms like I want to every time I see them)
  • Old (polished-up or raw?) journal entries from Belize or Florence or Dublin or Paris
  • Your ideas?

Sunday, April 4, 2010

A Modern Resurrection

WTC 1 rises. WTC 7: 54 stories tall I celebrated Easter this morning at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church on Sixth Avenue and Washington Place. Easter Sunday is a celebration of Christ’s resurrection; a new beginning rising from an end. He died but conquered death.

Coincidentally, I visited the Tribute WTC Visitor Center ($10) last Thursday; the day of Christ’s Last Supper before his crucifixion. There, I visited the galleries, took a 60 minute audio tour of the site and heard from John Henderson, a volunteer guide at the center.

The audio tour included 16 stories from survivors and first responders from the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center. Their 9/11 stories made me think of my own.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Have I finally joined the NYC bike culture?

After a week of rain, the sun finally decided to show its glorious face. More people are on the street than in the past few months of winter. Crowded sidewalks and streets make it harder for everyone to get around but most people don't seem to mind. It's too beautiful outside to care.

And for some people, it's too beautiful outside to care about looking both ways when crossing the street. Or, to even look at all before quickly darting across the road. Today, a girl crossed LaFayette at Bleeker and the biker in front of me, riding north on LaFayette was caught between traffic on one side and construction on the other. The girl popped in front of him, out of nowhere. He yelled. She got out of the way. No harm no foul.

I started biking in NYC a year and a half ago. I've pedaled through rainstorms, snowstorms and freezing cold days. Not until today, though, have I felt a part of NYC's diverse population of urban cyclists.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

“Kissing Doesn’t Kill: Greed and Indifference Do.” –Gran Fury*

Corn fields and empty roads, heroin needles and experimental art: two worlds that seemingly couldn’t be further. Two worlds which have led to Marvin Taylor’s ability to curate “The Downtown Collection” at New York University’s Fales Library.

David Wojnarowicz, Untitled, n.d. Gelatin silver print, 8 x 10 in. David Wojnarowicz Papers, Grey Art Gallery online
The collection’s birth, and Marvin’s place in it, both sprang from practical concerns born from undesirable situations. But, they have resulted in astounding success.

“If you’re the one lone fag in your school study hall can be really hard,” said Marvin. So, he spent a lot of time in the library shelving books. This eventually led to his position as curator of the Downtown Collection in Fales Library at NYU. There he purchased the only art the school could afford: art that no one else wanted.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Missing Tampa

If I were in Tampa still I would probably be working with the two students I worked with most days at this time, Brandon and Joel. We mostly did reading together which was always really fun because Brandon and Joel would help each other with the words they didn't know. They were both ELL students. When Joel couldn't think of a word he would go into Spanish, "como." Sometimes he would figure it out himself, sometimes Brandon would help him, sometimes I would.

They were both quiet and shy at first but every time I entered the room a smile spread across their faces. We'd go outside and read and talk about their pets, where their from, brothers and sisters. Brandon was an especially good reader for his age, I think. He would read sentences together rather than each word as its own unit. As the story progressed he would tire of sitting and start reading standing up. Joel liked to move around when he read, going from the bench to the table to standing on the table and leaning on the pole for its umbrella.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Tampa Day 1

"I like to play animals," she said. "But I don't like playing by myself." We soon found a group of other kids. She was a tiger. I was a monkey. He was an alligator. She was a bird. Roars, clomps and squawks soon followed my own anxious chatter: everyone else wanted to eat me for lunch! Saved by the bell, we lined up for our real lunches and left for the cafeteria.

For spring break this year I am leading an Alternative Break in Tampa Bay, Florida. Alternative Breaks is a national program that allows college students to spend one week in a community away from their university to engage in direct service work. My group is tutoring at Bay Crest Elementary School.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Birding BPC

With winter breathing its last icy breath, the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy hosted a winter bird walk program on March 6 to help residents learn more about birding for the spring migration season. 

Thursday, March 4, 2010

March: In like a Lion, a Lion like Aslan

Four days in and March is already treating me better than February. February wasn't terrible but between snowstorms, retreats, meetings and homework I was beginning to drown. March 1 woke me up with sunshine and a wide, blue sky.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Battery Park City Introduction

My first assignment was to begin researching statistics and data on my neighborhood and to take a walking tour through it, to get a feel for what it has to offer. Below is my memo to my editor about my early findings, half way through completing the research and after taking the walking tour. As a memo it is informal, yet informative and readable. It shows why I chose BPC and reveals a few things I can sink my teeth into as I continue reporting the neighborhood. Enjoy!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Into the new year

Just wanted to say I never intended this to be a purely travel blog, but more of an experience blog. Maybe that's why I failed in Paris, though, I did do much journaling that I could probably put here. No one reads this anyway, which is okay. I'm simply waiting for my brother to "take a crap" before I take him to a friend's so I can't write more than this now, but look forward to more in the coming days. Thoughts on what that might be: old journal entries from whenever/wherever, reflections on Paris, writing about the past couple weeks at home.