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.