Archives > Did You Read About... > February 2005

February 28, 2005

More and more people are buying real estate for flipping
It's not localized to the NY-region. It's country-wide. Gotta love that low interest rate. The way everyone is giddy about real estate it's like 1999 all over again (re: stock market).

Innovative architecture for infrastructure buildings
Anyone know where the Holl-designed water treatment plant is in New Haven?

Great GQ article on Google

Did you know about this site:
If you knew, why didn't you tell me about it? I could have used this a long time ago. (Site gives you login information for sites that require registration.)

Picture of 章子怡/Zhang Ziyi at the Oscars
I don't care for her grandma-looking hair, but she was still so beautiful that she made me want to weep. I love the fact that her makeup was so subtle. Oh ya, click around the slideshow for other stars from last night if being mesmerized by a single picture of Ziyi is not enough for you (really?!).

February 27, 2005

NYT article about my favorite show on television, Smallville
A couple of interesting tidbits: the creators originally wanted to do a Lois Lane show and Christopher Reeve's character was named after Curt Swan, a longtime artist for the "Superman" comics.

February 26, 2005

The eleven worst songs of 2004

Norman Foster has designed an adaptation of Shakespeare's Globe Theater in London that would fit inside Castle Williams on Governors Island
It's one of the proposals being considered by the National Parks Service. I think it's about time they did something with that island. What a waste of real estate. You can't even visit it year-round right now. See my photos of Governors Island when I visited in the summer of 2003, including shots of Castle Williams.

LA Times architecture critic toured Shanghai
Not a half-bad overview from some foreigner who's only been there twice since I only scoffed a few times while reading it.

LA Times thinks Bono should be the next head of the World Bank
How asinine is this?

February 25, 2005

BA flew 5,000 miles from LAX to LHR with one blown engine to avoid paying a £100K+ fine

Firefox 1.0.1 released
Release notes here. Among the security fixes is the IDN-spoofing vulnerability I mentioned earlier. It now displays IDN as punycode instead of unicode. It's not an elegant solution. There's gotta be a better way.

February 24, 2005

According to a study to be published at the end of this month by the Dutch Institute for Art History, Michelangelo's David's weewee is not too small
I don't even want to comment on the ridiculousness of this article or "study". Except I did learn one thing: orthosympathic activation (= shrinkage). So it wasn't a complete waste of my two minutes.

I didn't know Conan-regular Toshi throws parties

February 23, 2005

Beautifully designed libraries in New York's poorest elementary schools

Many, many spoiler screenshots from Episode 3

Coolest tennis court ever
More pix here.

Restaurants with strict rules in New York
Most of the article is blah, but I like the final bit at the end: Il Bagatto in the East Vilage refuses to provide parmigiano for pasta with seafood as it's verboten in traditional Italian cuisine. The owner has apparently thrown people out over it. "If you really can't live without it, we'll give it to you. But we'll charge you an extra $3," says the restaurant's manager. "If you pay the $3, then you can go ahead and dump the whole bowl of cheese in it if you want." It's a good place and now I like it even more.

New York Observer piece on The L Word
Sapphosexuals? Jeeze, I thought I hated the term "metrosexuals"... I finally got around to watching the 1st episode from the 1st season. I thought the sex scenes seemed a bit too gratuitous, bordering Skinemax-like. But the story looks promising so I'll continue watching for awhile. (Should I be admitting publicly that I'm watching this show?)

Michelin Guide finally coming to New York
The 2006 New York City Michelin Guide goes on sale Nov. 15. What's the over/under on the number of restaurants receiving the coveted 3-Star rating? I'll start the over/under at 3½... and I take under. Anyone else?

How was Paris' T-Mobile account hacked?
The "hacker" knew the answer to the "secret question" (What Is Your Pet's Name?) for retrieving forgotten passwords. What a dumb blonde.

Every "Calvin and Hobbes" comic strip published from 1985-1995
"Calvin and Hobbes" was a good comic strip. It's sad that it has basically been reduced to Calvin peeing on various things.

Milan is about to burst onto the architectural limelight
Well, the Telegraph thinks so anyway.

February 22, 2005

NYT tells us about the wonder of dining on Fifth Avenue in Park Slope
Yes, but it's in Brooklyn... so what good does that do me?

Bruni got some crappy burgers at Luger's
Supposedly the meat was good, but the cooking was bad. Maybe it's just an off-day at the kitchen. I've wanted to try Luger's burgers for a long time myself. Too bad it's in that faraway land known as Brooklyn (even though it's literally just across the bridge).

February 21, 2005

Simmons Hall has been voted "the most beautiful piece of architecture, building, monument or structure" in the Boston area
You won't get an argument from me. I loved it... seeing it almost made me want to go back to school. I said almost.

Article about an autistic savant who is able to articulate what goes on in his mind

February 20, 2005

Ouroussoff profiles David Childs
A pretty fair profile I'd say.

Interesting and informative look at the Guide Michelin
So how many Michelin 3-Star restaurants are there right now? 49. Incidentally, this food writer has a pretty interesting site with reviews of restaurants around the world. He's very Euro-centric though. He thinks the best New York restaurant is only a 8/10 (at Daniel).

Very interesting new RAW converter
Pixmantec RawShooter Essentials

Sandisk introduces SD card that converts into a USB2 drive
Nice. It's more expensive than a regular card, but I think it's worth the premium.

Zhang Ziyi/章子怡 is on the cover of this week's NYT Style Magazine
Strangely, they refer to her as Ziyi Zhang. I wonder if it's at her request as part of her trying to break into Hollywood or is the writer just breaking what seemed to be NYT's norm which is to respect how Chinese names should properly be written.

February 19, 2005

So the buyer of Time Warner Center's north tower penthouse is revealed
Interesting that the contract was signed in 2001 post 9/11 and isn't publicized until now. Who's the buyer? Nu Skin co-founder Sandie Tillotson. BTW, only $30mil (vs. $42.5mil for the south tower penthouse paid for by the London financier David Martinez).

eGullet Q&A with Eric Asimov
In response to what is the most unusual cuisine he's had, he said that he doesn't get stinky tofu. Oh, Mr. Asimov, you just lost a couple of points in my book. But of course, most likely he's never had the chance to try a good one as there are no good stinky tofu joints in New York.

Some genius at MIT who is the leading theoretician in the emerging field of origami mathematics
Origami math sounds fascinating. Dude became a professor at MIT at age 20. 20! I was getting a D in DiffEq at 20. Though for a genius, particularly one so young (born in 1981!), his webpage looks like shit. I haven't seen a page like that since about 1992 (my own excluded, of course).

February 18, 2005

An unintentionally-hilarious Microsoft guide introducing parents to the wonderful world of l33tspe4k

These people set up a tuxedoed attendent in the Times Square McDonald's men's room as a joke

February 16, 2005

Forget about the big brouhaha art events of the past few months (MoMA and "The Gates")... this is what I'm really looking forward to: Shigeru Ban's Nomadic Museum is coming to NYC
The temporary museum, made from 148 shipping containers, is located on Pier 54 at W. 13th Street and will open March 5.

Freezing a dead HD to revive it temporarily
Does this actually work? Interesting.

February 15, 2005

Some nice photos

February 14, 2005

Hmm... how much did "The Gates" really cost?

February 11, 2005

Handy map from The NY Times for viewing "The Gates"

Not surprisingly, Riley is pissed at Ouroussoff

Google is offering to help host Wikipedia
Tighter integration to come?

National ID cards one step closer for Americans

February 10, 2005

Travel+Leisure magazine's Design Awards

A quick peek under the hood of Google Maps to figure out what makes it tick
I've said it before and I'll say it again: Google's got some talented Javascript programmers working for them.

February 9, 2005

Calatrava's stacked cubes tower has been approved by the NYC Department of Buildings
It's going to be the most conspicuous apartment building in the city, maybe the world. Rappers must be drooling all over themselves thinking about living in such a bling crib. Though I don't think any rappers will be able to afford the supposedly $30mil asking price of the units.

Hou Hsiao-Hsien (侯孝賢) restrospective at Anthology Film Archives
HHH is possibly the best Taiwanese director working today. If you've never seen his work, this is a good opportunity to see some. Link goes to news article. Anthology Film Archives is located on 2nd and 2nd in the East Village.

February 8, 2005

From the "Just in Case You've Never Heard of It" Department: ESPN's PTI
Best sports talk show on TV. Airs weekdays on ESPN at 5:30 p.m. and ESPN2 at 7 p.m. Hilarious half-hour show. And it's perfect for people with short-attention spans (watch an episode and you'll know what I mean).

What's happening to the space occupied by Ratner's
A Sleepy's, a bar, and maybe a condo. Yawn.

Thom Mayne's UCLA class has received Architecture magazine's 2005 P/A (Progressive Architecture) Award for their studio project
This project and citations are on view through March 12 at AIANY Center for Architecture.

AIA's Center for Architecture in New York has an exhibit highlighting Mexico’s new breed of architects
On view through May 7. Link goes to Metropolis interview with the curator of the show.

Google Maps beta
Nice interface. You can type "pizza near 100 Dean St Brooklyn" into the search box and it'll plot all the pizzerias near that address. And you can click and drag the map to view adjacent sections without waiting for new areas download. Very Cool, but the maps are loading a little slow for me at the moment.

Amusing story about Masa in The New Yorker

Mori Art Museum's new show "Archilab: New Experiments in Architecture, Art and the City" showcases a half-century of ingenious and whimsical architectural visions
Might be interesting. Check it out if you are in Tokyo before March 13.

A scary browser exploit that affects all browsers except IE
Click on the "Proof of Concept" link at the bottom of the story and you'll see why I think it's scary (that is if you don't use IE... if you are still using IE, well then... get with the program already).

February 5, 2005

"The cube" at Astor Place is stuck
And apparently it is not officially under anybody's upkeep so no one knows who will repair it. Cooper should just step up and fix it.

February 4, 2005

Ouroussoff panned MoMA's department of architecture and design

Martha Stewart is going to star in her own Apprentice
No joke. The Trump Apprentice is getting a little stale. I mean at some point people must get turned off by The Donald as he has managed to become a caricature of himself (hard to do as he was a caricature of a person to start with). It'll be fascinating to see how a Martha-led show would play out. Can't wait to see it.

Rice to Riches owner has been arrested on charges of running a $21 million a year sports gambling ring
"We have evidence that he used [gambling] proceeds to start up and actually run Rice to Riches," the DA said, after seizing $25,000 in cash at the Spring Street pudding shop.

Enterprise has finally been canceled
I think I was probably one of 12 people who watched every episode of this pitiful series. FWIW, this season has been pretty good.

Design for a $38 million glass and stainless steel theater designed by Hugh Hardy and Frank Gehry that would rise opposite BAM in Fort Greene
Gehry didn't attend the news conference and seems to want nothing to do with the project; saying, "It's mostly Hugh's building. They didn't really need me." Can't say I blame him. The rendering looks rather pedestrian.

Single letter ticker symbols no longer have the cachet they used to have
As many as 11 of the 26 letters of the alphabet are available.

February 3, 2005

Mad-scientist/chef in Chicago
Dude serves edible photos flavored to fit a theme: an image of a cow, for example, might taste like filet mignon. And he's working on using a Class IV laser to create an "inside out" bread, where the crust is baked inside the loaf and the doughy part is the outer surface. Genius!

February 2, 2005

The restaurant that replaced Rocco's on 22nd Street
It's interesting how Rocco's ruined Rocco yet somehow Chodorow came out smelling like roses.

Frank Bruni has downgraded Alain Ducasse to 3-stars

Toyo Ito's new 7-story building on Omotesando for the retailer Tod's looks interesting

NYT writes about angry waiters who bitch on blogs

Some 75-year-old dude stabbed a homeless guy in the jugular with a sword hidden in his cane
Why do I care? It happened in front of Trinity Church, next to my building.

February 1, 2005

Some costs involved in flipping