Monday, April 30, 2007

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Friday, April 27, 2007

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The First Dream

The Wind is ghosting around the house tonight
and as I lean against the door of sleep
I begin to think about the first person to dream,
how quiet he must have seemed the next morning

as the others stood around the fire
draped in the skins of animals
talking to each other only in vowels,
for this was long before the invention of consonants.

He might have gone off by himself to sit
on a rock and look into the mist of a lake
as he tried to tell himself what had happened,
how he had gone somewhere without going,

how he had put his arms around the neck
of a beast that the others could touch
only after they had killed it with stones,
how he felt its breath on his bare neck.

Then again, the first dream could have come
to a woman, though she would behave,
I suppose, much the same way,
moving off by herself to be alone near water,

except that the curve of her young shoulders
and the tilt of her downcast head
would make her appear to be terribly alone,
and if you were there to notice this,

you might have gone down as the first person
to ever fall in love with the sadness of another.

--Billy Collins

Stranger 114

Monday, April 23, 2007

"There's No Food Here."

Khoi Vinh, the Design Director of and creator of, just started another blog -- on behalf of his dog, Mr. President.

Eating Out: Arte Café

106 73rd Street
B/W Amsterdam and Columbus
1/2/3 to 72nd St.

Quiet and unassuming from the exterior, the Arte Café takes up the ground floor of a series of adjacent UWS townhouses. Obscenely reasonable (especially given the neighborhood; the three-course lunch is $9.95), the prix fixe menus are expansive and enjoyable, if not excellent. The linguine alle vongole was perfectly satisfying, however -- and the salads are killer. Given the beautiful decor and cheery waitstaff, it's certainly worth the trip.

135th Street & Broadway

Joan Rivers Doesn't Actually Think Iceland Is Weird, She Just Wanted to Say "Reykjavik"

This is not to suggest that I in any way care about what the woman thinks or writes in the slightest, but Joan Rivers recently posted in her blog that she's training for this fall's New York City marathon. She excuses her general athletic mediocrity, however, by saying:

"I have run in the last four New York City Marathons. True, I didn’t win. The winners, if you check you local papers, are always foreigners from weird places like Uganda, Nepal and Reykjavik and the reason that these people win is because they are not running for prizes like the rest of us; they’re running to get away from the I.N.S."


So according to Ms. Rivers,

1. Any American of Ugandan, Nepalese, or Icelandic descent must be a foreigner. They all, clearly, are fresh off the boat from their respective weird countries and just raring to run a 26-mile race.

2. These aforementioned foreigners, moreover, must be illegal -- because lord knows that they otherwise wouldn't possess the skill to outrun her liposuctioned derrière.

3. John Rivers, clearly, is "running for prizes" -- because finishing 1,334 out of 2,000 certainly shouldn't deter her from thinking that she's actually going to win anything.

...Right. Just clearing things up.

Stranger 113

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Friday, April 20, 2007

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Stranger 107

From the Office: Delayed Gratification, à la Marshmallows

Research projects at Wired have me constantly coming across a diverse and bizarre array of information; some of it fascinating, some of it geeky, most of it just downright strange. I feel like these blips of information are worth sharing mostly for their anectodal value, hence the start of this soon-to-be recurring feature.

From What is Emotional Intelligence, Cary Cherniss:

We also should keep in mind that cognitive and non-cognitive abilities are very much related. In fact, there is research suggesting that emotional and social skills actually help improve cognitive functioning. For instance, in the famous "marshmallow studies" at Stanford University, four year olds were asked to stay in a room alone with a marshmallow and wait for a researcher to return. They were told that if they could wait until the researcher came back before eating the marshmallow, they could have two. Ten years later the researchers tracked down the kids who participated in the study. They found that the kids who were able to resist temptation had a total SAT score that was 210 points higher than those kids who were unable to wait.


Monday, April 16, 2007

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Friday, April 13, 2007

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Doodle #2


(If you look closely, you can see the giraffes drawn on the previous page...)

Stranger 101

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

27% of Stranger-a-Day

Originally, my sole purpose in starting this project was simply to overcome my occasional shyness in approaching strangers. Any sort of successful photojournalist, I figure, has to be fairly fearless when it comes to meeting and shooting new people; and while I am far from inhibited, I know I've missed a good photo or two through sudden pangs of introversion.

Along the way, I created a few rules to guide Stranger-a-Day;

1. The person must be a stranger. Obvious, yes, but I cheated a few times nonetheless.

2. I am not allowed to direct facial expression, stance, body language, &c.

3. I must actually verbally engage the stranger before photographing him or her. For the first month or so I actually had a mini-speech about the project, but since then have resorted to "may I take your photo?", which usually works just as well and is much easier.

There are exceptions, here and there, but generally speaking the list holds true. Of my first 100 strangers:

55 are men, 43 are women, 1 is a fish (male), and 1 is an inanimate sculpture,

67 were photographed in New York City,
17 were photographed in some way for The Spectator or The Eye,
12 were photographed on Columbia's campus,
11 were photographed in the subway,

3 were professional models,
3 were people I'd known well through the media but never met,
7 were people with whom I didn't actually interact,
8 are complete lies and people I definitely know,
8 are people whom I'd never met before but now interact with regularly,

4 strangers asked me to take their photos before I could ask them,
19 strangers were subsequently spotted by people who read this blog.

Stranger 100!

Monday, April 09, 2007

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Friday, April 06, 2007

Stranger 096

And I Thought My School Was Strict

13-Year-Old Arrested for Defacing School Desk.

A Few Numbers

Out of morbid curiosity, I spent a few minutes this morning going through my external hard drive and browsing my photo folders.

On May 13, 2006, I bought a Canon 30D digital SLR.

Since then, I've taken exactly 74,441 photos.

This means several things -- none of which are terribly important, but some of which are fairly worrisome.

If 328 days = 74,441 photos,
Then 1 day = 227 photos,
And 1 hour = 9.4 photos,
So every 6.35 minutes I take a photo.

In and of itself, that bit of information isn't terribly concerning; I think everyone's become used to me lugging my camera wherever I go. But let's stop to consider that, as much as I'd like to, I can't actually be awake and with my camera 24/7. Assuming that I spend roughly a quarter of my life sleeping (a generous estimate, but we'll stick with it):

Then if 1 day = 227 photos,
And if I am awake for 18 hours a day,
1 hour = 12.6 photos,
So every 4.76 minutes I take a photo.

Getting stranger, but still manageable. But then we need to take into account that I actually have classes and jobs that probably would be less than thrilled with my constant shutterbugging. So 18 hours of class a week + 12 hours of work a week = another 4.3 hours missing from every day. Thus:

If 1 day = 227 photos,
And if I am awake and not at work or in class for 13.7 hours a day,
1 hour = 16.6 photos,
So every 3.61 minutes I take a photo.

But 13.7 hours a day is still a lot of free time (and I'm pretty positive I'm not just walking around with a camera that much on a daily basis). Let's say that I spend a total of 1.5 hours every day eating, another 3 hours a day at the Spectator office, and an hour a day working in the architecture studio. Then,

If 1 day = 227 photos,
And if I am awake and not working or eating for 8.2 hours a day,
1 hour = 27.7 photos,
So every 2.16 minutes I take a photo.


Thursday, April 05, 2007

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Monday, April 02, 2007

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Stranger 091

April Fool's Day, Redux

Google's recently-released TiSP broadband service, however, is much more clever.


Seriously, Facebook ... the April Fool's Day jokes are a little creepy. (See also: "Two of your oxen drowned when you tried to ford the river." and "Harry and Voldemort have set their relationship status to "Mortal Enemies.'")