Monthly Archives: July 2008

Photos of the NYC Waterfalls

bridge waterfall, originally uploaded by arcanegazebo.

There’s a public art piece on display here in New York City in which artificial waterfalls have been constructed at four points along the East River, including one on the Brooklyn Bridge. On Sunday I dropped by the area and took some pictures. My favorites are here. (Best views were of the bridge and Pier 35 waterfalls; I didn’t get very close to the other two.)

Also, the sidebar now shows the latest photo in the New York City photoset, rather than the Project 365 photoset. I considered just pointing it to the main photostream but I felt some thematic consistency would be good. I’m hoping to post to this set frequently (ideally once per week) but I won’t be enforcing an update schedule like I did with Project 365.

The information content of trading floor photos

I’ve been noticing lately that whenever the New York Times runs a market-related story, they always include a photo of traders at the relevant exchange looking troubled and/or frantic. (Today’s example is here.) This raises a number of questions:

  • Given that all these photos are basically the same, do they actually go to the floor and take new ones each time or just post from a collection of stock photos?

  • And isn’t it likely that floor traders always look like this, not just when something newsworthy happens?
  • What will the journalists do when the exchange floor closes entirely as a result of the shift towards electronic trading? (Probably just keep using the stock photos.)
  • If only there were a more informative graphic they could fill the space with… if there were an “index” reflecting recent market movement that could be plotted as a function of time. Someone should invent something like that.
  • Instead of complaining about lame photos in the NYT, shouldn’t I just subscribe to the Wall Street Journal like everyone else in the industry?
  • Or has Rupert Murdoch already turned it into the financial equivalent of the New York Post or Fox News?

An anti-Clinton rant

hell's kitchen mural
In today’s New York Times there’s a piece about the decreasing relevance of the bohemian lifestyle depicted in the musical Rent to actual New York City culture. I don’t have anything to say on that issue, but I wanted to flag this paragraph:

THERE are those who still hold onto the dream of danger, but their numbers are shrinking. Skinny young ex-suburbanites who would swoon at the sight of a pea shooter walk around Williamsburg wearing T-shirts emblazoned with a silhouette of a Kalashnikov and the words “Defend Brooklyn” (from everyone who came after, one assumes). Residents of Hell’s Kitchen adamantly refuse to adopt the name Clinton, an old label for the area that real estate brokers tried to bring back at a time when the Hell’s Kitchen description actually applied.

As a Hell’s Kitchen resident myself, I object to characterizing this as purely motivated by wanting to maintain an aura of danger in the neighborhood. (That might be a part of it, but push it too hard and your friends from the suburbs will be even more reluctant to visit.)
In reality, we prefer “Hell’s Kitchen” because it’s a much better name than “Clinton”. It’s colorful and evocative. And it’s perfectly legitimate to reference the neighborhood’s history even if its character has changed. Meanwhile, “Clinton” is bland and generic, with a tenuous connection to the area (via the not-that-impressive DeWitt Clinton Park). And contrary to the writer’s suggestion, “Hell’s Kitchen” is actually a much older name for the area.
So, don’t brand us a bunch of posers just because we want our neighborhood to keep its awesome name.