Oct 312008

Today it was announced that Condé Nast would be cutting 5% of it’s staff and 5% of it’s budget. I personally know one person who has lost their job; I hope I do not find out about others. American Express also announced layoffs of 7,000 jobs worldwide, and American Express publishing has announced a layoff of 22 positions, or 10% of its staff. Cutbacks by Gannet and the Tribune Company have also been reported.

Both of the publishing cuts come on the heels of the Time Inc. announcement. These cuts will certainly have a large impact in New York City in combination with the financial industry meltdown.

 Posted by at 12:08 am
Oct 282008

This morning I received a delivery from FreshDirect, a grocery delivery service. I ordered some red grapefruit.
FreshDirect ships mangoes instead of grapefruit
As you can see, there may be a small problem with how FreshDirect selects their fruit. So much for their improvements of “Better Produce-get what’s great right now.

To their credit, FreshDirect refunded the amount of the grapefruit to my credit card and issued me a coupon for $5. But it’s a pretty silly screwup. And it’s not the first time I’ve gotten the wrong produce from FreshDirect.

 Posted by at 11:15 pm
Oct 282008

There have been a lot of rumors swirling about the last few weeks about my old employer, Time Inc. Folks I talked with has said that approximately between 200 and 300 people would be laid off: it seems that the number is much higher. The New York Times reports Time Inc. Plans About 600 Layoffs.

One of the changes described by the article is that the publishing division of the “lifestyle” magazines will directly control the editorial content. Time Inc. had always had a principle of “Church and State” where the editorial and publishing divisions had strictly separated reporting lines. And while the editorial side lost some control of the company during the formation of Time Warner, the merger of Time Inc. and Warner Brothers, there was always a culture of editorial independence.

In addition, it’s notable that “the news and entertainment units will continue to report to John Huey.” At first glance, this appears that Huey’s responsibilities are continuing as usual, but as I just noted, the article states that the “lifestyle” magazines will not report to Huey.

From the outside, these might not seem like significant changes, but they may be the most significant change in Time Inc. since the creation of Time Warner. I’m hoping my friends at Time Inc. are doing okay.

The Times also reported on another significant media event today: Christian Science Paper Ends Daily Print Edition. This is one of the first national newspapers to switch to an all online format; I certainly don’t believe it will be the last.

And in other media news, less significant to the general populace, but more significant for my company: Digital Railroad Shuts Down and Confusion as Digital Railroad Shuts Down

 Posted by at 10:41 pm
Oct 242008

Ginny and I were walking by Madison Square this evening, when we saw an odd array of lights. It turns out that we got a sneak preview of Pulse Park, a public art installation by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer. It’s scheduled to run from tomorrow through November 17. I recommend checking out the video, since my still photos do not do the project justice.

Pulse Park by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer Pulse Park by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer Pulse Park by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer

[Visit YouTube to see the view in high quality]

 Posted by at 12:43 am
Oct 242008

I wasn’t sure I would see the spider hanging outside my window this time of year. It’s been around 40 degrees for the past couple of nights; and I’m not sure what spiders do in the winter. I was a bit surprised to see it outside my window when I got home this evening. After taking this photo, it nestled into my window sill.

Sider over Brooklyn

 Posted by at 12:40 am
Oct 242008

My brother called me to say that there was a fire close to his apartment building and that there were a large number of firetrucks present. I saw the report on the Gothamist Labs: Maps; it was reported on Gothamist as both a 10-75, “notification of fire or emergency,” and a 10-76, “notification of fire or emergency in a high-rise building.” He said that he could see water shooting out of the windows. Hopefully everyone is okay.

(Codes from F.D.N.Y. Radio Codes.)

Fire on Broadway

 Posted by at 12:09 am
Oct 232008

Last weekend, I visited Rich and Lisa with Betsy to see them and visit Bear Mountain State Park for their annual Oktoberfest. The leaves are starting to change, and the weather is getting cooler.

Leaves Changing at Bear Mountain State Park October 2008 Leaves Changing at Bear Mountain State Park October 2008

Leaves Changing at Bear Mountain State Park October 2008
This photo is a picture of Anthony’s Nose from Bear Mountain State Park, where I hiked a couple of weeks ago.

 Posted by at 11:41 pm
Oct 232008

Last Friday, October 17, Betsy and I went to see Katy Pfaffl at the Canal Room. Katy is a fun singer/songwriter. For this performance, she was backed by a full band, including a string trio. The Canal Room is a small, intimate venue with a decent sound system, but some weird choppy lighting. It was a fun performance; Katy is a great singer and a lot of fun.
Katy Pfaffl at the Canal Room 2008-10-17 Katy Pfaffl at the Canal Room 2008-10-17 Katy Pfaffl at the Canal Room 2008-10-17 Katy Pfaffl at the Canal Room 2008-10-17

(You can go to YouTube to watch the video in high quality.)

After the concert, Betsy and I went to Bouley Upstairs. It is in the same price range as several small bistros in the same neighborhood, but the food is cooked with the same love and attention to detail that is given at the affiliated high-end restaurants. And the wine is also fair, if you stick to the wines by the glass.

 Posted by at 11:28 pm
Oct 232008

Last Thursday Evening, October 16, Anne and I went to the Rise Bar at the Ritz Carlton in Battery Park to wish the Queen Elizabeth 2 farewell to New York City. The QE2 is on it’s final voyage; after returning to England she will be moved to Dubai as a museum.

It was a windy, gray night, but the managers at the Rise Bar had the balcony open so that we could see the QE2 along side the much larger Queen Mary 2. The ships are both very impressive, but the QE2 looks more like a classic ocean liner than the QM2.

Even though I had a tripod, it was difficult to keep the camera steady due to the fierce winds.
Queen Mary 2 in New York Harbor
Queen Mary 2 in New York Harbor
The QM2 waiting for the QE2

Queen Elizabeth 2 and Queen Mary 2 in New York Harbor
The QE2 passing in front of the QM2

Queen Elizabeth 2 and Queen Mary 2 in New York Harbor
The QE2 sails ahead of the QM2 and out of the harbor

The New York Times has an article about the departure. And, of course, let’s not ignore the “it’s a small world” moment. The New York Times reports, “A duplicate of the pennant was presented Thursday to Grover Sanaschagrin [sic], 88, who as a harbor docking pilot guided liners to their berths from 1944 until his retirement in 1996.” I believe this is the grandfather of Grover Sanschagrin, my coworker at PhotoShelter.

 Posted by at 11:14 pm
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