As Ed Koch Dies, His City Lives

Ed Koch died this morning at 2:00am in New York City.  He was 88.  All the Manhattan television stations are plastered, pixel-to-pixel, with memories and videos from their vast archives memorializing his large life.  Ed was my first New York City major, and he embodied everything you wanted in a public leader:  He was brash and brilliant and caring and tough and brutal when he had to be.

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Failure of Verizon LTE on the New iPad

I had high hopes for Verizon and their LTE network when I first unboxed my new iPad. I knew the LTE spec could be as high as 20Mbps down and 10Mbps up — but I’d settle for half of those numbers.  I’d read reports that people were getting LTE speeds in NYC of 10Mbps down and 6Mbps up and I’d love to be able to live that fast on the web.

Unfortunately, my initial tests in Jersey City were lousy, and yesterday, I did some informal LTE testing around Bryant Park in New York City.  You’d think at 6th Avenue and 40th Street you’d have a saturating LTE signal from Verizon.  Here are the results of my first, dismal, test:  Two Verizon LTE bars and 1.7Mbps down and 1.47Mpbs up.  Ugh.  That’s miserable 3G territory!

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Lessons Viewed from Afar: Yoga at Bryant Park

One of the greatest things about living and working in New York City is seeing real life happenings that look like staged events.  Janna and I are currently teaching together in Manhattan, and all Summer we have had the pleasure to watch — from our classroom perch on West 40th Street — weekly group Yoga sessions in Bryant Park.  Last night after the final class, I flung open the window and took this image.  You can see the Bryant Park carousel in the foreground and at least 300 yoga students congregating and sprawling on yoga mats on the green.  The students change poses in unison.  It’s like watching a beautiful, magical, dance from afar between the trees.

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Tutorial: How to Get a 212 Area Code Phone Number

When I attended graduate school at Columbia University in the City of New York in the late 1980’s, one of chits of living on the Morningside Heights Campus — believe it or not — was getting a phone number with a 212 Area Code.  I know that may sound silly to some, but if you had a 212 phone number, that meant you lived in the exclusive borough of Manhattan, and you were desirable and important and to be envied by the rest of the world.

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From Manhattan to Brooklyn: Finding a New Way on the Subway

September 1st was my first day of riding the subway to work. Up until now, the Long Island Railroad was the most efficient way to get to my office, time wise. It only took seventeen minutes or so on the Long Island Railroad and I was a short walk away from the office. In just a few short days that will be changing as my office is relocating to Brooklyn — the DUMBO section of Brooklyn, specifically. There is no direct Long Island Railroad (LIRR) route there, and taking the LIRR and transferring to a subway would save about ten minutes and cost one hundred dollars more. This is, of course, unacceptable with baby Davidescu on the way. With that in mind, I could not help but notice many differences between the two train lines.

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Billy Burnette and the Four-Year iTunes Error

Billy Burnette plays a great rhythm guitar, and he earned most of his fame replacing Lindsey Buckingham in Fleetwood Mac.  Billy was bred into a star musical family, and he also performs solo — but Billy’s greatest gift is to convey beauty in just strumming behind other guitar greats like John Fogerty as part of a backup band.  Rhythm guitar has taken a backseat to lead guitar in the foolish modern American musical mindset — but don’t be mistaken — there is honor and necessity in playing proper rhythm and Billy does it righteously well with his massive Gibson guitar always in hand.  After recently discovering Billy, I was eager to purchase his solo Blues album — Memphis in Manhattan — but when I went to the iTunes store to click buy, my eye was deceived.

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The Great Depression Depression

Gordon Davidescu wrote this article.

In theory, it was all supposed to go a certain way. I was supposed to have everything in my apartment packed and either shipped, sold, or eliminated in other ways. I was supposed to stay with a friend on the Upper West Side of Manhattan for a little while until I found my own place to live, and then I was going to live there. That is how it was supposed to go, but that is not at all how it went; life has had other plans for me thusfar.

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