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Small craft advisories


"One of these days I'm going to have to take the Number 5 bus uptown. It's been 30 years since I left the neighborhood." --conversation between two little old ladies overheard in "one of those triangular little parks at Bleecker Street and Sixth Avenue"--one block west of Bleecker and Macdougal--by a caller to Leonard Lopate's WNYC talk show, 30 June 2005

| . . . Thursday? Let's see, Thursday... *opens day planner revealing a single sheet of paper with PARALYZED WITH ANXIETY on it* Thursday's no good. --Steve @extranapkins | Retweeted by Danny Gold . . . A rainy day should be spent out in the rain, according to Diana Vreeland, with whom I am in accord. --James Wolcott @JamesWolcott . . . WHY IS IT STILL COLD. STOP BEING COLD. --daveweigel @daveweigel . . .

Having read Thoreau at an impressionable age, I favor foot and pedal power over horsepower by land, by sea rag over stinkpot, unless the task at hand is graphical a command-driven interface over one that's menu'd (and thus xyWrite over Borland Sprint despite Sprint's superior user programming arrangement), and xyWrite 3 over xyDos 4. While my heart may belong to the lategreat DRI and leanmean software, trying to do graphical work without a gui is a stretch and Windows apps are indispensable. Windows apps don't have to be bloatware, and even Windows itself can be reduced to a thimbleful (as guis go). When a gui is needed, a nonIBM/MS/Netscape solution often excels. BeOS--an OS I never used--draws the most jaw-dropping effects from everyday hardware I've seen since Amiga trade shows back in Commodore days (both are known for their ultraefficient use of hardware resources). Wouldn't you know, Be dropped development of the desktop OS and, with the sale to Palm, the company as well is just a memory, which must have sent a chill down the spine of the Amiga startup du jour at the time. In an MS economy, falling in love with a genuinely innovative OS pretty much guarantees a broken heart. But maybe Amiga really will reemerge this time. <25 April 2003: I've long since made my peace with the dos-based Windows releases--I liked win95 at first sight and can't imagine life without Adobe software--but won't try to update those years-old remarks otherwise. ...> (If you're in or near NYC, here are some organizations that sound like they can put your obsolete PC to good use.)

<30 August 2003: Delicious sites of special interest to anyone else who believes that modesty of size is a virtue afloat and on a hdd.>

Granted, to invoke H.D.'s name in the present context is sacrilege of the highest order. Guess I didn't read him quite early enough. I find myself drawn instinctively again and again to low-tech, not no-tech, solutions. (25 August 2001: Robert Cringely offers do-it-yourself broadband instructions. ... The Baltimore Sun reports a satellite designed to relay messages worldwide between people carrying hand-held global positioning radios, set to be launched into orbit along with Athena 1 on Sept. 17: Annapolis middies built the satellite with Radio Shack and hobby shop parts for $50,000 after budget request.)

25 October 2001: Athena 1 and the middies' "PCSat" got off the ground 29 September. When this site chose to celebrate low-tech, box cutters as weapons of mass murder weren't quite what I had in mind. But their horrific effectiveness on 11 September and the drain on resources that the anthrax hysteria is causing as I write this demonstrate in the most godawful way that the phenomenon is one that can't be dismissed lightly. I expect it to be a while before the ketch Rebecca lays over again at the World Financial Center boat basin that adjoins the World Trade Center site. ... 3 October 2003: It took two years plus about three weeks. Rebecca is at North Cove today. Rejoice! (14 October 2003: Rebecca wasn't at North Cove 11 September 2001, but had been scheduled to be there then, a crewman told me today.) A year ago, the Winter Garden reconstruction had just wound up and vessels at the docks still were almost exclusively government and commercial. --adpF
So sad that most of the above reads now like a quaintly innocent artifact of a long-buried civilization--ou sont les niege or something. I couldn't hope to find the time and energy to update it for this benighted era. I've been so politicized it's hard to write about anything without collapsing into a rant about constitutional or consumer issues. (Post-WMD, post-Abu Ghraib, post-New Orleans, how could anyone be calm?) But these pages really are about attitude, and that's unchanged. The biases endure; keep them in mind while looking around. Some stuff--like the following, and notes for a North River page--is here just because.
photo: adpFisher

If you're a downdown type and find yourself far from the city of class grimly humming "I'm going back to New York City, I do believe I've had enough" over and over and over, Simon's webcam, focused on the fabled corner of Bleecker and Macdougal (ex-San Remo, ex-authentic Figaro, ex-[Martin and] Neil) could either drive you 'round the bend or restore your equilibrium. When people used to laugh about Villagers who got nosebleeds north of 14th Street, Al Koblen, then manager of the (real) Figaro and later co-owner of the equally legendary Lion's Head, scoffed: He and Figaro regulars got nosebleeds north of 3rd Street (a block above Bleecker unless you count Minetta Lane). The impact on the way we are now of the cultural ferment stewing at or within a block or two of that intersection in the 1950s and '60s can hardly be overstated. (Incidentally, neither the ex-Remo or present-day "Figaro" is within the perspective of the webcam--or of the snaps here of the building where it presumably resides. Also for the record, Freddie Neil has joined many others who made that time and place resonate, on the farthest shore of the other side of this life.) When you visit any of the numerous nearby bars, coffee houses, or whatnot, bring your wifi notebook. A bigtime thank you to Simon for his double generosity (click image left) in single-handedly transporting Bleecker and Macdougal wirelessly (as node #52), and the streetcorner tableau in real time visually (I love it), to--of all places--the 21st century. Never move, Simon! --adpf, 14 July 2003
photos:adpF, 24 April 2003




Who says a high-tech ocean-racing yacht has to be an ugly, soulless trimaran? Commissioned in the late '90s by the highest-profile multibillionaire businessman you never heard of, the German Frers ketch Rebecca occasionally lays over for a few days at a downtown Manhattan boat basin. Classic lines and a high-performance rig are joined in 140-plus feet of perfect grace. <see 25 October 2001 note above>
This site is best viewed with a browser--any browser. The call is rightly yours, not the www author's. I hope all browsers render the site intelligibly, but I admit to not caring enough to install bloatware to find out. It's coherent in the slick alternatives I use. If your browser isn't w3c-compliant (as my alternatives, Opera and lynx, are), protest to the developer.
If you tag html, I invite you to take a look at a few tips to help you expand your site's accessibility, thus its traffic (if you want to know more about lynx or Opera you can find some info on the same page). new! 15 january 2001

Special thanks for help above and beyond the call here and itrw
to Rod Bicknell, Stephen Morse, Daniel Say, and <sigh> in perpetuity to John Parente.

adpFisher nyc 31 march 2013
photographs copyright © 2003-2013 by the credited photographers