Rants & Ramblings

random commentary about culture, media, politics, technology and whatnot.

may
11
2011

New York Subway’s Long Dance With a Typeface | NYTimes.com

Alice Rawsthorn writes, “Clean and easily readable, Helvetica was a perfect match for the city’s jumble of subway lines. It just took city officials a few decades to realize it.”

apr
21
2011

Queen Elizabeth celebrates her birthday — but not the official one | Washington Post

Monica Hesse writes, “Now all kings and queens officially have June birthdays, even if their birthdays are, for instance, April 21. At least in Britain — the queen has different official birthdays elsewhere in the commonwealth. In Australia, it is timed to the opening of ski season to provide a three-day weekend.”

apr
17
2011

Philadelphia Daytrip

Rob and I took a daytrip up to Philadelphia last Saturday. Our friend Rachel planned a wonderful introduction to the city, including lunch at the Reading Terminal Market (where I was so overwhelmed I didn’t take any photos — but …

apr
10
2011

Photo of the Day: Industrial

The Marcus Hook SEPTA station, outside Philadelphia, is in a heavily industrial area, with refineries all around. It also has free, semi-plentiful parking on the weekend. We parked here and headed into Philly for the day with our friend Rachel, …

mar
27
2011

A brief history of time zones | BBC News

This interactive graphic highlights time zones around the world and delves into some zones’ regional peculiarities and history. (Via Nathaniel)

mar
19
2011

On BART Trains, the Seats Are Taken (by Bacteria) | NYTimes.com

A lab analysis of the seats on the San Francisco Bay Area’s transit trains suggests that high concentrations of bacteria are also going along for the ride.”

feb
21
2011

San Fran Snapshots

A few random Instagrammed photos from our trip to the Bay Area: We paid a brief visit to City Lights Bookstore (our time limited by the pocket change we had available to feed the parking meter down the street). The …

Point Reyes

Last Sunday, we drove out to gorgeous Point Reyes National Seashore with our friends Mike, Megan and Maya. I knew it would be beautiful, but … wow. I do love the northern California coast. Gorgeous vistas, dotted with random grazing …

feb
19
2011

Photo of the Day: Foggy Day on the Bay

On Sunday, our second day in the Bay Area, we drove out to lovely Point Reyes. Leaving the East Bay, we passed through a nice patch of fog as we crossed the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge.

feb
13
2011

In Transit

We’re spending a long weekend with friends in the San Francisco area. It’s been almost five years since I was here last (on our honeymoon road trip). We spent the morning and early afternoon in transit (taxi -> bus -> …

jan
16
2011

Photo of the Day: Catalina Highway

Highly recommended scenic drive: From Tucson, take the Catalina Highway up Mount Lemmon. Definitely stop at Windy Point. In the wintertime, there may even be snow at the top. More Photos from Mount Lemmon »

jan
04
2011

Photo of the Day: Basilica of San Albino

Rob and I stopped in Mesilla, N.M., during our White Sands road trip last month. I learned on this trip that Mesilla was the capital of the Arizona Territory under the Confederacy during the Civil War (hence this odd boundary …

dec
26
2010

White Sands National Monument

I’ve finally finished going through my photos from White Sands National Monument (near Alamogordo, N.M.). I didn’t do a very good job of editing this set (52 photos tagged “white sands”), but the place was so amazing, I had a …

dec
22
2010

White Sands at Sunset

White Sands National Monument (Alamogordo, N.M.) at sunset is probably one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. It was amazing — bursts of color in 360 degrees, constantly shifting. I’m still going through photos, but here’s a sample.

dec
12
2010

Swan Lake

When we go down to South Carolina for Thanksgiving, we’ll usually make a stop at Sumter’s Swan Lake-Iris Gardens while we’re in town. The weather’s usually nice, and it’s a lovely place for a semi-quiet stroll. (There are lots of …

dec
07
2010

The Streets of San Francisco … But Flat? | PBase.com

Photographer Dan Ng’s tilted take on San Francisco’s famed hilly streets. “What would San Francisco be without its steep hills? … By tilting the camera, I attempted to ‘level’ the hills. These images whimsically portray the streets of San Francisco … flat. But thank goodness it isn’t!”

nov
19
2010

The Passaic River: The Dirty Truth About That Other Jersey Shore

NPR reporter Art Silverman has an interesting story this afternoon about New Jersey’s polluted Passaic River. He writes, Shortly after America’s founding, New Jersey’s Passaic River became a cradle of the nation’s fledgling manufacturing industry. For that, it has paid …

nov
17
2010

Announcing the Subway Announcement Lady | City Room | NYTimes.com

James Barron writes, “Carolyn Hopkins has been recording [New York] subway public-address announcements for 15 years. In all that time, she has never ridden the subway … You can hear her saying much the same thing in Chicago, Washington, even Paris … She has recorded announcements for the Staten Island ferry and most of the major airports in this country, including La Guardia, Kennedy and Newark Liberty.”

oct
13
2010

My Happy Place

Rob and I went camping at Delaware’s Cape Henlopen State Park over Columbus Day weekend, staying over Sunday night and returning Monday afternoon. It was a good excuse to escape the city — this time for the quiet calm of …

oct
06
2010

Exploring The (Nearly!) Empty Post Office Building On 8th Ave | Scouting New York

Some interesting photos (and vintage typography) in this tour / photowalk through the huge (and mostly vacant) Farley Post Office at 33rd Street and 8th Avenue in New York City. There are plans to turn part of the building into Moynihan Station, an extension of Penn Station across the street.

sep
14
2010

Jellyfish

We paid a visit to the small-but-impressive jellyfish exhibit at the National Aquarium in Baltimore last month.