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Tips on NYC/Brooklyn?

Places to eat, espresso, music, art, theater, bookstores, buildings, adventures?

I'm off for NYC

And am I excited! Born and raised in San Francisco, the most beautiful city in the US, but, but…it never fails when the cab crosses the river and we enter Manhattan, my pulse kicks up a few notches. I like to take the red eye, can never can sleep on an airplane anyway, get in to the hotel around 8AM. Half the time a room will be available, but if not, I check my backpack suitcase (Rick Steve's model that fits easily in overhead bin -- I'm never checking baggage on a flight again -- got my gear stripped down) and hit the streets. Years ago I discovered that if I go for a run in the park, after about 45 minutes and sweating, the jet lag is side-stepped. I stay up until that night -- no naps --and voila, I'm on NYC time.
   I've probably been to NYC 50 times, used to go at least twice a year when Random House was our distributor. Hotels of note over the years: Gramercy Park Hotel in the '70s; then for some years, the Pickwick Arms, in east '60s, around the corner from Random with very small cheap (like $60) rooms. It's been redone as the iPod or something. Then the Mayflower at the southwest corner of the park (my fave part of park), wonderful hotel, big rooms, European feel, good restaurant.
   I hit the streets with zest. All the years of running training have given me manuevearble street skills. Watch the traffic, not the lights, I tell my kids. In my fanny pack, a camera, notebook, pen, phone, glasses, magnifying glass, etc. Last week I was walking around in the Valencia district in SF with friends, a great part of the city nowadays, but it seemed bleak in comparison with, say, the Village, with its trees and density of people and shops and restaurants.
   Now as Hank Williams is singing Hey Good Lookin and it's a windy clear day, I'm getting ready to go.
  Watch for dispatches from NYC next week. Hey, Good Lookin' by Hank Williams on Grooveshark

Tiny Home in China designed to be stacked and packed

"In December, Designboom showed the full scale model of a housing unit by Chinese designers Studio Liu Lubin that was '…based on the minimum space people need for basic indoor movement, such as sitting, laying and standing.' Now the first unit has been placed in a Beijing park.…"
Click here.

Timber Frame Cabin in the Trees (France) by Yogan and Menthé

Today, from our brothers in France, Yogan and Menthé, prolific carpenters, whose work appears in Tiny Homes, and will be in Tiny Homes on the Move:

"hi lloyd, with Menthé we construct a new cabin, "the boat of tree," we finish it in two weeks, i send you the first photo..."

Yogan's website here.
Yogan's blog here.
Menthés blog here.

Building Your Own Tractor From Scratch - Marcin Jakubowski

'Using wikis and digital fabrication tools, TED Fellow Marcin Jakubowski is open-sourcing the blueprints for 50 farm machines, allowing anyone to build their own tractor or harvester from scratch. And that's only the first step in a project to write an instruction set for an entire self-sustaining village (starting cost: $10,000).…"
Sent us by Al Whittle

The pump don't work because the vandals took the handles…

"Hello Lloyd,
Thought might enjoy this Bob Dylan´s Subterranean Homesick Blues video found here.

Freddie King - Hideaway

Hideaway by Freddie King on Grooveshark

Dresser/Desk Combo For A Small Space

 "We used left-over pieces of wood from other projects so it is not perfect, but it has changed our small living space tremendously (…the house is 300 square feet and there are two of us plus a big dog). I can now make my desk mess disappear and don't have to file everything before I have finished."

-Brendan O'Connor

Built by Pete Smith

Mushroom Insulation For Tiny Homes

"We’re not just building a tiny house, we’re growing it. That’s right, the Mushroom® Insulation in the walls is literally alive and growing. This is a radical test of Ecovative’s building materials that are under development.
    Ecovative uses mycelium (mushroom “roots”) to bond together agricultural byproducts like corn stalks into a material that can replace plastic foam. We’ve been selling it for a few years as protective packaging, helping big companies replace thousands of Styrofoam (EPS), EPE and other plastic foam packaging parts. We’re now working to develop new products for building materials. This is an exciting, radical and innovative approach to try a bunch of ideas, learn a lot, and grow something really awesome.
   Here’s how it works. Mushroom Insulation grows into wood forms over the course of a few days, forming an airtight seal. It dries over the next month (kind of like how concrete cures) and you are left with an airtight wall that is extremely strong. Best yet, it saves on material costs, as you don’t need any studs in the wall, and it gives you great thermal performance since it’s one continuous insulated wall assembly. The finished Mushroom® Insulation is also fire resistant and very environmentally friendly. …"

Video Shot With Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100

Nate T's comment on the post (below) about my new camera: "…taken my first day playing with the RX100 video capture mode.

Primitive Pond Ice Curling from this winter in Groton, Mass.

…Be sure to switch viewing to HD and marvel at the pan/focus/tracking capabilities of objects in motion. I was pleasantly surprised."

Shelter at The Maker Faire

The Maker Faire was just great. I'd never think that something so nerd-oriented would appeal to me, but  there was soul in addition to all the robots and tech wizardry. We had a booth in the "Homegrown Village" section and sold more books than we have at any event ever. The booth, designed by Lew Lewandowski and manned by Lew and my son Evan, was mobbed the entire 2 days, most of the interest being in our Tiny Homes book.
My talks on "The Half-Acre Homestead” went well; maybe 125 kindred spirits in the audience each day.

Micro-Apartments in New York City

"Eager to jump on the living solo/living small trend, the city launched its adAPT NYC competition last summer, seeking proposals for micro units to fill a building at 335 East 27th Street. …    
   The units—the building will have 55 apartments, 40 percent of them affordable—will range from 250 to 370 square feet, with nine- to 10-foot ceilings and Juliette balconies. The design is meant to accommodate NYC's growing number of one- and two-person households, and the small unit size means that some amenities that might ordinarily be located within an apartment will be common spaces, instead. For example: the building will have a rooftop garden, lounges on most of the floors, a deck, a multi-purpose lounge for dinners and events, a laundry room, bike storage and general storage, a cafe, and a fitness room. …"
Click here.

Circular Geology on Beach

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100

On Saturday, I got up early and went to Palo Alto prior to going to the Maker Faire. The reason: going to Keeble & Schuchat Photography to check out the new Olympus OM-D E-M5 16MP 4/3, which my friend Bill Steen had just got and was raving about. Since I could use all the lenses I currently have for my Panasonic Lumix G1, I was interested in the much less shutter lag of the Olympus.
   I've been dealing with Gary at K&S for years, and he bas guided me in pretty much all the cameras I've been using of late. During the course of our conversation, I took out my Canon Powershot S110, with which I shoot most of my pictures, and asked if there was (yet) any camera in this class. Yes, there was, and I ended up getting the new Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100, a powerful and innovative little camera, about the size of the Powershot, but with significant advantages: a Leica lens, a sensor that is 4 times that of the Powershot, a great panorama function, and other features.
   This will be, as was the Powershot, the camera I have on me in a fanny pack most of the time. I'm willing to pay a little more at a "bricks and mortar" store as opposed to Amazon. Here, I would never have known about this camera by rooting around on Amazon. It's worth something. Most of my photos that will appear here in the future (starting next week) will have been shot with this camera.

Manhattan shoebox apartment: a 78-square-foot mini studio

"In Luke Clark Tyler’s last New York City apartment, his shoes had some unusual companions in the closet. The shoes sat, in neat pairs, on a rack, directly below his dishes and right next to the microwave. A few inches away, a hip-high refrigerator lived beneath his desk. And the apartment was so narrow that Mr. Tyler could sit on a sofa pushed against one wall with his feet propped up on the opposite wall.
     This was because Mr. Tyler’s entire home was only 78 square feet. And while his “Midtown mansion,” as he called it, was a far cry from the lavish town homes and shimmering penthouses that have spawned a thousand lustful television shows, a video tour posted on YouTube of Mr. Tyler’s little room has been viewed nearly 1.7 million times over the past year and a half. A similar video, about a 90-square-foot apartment on the Upper West Side, has been viewed even more times.…"

How About A Flock of Ducks?

"When folks think of home-produced eggs, they tend to think of chickens: after all, it is chicken eggs we usually see for sale in the shops. Yet ducks have undergone much the same selection and breeding processes as chickens over the centuries to create domestic waterfowl that fulfil the same objectives of providing a source of meat and eggs.
   Sure, there are the fancy fowl within the duck group (just as there are with chickens) where looks are the endgame, but there are also breeds of domestic waterfowl that can and do exceed the capabilities of chickens in terms of working livestock.
   Campbells and Indian runner ducks are a case in point. Over the years they have been used as the primary laying breed within waterfowl and they are incredibly productive, producing 250-300 eggs in a season, which outstrips some of the best layer breeds of chicken. …"
Click here.
From a comment by Anonymous