Monday, April 23, 2012

MTA Art at Times Square Station, New York City

This slide show presents a sampling from 35 ceramic relief panels created by the artist Toby Buonagurio. Each is set in a wall of glass blocks. Three themes are represented: the performing arts, fashion and street life.

To learn more about the artist visit the MTA Arts for Transit website featuring a podcast about this installation. 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Facebook buys Instagram for $1 Billion

This is an amazing story.

About one and a half years after going online, the start-up Instagram is being bought by Facebook for an outrageous sum of money.

The idea behind this free app is simple. The technology allows you to touch up your photos with various lenses, borders and special effects (such as creating sepia photos) and then share your pictures with friends via Flicker, Facebook,  or Tumblr.

The app is being accessed by over 30 million users.

A recent article in the Financial Times, "The Aesthete of Silicon Valley Who Makes Photos Beautiful" compares founder Kevin Systrom to a gourmet chef who infuses just the right taste and aroma to his foods.

Systrom's philosophy is that a "product designer must  give people a sense of surprise and delight as they swipe and tap their phone." A friend says "Kevin notices details that most of us don't. He takes time not just to smell the roses, but to analyze the roses."

Sunday, April 15, 2012

What I've Been Reading Lately: Going Solo by Roald Dahl

This autobiography begins in 1938 when Dahl left England aboard the SS Mantola and culminates in his experiences as a Royal Air Force Pilot ace during the war.

He was  en route to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania to work with Shell Oil on a three year contract.He describes all the dotty (eccentric) characters aboard. He then relates a bizarre encounter with a lion.

One of the highlights is when his plane crashes in Libya and he nearly dies. He does recover and goes on to become a fighter pilot outwitting and outflying dozens of German Messerschmit 109's.

The book is an enjoyable read.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A Jewel of a Park in Gramercy

Gramercy Park was founded in 1851 by Samuel Ruggles.

To this day, it continues to be a refreshing oasis in the heart of Manhattan.