Categories
Cool Technology The Internet Websites

A website devoted to NYC internet infrastructure

Liked Seeing Networks in New York City by Ingrid Burrington (seeingnetworks.in)

New York’s network infrastructure is a lot like the city itself: messy, sprawling, and at times near-incomprehensible. However, the city’s tendency toward flux is a strange blessing for the infrastructure sightseer: markings and remnants of the network are almost everywhere, once you know how to look for them.

And book!

It’s fun to stumble on dedicated little web projects like this. It’s such a niche project that only someone who really cared would bother making it.

Makes me think of a tweet I saw recently that the world is basically made of people’s random passion projects.

Categories
Culture Food

Watched On the Job with Priya Krishna

Watched How To Run Brooklyn’s Legendary Tamale Cart | On the Job | Priya Krishna | NYT Cooking from YouTube

Food carts are everywhere in New York City. Hot dogs, coffee, halal, mangoes … The list goes on. There are 20,000 street vendors fueling the city daily, yet …

There is no way this woman makes enough from the amount of work she puts in. Three days of work to make her tamales and maybe she doesn’t even sell them all?! It’s amazing she’s advocating for herself but also super shitty the risk it poses to her as an undocumented immigrant — she says “I’m not scared anymore” but I’m scared on her behalf. It is infuriating that America can’t see the value this woman brings to the community and grant her legal status to open up more opportunities to someone with this kind of work ethic.

Our approach to immigration is ridiculous. The woman in this video was an accountant in Mexico but couldn’t find a job in the US, so now she illegally sells homemade tamales. Here in Seattle, I know an Indian woman whose husband got a tech job but her visa doesn’t allow her to work even though she is *also* a computer scientist. The Egyptian man whose family owns the gas station downtown is an engineer but wasn’t able to transfer his license here, so he works the counter at a quickie mart. What. The. Fuck. How does it benefit the US to deny these skilled people the ability to work in their fields?

We watched the whole On the Job series and there are a bunch of dedicated entrepreneurs running awesome businesses that support their community — and as an outsider feel totally unsustainable because everything relies on them and the help their families can give. It is exhausting watching them. They have the hustle, but I wish they could get some success without having to burn themselves out.

A guy running a bodega has become TikTok famous and people stop in from around the country to enjoy his friendly service: they can hand over any random ingredient in the shop and ask him to make it “ocky style” and he develops an original sandwich recipe on the fly. Crumbling chips or candy onto the sandwich, using doughnuts as the bread, concocting something delicious and unique for over 100 customers a day — plus making hundreds of standard sandwiches — plus he restocks the shelves and runs the cash register if his ten year old nephew can’t be spared to work it.

A woman running a pop-up Instagram restaurant gets her cousin to drive up from Pennsylvania to help each weekend, and a volunteer delivers the food. She has a full-time job and spends her “free time” running the food business. Her expenses have skyrocketed with inflation — mushrooms went from $14 to $20 — but she wants to keep it affordable. Please tell me you are making money at least.

Categories
Romance

Re-read A Lot Like Adios

Read A Lot Like Adiós (Primas of Power, #2)

Hi Mich. It’s Gabe.

After burning out in her corporate marketing career, Michelle Amato has built a thriving freelance business as a graphic designer. So what if her love life is nonexistent? She’s perfectly fine being the black sheep of her marriage-obsessed Puerto Rican-Italian family. Besides, the only guy who ever made her want happily-ever-after disappeared thirteen years ago.

It’s been a long time.

Gabriel Aguilar left the Bronx at eighteen to escape his parents’ demanding expectations, but it also meant saying goodbye to Michelle, his best friend and longtime crush. Now, he’s the successful co-owner of LA’s hottest celebrity gym, with an investor who insists on opening a New York City location. It’s the last place Gabe wants to go, but when Michelle is unexpectedly brought on board to spearhead the new marketing campaign, everything Gabe’s been running from catches up with him.

I’ve missed you.

Michelle is torn between holding Gabe at arm’s length or picking up right where they left off—in her bed. As they work on the campaign, old feelings resurface, and their reunion takes a sexy turn. Facing mounting pressure from their families—who think they’re dating—and growing uncertainty about their futures, can they resolve their past mistakes, or is it only a matter of time before Gabe says adiós again?

Still great on second read! She did an excellent job highlighting their emotions throughout, and how it changed their perspective. I related to their difficulties with their attitudes about work.

The action is maybe a little light, but the character arc and relationship work was so well done I didn’t mind that they didn’t actually do a whole lot. The sex scenes do heavy lifting on relationship building and characterization, are important to the story. The condom buying scene is hilariously cringe.

Appreciate that they are a non-traditional couple in that they don’t want kids, and don’t actually want to get married, but still find a way to be together that works for them.

Also that cover art 😍

Categories
Horror Romance

Re-watched Sleepy Hollow

Watched Sleepy Hollow from m.imdb.com

Ichabod Crane is sent to Sleepy Hollow to investigate the decapitations of three people, with the culprit being the legendary apparition, The Headless Horseman.

This movie is so fucking great.

Tim Burton is phenomenal at creating mood — he even uses the opening credits to build mood and plant questions to entice the audience as the hero journeys through moody forests to the scene of the crime, the sky gray and cloudy just as winter days are here, the light weak and pale even during the day. He didn’t have to show that journey, but it builds our anticipation for what is to come. Love the desaturated look for the whole movie, the way he twists the idyllic to become sinister. The design of the evil tree is fantastic, and the costuming is great. I love the callback to the original Frankenstein movie in the climax.

The movie doesn’t take itself seriously, reveling in ridiculous fake gore humor, and casting Christopher Walken in a role where he mostly doesn’t have a head, and when he does his only line is a growl, delivered through teeth “filed to points.”

The plot nails its beats — I have had my head in a beat sheet for the last three weeks and in delight watching a master storyteller showcase the key beats. One quibble with the plot motivations: the magistrate didn’t have a reason to give him a tip.

I like that they pulled in the original story element of Ichabod being a coward while giving him depth of character and a commitment to overcome his fears and dislike of blood. It feels uncommon for a cowardly character to nevertheless be the hero of the story. The visual symbol of his beliefs — the spinning cardinal disc — is used brilliantly to complement his story arc. I find this character much more compelling than Jack Sparrow, though of course this weirdo artsy horror movie with the “beta” hero isn’t going to be the role that sticks in the collective consciousness 🤷‍♀️

A few quibbles: I would have appreciated Ricci’s character to get one more scene, or at least a few more lines, at the climax. Technically it doesn’t fail the Bechdel Test, but not by much.

Categories
Horror Romance

Read The Widow of Rose House

Read The Widow of Rose House

It’s 1875, and Alva Webster has perfected her stiff upper lip after three years of being pilloried in the presses of two continents over fleeing her abusive husband. Now his sudden death allows her to return to New York to make a fresh start, restoring Liefdehuis, a dilapidated Hyde Park mansion, and hopefully her reputation at the same time. However, fresh starts aren’t as easy as they seem, as Alva discovers when stories of a haunting at Liefdehuis begin to reach her. But Alva doesn’t believe in ghosts. So when the eccentric and brilliant professor, Samuel Moore, appears and informs her that he can get to the bottom of the mystery that surrounds Liefdehuis, she turns him down flat. She doesn’t need any more complications in her life―especially not a handsome, convention-flouting, scandal-raising one like Sam.

Unfortunately, though Alva is loath to admit it, Sam, a pioneer in electric lighting and a member of the nationally-adored Moore family of scientists, is the only one who can help. Together, the two delve into the tragic secrets wreathing Alva’s new home while Sam attempts to unlock Alva’s history―and her heart.

This was very much a romance rather than gothic ghost story with a romance, which is what I expected from the cover. I enjoyed it despite some quibbles about a rushed ending (everything resolved too cleanly and quickly, hero not given enough to do, insufficient denouement) and expectations from the first half not quite aligning with the story in the second half. I think there were too many plotlines and cutting out the brother would have allowed more time on the ghost story, which would be a better match for expectations.

Sam and his family are very entertaining. I also enjoyed the relationship between Sam and his BFF / semi adopted brother, who I suspect was being set up for his own book.

Categories
Romance

Re-read Fast Connection

Read Fast Connection (Cyberlove, #2)

After a decade of serving in the Army, everyone still expects me to be Dominic ‘Nicky’ Costigan–the skirt-chasing player. They don’t know I’ve been spending my days trying to figure out my post-military life. Including how to pick up guys.

When I meet Luke on a hookup app, he makes it clear it’s for one-night only. That’s fine with me, because I’m down to see what this silver fox can do. But after I arrive at his doorstep, it doesn’t take long to realize we have serious chemistry, and we end up meeting again.

He’s got more walls around his heart than a military base, but I think he’s as addicted to me as I am to him. He can’t resist me for long. I mean, who can? Except Luke’s rules exist for a reason, and when I test his limits, things get complicated. Maybe too complicated.

This one was kind of intense. There was a confrontation with the ‘bad guy’ at the end that had a sour note and felt a little cruel.

Note: There was a hullabaloo about co-author Santino Hassell four years ago, in which it’s suspected the community was misled into crowdfunding medical support when they were not actually having medical issues, and potentially were actually a team of writers pretending to be another person, and then had poor behavior during the process of revelation and were dropped by their publisher. I already owned this book but still feel a little weird re-reading it.

Categories
Comics

Read Our Cats Are More Famous Than Us

Read Our Cats Are More Famous Than Us

In 2008, Ananth Hirsh and Yuko Ota launched the auto-bio webcomic Johnny Wander. Eight years, four cats, and three moves are chronicled in this gorgeous hardcover omnibus, which includes a foreword by Raina Telgemeier (Smile, Ghosts). Hirsh and Ota’s charming reverie about new adulthood will appeal to fans of Kate Beaton, Bryan Lee O’Malley, and Jeffrey Brown along with anyone who’s just winging it.

Cute but not super compelling. Kind of a cozy read with fun quirky characters. Was hoping for a little bit more structure or arc overall — I get the impression this is an omnibus complete collection, but maybe some judicious rearrangement of related stories and culling of some comics might have made it more cohesive. Liked the art though wasn’t crazy about the halftone shading where it was used, made it harder to read. I wasn’t sure what the different colors were supposed to indicate — a new year? a new season?

Categories
Romance

Read Magnate

Read Magnate (The Knickerbocker Club, #1) by Joanna Shupe

Born in the slums of Five Points, Emmett Cavanaugh climbed his way to the top of a booming steel empire and now holds court in an opulent Fifth Avenue mansion. His rise in stations, however, has done little to elevate his taste in women. He loathes the city’s “high society” types, but a rebellious and beautiful blue-blood just might change all that.

Elizabeth Sloane’s mind is filled with more than the latest parlor room gossip. Lizzie can play the Stock Exchange as deftly as New York’s most accomplished brokers—but she needs a man to put her skills to use. Emmett reluctantly agrees when the stunning socialite asks him to back her trades and split the profits. But love and business make strange bedfellows, and as their fragile partnership begins to crack, they’ll discover a passion more frenzied than the trading room floor…

There were aspects of this I liked – namely the heroine defying society to start her own shop and daring to wager with the hero – but the dramatic emotional ping-ponging was over the top. The hero was way too jealous and untrusting, which didn’t match up well with his supportiveness for his wife’s business. I disliked the ending drama which was different than what I had expected was being set up. Not planning to read the other books in the series.