Archive for October, 2006

Subway Fares via Phone

SUBWAYblogger (how’s that for obnoxious typography?) points at the MTA’s turnstile upgrade allowing riders to pay for their fares with cell phones, saying that you have to “just look for the little green star symbol”. A little bit of digging reveals a few nuggets that the SUBWAYblogger failed to mention: you have to have a CitiBank account and a Cingular cellphone. Not to get all lecture-y, but this is what the debate over Network Neutrality is about. Imagine if a landline company tried to pull this shit:

Supplies are running out! Visit us on the web, or, if you have a Qwest-provided telephone line, call our 1-800 number to place your order now!

That ain’t hyperbole, either, folks. That’s a closed network run by people who love to make money off of you. If Cingular can control the “pay with your cellphone” market on the subway for long enough, they will get converts from other providers. Those of us who love our current plans and current phones, however, get screwed.

Metroblogging and Helio Join Forces…

helio150.jpg…to take over the world! Bwah, hah, hah!

Well maybe not the world, but if you have a Helio phone you can now browse all the Metroblogging sites under the “Surf Helio” options with the esteemed company of The Onion, Slate, Yahoo! and Maxim. Helio is clearly focused on providing quality content for their users, and we’re excited that they’ve added Metroblogging as a part of that experience.

Working with our partner WINKsite we have created a network of mobile sites optimized and specifically designed for Helio’s line of mobile devices. This integration will make it a snap for people to read about their hometowns from the unique perspective provided by our local Metrobloggers.

And remember, if you don’t have a Helio phone, Metroblogging is already available on any web capable mobile phone at

Metroblogging Turns 50!

graz1.jpgHey faithful readers–just thought we would let you know that Metroblogging just added the 50th city to our little blogging network. And the lucky city is…drumroll please…

Graz, Austria!

If you don’t know Graz, here’s an excerpt from the Wikipedia entry:

Graz, with a population of 285,470 as of 2006 (of which 248,146 have principal residence status), is the second-largest city in Austria after Vienna and the capital of the federal state of Styria (Steiermark in German). It has a long tradition as a student city, with six universities with over 40,000 students. Graz’s “Old Town” is one of the best-preserved city centers in Central Europe, and in 1999 was added to the UNESCO list of World Cultural Heritage Sites. Graz was sole Cultural Capital of Europe for 2003. The city is situated on the Mur river, in the southeast of Austria. It is approximately 2.5 hours south of Vienna by train or 2 hours by car. Graz is the capital and largest city in Styria, a green and heavily forested area. The city itself is surrounded by low hills on 3 sides, thus making it predisposed to haze in the warmer months.

Welcome to the family Graz!
Everyone, please stop on by and say “Hi!”

Happy Halloween!

Eroded Angel

This picture of an eroded angel on a gravestone is from Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery.


Originally uploaded by benkay.

I posted about the Zombiewalk earlier today. I made it to the start of the walk to take some pictures, but then I had class. Enjoy!

Musings and Realizations

graffiti6.jpg– I am really sick of the stupid graffiti around the city; mainly because it is unoriginal. The big thing still remains defacing movie posters… This entails either drawing a mustache, blacking out a tooth of one of the actors, or best of all, drawing a penis and testicles in the mouth region. This is the same lame graffiti that these punks were doing when my parents were kids, and when I was a kid. At least be original!

– I have always loved kids, so in the subway, I will play games with them. Peek-a-boo, making faces, anything like that. I attribute it to the fact that my maturity level and intelligence level marginally trump theirs. However, as of late, I have noticed that the kids seem to get sick of my games before I do. That is when you know you have a problem! I mean, if these kids are thinking “alright dude, I get it. When you cover your eyes, I am supposed to think you are gone. It’s enough! You’re embarrasing yourself,” there is a serious issue.

– What ever happened to UHF? Do those stations still exist?

– OK, so as usual, I am WAY late in picking up the trends, but I recently started getting into MySpace. Quickly, after scouring through profiles from people from my high school, I notice that MySpace has a similar phenomenon that the internet had, and still has… People putting up a profile with a million hoodads, whatzits, and bells/whistles but no real content. Some of these profiles don’t have ONE WORD about the person, except that they like “Fiddy Cent,” but has like 4 songs playing at once, all types of special cursors, background images, embedded files, and sound effects. The worst are these jerks who put up a dark color background, and then lighten the font color. Are they trying to keep the thing a secret?

– In Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out (which any guy in the US will say is one of the best games ever invented, if not number 1), was the black trainer guy supposed to be Al Roker? He looked A LOT like him. My friend Shannon pointed out that he also resembles Stanley from “The Office,” the best show on TV!

How do you spell relief?


Last night I had the chance to attend A Better Bee, a spelling bee with literary celebrities to benefit the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses.

The event was held in what seemed to be an artists’ space on 36th and 10th, which is a kind of desolate area if you haven’t been there, not the place to walk around with your headphones on at night. Among the famous scribes being put to the test were Billy Collins, Paul La Farge, Rick Moody, Sigird Nunez, and Meg Wolitzer.

As word after erudite word was lobbed at the spellers, I realized my vocabulary could stand some beefing up. But now forever emblazoned on my brain are not just the spellings but also the definitations of such gems as macaque, pukka, and the word that made Village Voice food writer Robert Sietsema last night’s winner, bezoar.

After the bee, there was a musical performance by the Wingdale Community Singers, featuring Rick Moody, author of Demonology, The Ice Storm, and Garden State. We didn’t stay though Moody is hot in an arrogant-Michael Stipe kind of way.

Upcoming CLMP events include their Literary Writers Conference, November 2-4, co-sponsored by the New School, and their Periodically Speaking reading series, the next installment of which is on November 14 and features emerging writers.

Beet it.


The other night night, a group of friends and I had dinner at Restaurant Sorrel, a joint at the corner of St. Mark’s and Carlton in the heart of Brooklyn’s Prospect Heights. (I thought it was a new place, but turns out it’s been open for more than a little while. Who knew! Apparently not this Manhattanite…) And though there’s no shortage of decent chow in the neighborhood, Sorrel was definitely worth the trip. I went with a rather large group (I think there were 10 of us) and as far as I know, no one was disappointed.

School of Visual Arts

In case anybody reading this is at all interested in graphic design at the School of Visual Arts, there is a gallery opening tomorrow on the west side showcasing some of the work from last years seniors, and this years students in the graphic design & advertising departments. Hell or even if you’re just looking for something to do tomorrow night…

Deborah Adler at SVA

In case you’re unaware, I attend the School of Visual Arts for advertising. It’s a fantastic school, with fantastic opportunities within. There’s always guest speakers, such as James Victore, Matt Dilon, etc. Today in my visual literacy class we had a guest speaker, Deborah Adler. The name may not sound familiar, but if you’ve seen the new Target prescription bottles that were launched in May 2005, she was the designer who created them. The whole concept behind creating these bottles was pretty amazing to me, so I thought I’d share.

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