Road crews are a common sight in New York, with orange-vested men working on the street or partially submerged in it. They often have machinery and tools down in the hole, with cables running back to the truck. This presents a tripping hazard. The object you see here, made by
The automotive version of an iPhone case. Because auto designers and manufacturers do not take parallel parking and paint-trading into consideration, motorists wishing to avoid scuffmarks must purchase these absurd, ugly things. It totally mars the lines of the car. What is the point of designing something beautiful, if it
There's a lot of unassuming buildings on Crosby Street in SoHo, but I know this one in particular because a certain famous rock star lived there, and a training brother of mine works in carpentry and got hired for a job there, and one of his crew members accidentally fucked
Spotted with the curbside trash on Crosby Street: And someone couldn't help themselves and scrawled a little note on it: If you look at the first two photos, you'll see they also circled and underlined "douche."
This here is your standard NYPD barricade. They link together by having hooks on one end and loops on the other. The police use these to block areas off for parades and street festivals. Sometimes when they come to pick them all up, they leave one or two behind, so
NYC's MTA (Metropolitan Transit Authority) has been making noise about the new R211 subway cars they're acquiring, which are supposed to have a bunch of design upgrades. To get public feedback, they've built two full-sized mockups and put them on display at the 34th Street / Hudson Yards station. So
The storefront for this appointment-only, high-end jewelry store in SoHo has a shabby appearance. The black paint probably looked chic for the first week after it was applied. But now it is chipped and peeling, and we see that black is a poor choice because it readily shows dust. The
Manhattan's Chinatown is filled with shops, and many of them have outdoor displays. During the day you can't see the actual display unit, just the goods covering them. But early in the morning the displays are visible. They are functional, and only that. Visually they are horrific-looking. I call it
Above is a Google Street View image of the Basilica of St. Patrick's Old Cathedral, located in what is now hip NoLita. I pass this building often, and a point of interest for me is this massive iron door that leads into the church grounds. You might be wondering why
This simple steel wire-mesh trash basket is a staple of many an NYC neighborhood. In recent years I've noticed that various neighborhoods' B.I.D.s (Business Improvement District committees) have been lining them with trash bags, as seen here. I presume this is an effort to make emptying the can a
It's a shame that everyone from name-brand architects to homeowners to neighborhood beautification organizations often miss this important fact: Wood, if not properly maintained, is actually a very poor materials choice for outdoor products and facades. It has to have a protective coating that must regularly be re-applied. And
This building on Kenmare Street may not look special from the front. But look at the left edge of it. The building is incredibly narrow, tapering almost to a point. In Google Maps you can see it's just a thin slice of a building. The incredibly narrow footprint is fine
If you throw a sofa away in New York City, it will often linger on the curb for days. For three mornings in a row, I passed this spot on Elizabeth Street where a homeless guy had scored a discarded sofa and sofa end. The weather is getting colder now,
Spotted on SoHo's once-glitzy West Broadway, which is now clearly in decline: Someone wanted a bench, but damn sure didn't want to pay for a bench. All materials were, I assume, looted from a nearby construction site.
Looks like someone's gonna have a crappy Thanksgiving: The makeshift Baxter Street Lounge I've been writing about… The lounge, in happier days…has been shut down! Passed it this morning to see this: All gone.So much for the holiday spirit. I though the "disposed of as garbage" part was a bit
While they clearly did not hire a graphic designer to lay out the type, this sign cost the city money to design, produce, distribute and install. The entire point of these two symbols… …is that they don't require an explanation and can be understood by those who cannot read
The makeshift sidewalk lounge I wrote about earlier, sited on Baxter Street, is apparently experiencing growth in its numbers of patrons. The unseen people who populate this lounge--I've yet to catch them in the act, as I only pass this way in the morning--have amassed more furniture, including two rolling
Situated at an intersection of two streets that each have a slight grade, this restaurant has angled sidewalks on both its south and east faces. The restaurant owner had custom benches made to compensate for the grades on each side. But every morning when they open, the guy who pulls
Spotted in Chinatown, placed out on the curb as garbage. Some chef or butcher definitely got his or her money's worth out of this butcher block.
The reliability of New York City's overtaxed, delay-ridden subway system has declined precipitously in recent years. Individual tales of woe abound on social media; after a recent three-hour delay, this student even missed his own graduation. One of the worst commutes is the morning crush from overcrowded Williamsburg to
A fishing town in Ísafjörður, Iceland is experimenting with a way to get drivers to pay attention to the road. What they've come up with is this optical illusion: Artist Jenny McCracken did something similar in New Zealand: As did the New Delhi Municipal Council in India:
Over the summer, I read a moderately terrifying article in the Economist on what would happen if America lost electricity for a long period of time. If, say, hackers managed to infiltrate the system, or North Korea detonated a nuke 40 miles above Nebraska, or if a solar flare acted
Homeless people need help, and in New York City they are not getting it. Our homeless population has exploded in recent years; last year the number hit a record-breaking 60,000. This has led some business owners in my downtown Manhattan neighborhood to hack their outdoor furniture. The streets immediately around
Here was the problem faced by the UK: 1. "The British do more of their shopping on the internet than almost anyone else in the world," according to the Economist. 2. That means a lot of packages being delivered, which requires a lot of delivery trucks. 3. The amount
Citi Bike, NYC's bike sharing program, is a rousing success. Last year riders took 14 million trips. Each day more than 38,000 trips are taken, meaning less bodies clogging our overtaxed mass transit system. Remarkably, there has only been one Citi-Bike-related death in the program's entire four years. (In contrast,
London-based company Lowe Guardians, and others like it, have an interesting business model. Technically a property management company, what they do is target landlords who have empty properties—which are often targets for vandalism—and protect those properties by installing live-in guardians. These guardians come in the form of young creatives and
London is an expensive place to live, and for young professionals it's tough to find affordable housing. When Tim Lowe was 26 and working as a property surveyor, he found his £1,000 a month rent too much to manage on his salary, and thus embarked on an alternative-living adventure. Lowe's
Lately I've been paying more attention to how people use public space here in New York City, particularly in unsanctioned ways. I will experiment here with documenting and posting the things I see in this area. Unused space is a rare commodity in Manhattan, and individuals will always capitalize on
Animator James Curran's got a neat schtick: He moves to a new city, lives there for 30 days, and creates a daily GIF of what he did there each day. He then strings them together into what he calls Gifathons. So far he's got: Tokyo Tokyo Gifathon from James Curran
We native New Yorkers know that the best view of Manhattan is not from the Brooklyn Promenade, which only shows you downtown. The best view is from the Kosciuszko Bridge, which gives you a lengthwise view of the entire skyline. (It's the shot they use in the opening credits of
Much has been made of how autonomous cars will change our lifestyles and the economy. But how will they alter the look and feel of cities and urban architecture? To answer that question Blank Space, an online architectural think tank, partnered with the City of New York to hold the
YELLOW WINDOW is looking for a designer to join their multi-national design team in Antwerp, Belgium. Our world-renowned expertise in mobility in public transport and product design brings a steady flow of challenging projects where product design, design for mobility and service design meet. Founded over 40 years
A NYC based media company for architect’s and designers is seeking a full-time graphic and marketing designer. You will be responsible for creating wordpress web-sites and designing marketing materials for conferences, in-house advertisements, email blasts, and more. We need someone that is pro-active and understands maintaining brand integrity.
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