Friday, September 16, 2011

don't look back

The US economy is the world's largest, with an estimated 2010 Gross Domestic Product of $14.780 trillion. So what the hell is a trillion?
Well, it’s “a million, millions.” America earns 14.78 of them each year with just 5% of the worlds population creating 23% of the planet’s GDP. No wonder the world sees us as hard working and fabulously wealthy. We are.
So here’s a trillion, thanks to our pals over at Pagetutor for the imagery.

Everybody knows our buddy Benjamin, right? It won’t get you a Broadway ticket anymore but drop one of these boys on the bar and at least the bartender is yours for awhile.

$10,000 is one hundred Benjamins, a small stack less than ½” thick. You can party for awhile or take two nights in the Noel Coward suite at the Sherry Netherland. Big deal, right? 

Now gather 100 of those stacks and we’re getting somewhere, that’s $1 million even. But that whole wad still fits in your backpack with enough room leftover for that large handgun you might actually need while walking around with it.

100 of those millions and we finally need help to carry it, in this case a standard wooden pallet. But hey, were talking $100 MILLION DOLLARS and it still fits inside a small van right next to your getaway motorcycle.

A billion needs ten of those pallets. The average Manhattan studio has enough floor space for a billion, and finally we’re getting into international circles, but here’s the point: A trillion is in a different magnitude altogether.

Not only is the floor space the size of a freakin’ airplane hanger but notice the pallets are double stacked (!) and the little guy in red on the left is dwarfed. A trillion is real money.
With a USA population of 307,006,550  (2009) we crank out almost $15 of these babies every year.
The Chinese do about $6 trillion with a billion people more, 1,331,460,000  (2009)
I superimposed the charts to make comparison of our respective economies easier. (Photoshop remix)
See how we’ve peaked and are heading back down since about 2008? Now see how China’s growth is almost straight up and they still have a billion more workers to go than we do?
Ahem. yeah. So as an American, have you enjoyed being the worlds most influential economy these past 60 years?
Don’t get too comfortable.
And don’t look back.

I (heart) Zooey. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

everybody must get stoned

Way back in 1869, inventor Charles Guidet noticed that the paving stones used in New York City streets were placed too tightly together in densely packed rows, as seen on the right. 

The cobblestones were supposed to wear better that way but the actual result was that draft animals, notably horses, couldn’t get their hooves to grip on the slick surface. This was important in warehouse and industrial districts like SoBro where horses struggled under heavy loads and needed especially dependable traction. 

Guidet attempted to claim control over a new paving process that fanned the stones out, creating spaces between them so the animals could get a grip. He then packed the gaps with “bankrun”, a kind of compacting gravel to hold everything together.

It worked so well he patented it, filing papers stating his version of this “pavement offered a firm foothold for animals, provided a relatively smooth surface for the wheels of vehicles, and was constructed in such a manner that the blocks would remain firmly in place.” (Guidet 1870 patent no. 4106).

Trouble was, the City of Brooklyn had already begun copying his method, so he sued and the case went all the way to the Supreme Court.
Alas, his cobble-suit went down the drain.

The City of Brooklyn argued in its defense that “the general idea of paving with cobblestone had been in use before Guidet had patented it, and that Guidet did not actually ‘invent’ the method in any event.”

The Supreme Court ruled that his patent “was simply carrying forward the old idea, and doing what had been done before in substantially the same way but with better results. The change was only in degree”, it ruled, “not a true innovation and consequently not patentable.“

Lincoln Avenue by the river was opened awhile back to reveal the original paving stones right under a layer of modern asphalt. 

Look around. Cobblestones are everywhere in the South Bronx. 

Guidet must be pissed. lol


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Con Edna

Edna is a girl's name of Hebrew origin meaning “renewer”.

Monday, September 12, 2011

pink is my new favorite color

this Friday, 4-8pm, $2 beers, $2 wings?! amazing!

An exclusive event for ClockTowerTenants!

Way better than a GroupOn!

Let’s meet up there after work.

See you Friday!


the virtues of Victorian

SoBro is often synonymous with Section 8, but Dawson Street between 152nd Street and Longwood Avenue has a collection of Victorian, semi-detached private housing that rivals almost anything in the city. 

Almost all were designed by the same architect between 1897 and 1900, about a decade after our 1886 Romanesque ClockTower.

They are all wonderful but 770-772 is especially in the Romanesque style.

Rugged front doors are capped by delicate glass transoms and a stone frieze supported by carved stone capitals.

Bas relief stone was soon to become all the rage in the NeoClassic Era, beginning right at about this time.

But this architect was obviously working in bas relief early. And often.

It has a bowed, bay window facade that continues right up to the third floor attic balcony.

Nice, huh? Mayor Ed Koch found the money to restore this Historic District in the South Bronx back in 1980 and folks have been livin’ large here ever since.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

moving tribute

We remember.

cause that‘s how we roll

Runnin' pretty, New York City girl
Twenty-five, thirty-five
Hello baby, New York City girl

You grew up riding the subways
Running with people

Up in Harlem, down on Broadway
You're no tramp But you're no lady

Talkin' that street talk
You're the heart and soul of New York City

And love, love is just a passing word
It's the thought you had in a taxi cab

That got left on the curb 
When he dropped you off at East 83rd

Oh-oh-oh (oh-oh-oh)
You're a native New Yorker

You should know the score by now
(You should know by now)
You're a native New Yorker

wait for it.