Saturday, August 23, 2014

weird texture

"Make a fresh fruit and hot pepper marinade.", I thought.

"It’ll be delicious grilled.", I thought.

Afterall, I’ve cooked chicken and peaches before.

The ingredients seemed right. 

The figs were rich and flavorful and starting to get too soft, so they were perfect.

So were the donut peaches.

And when is jalapeƱo ever wrong?

I added a bit of grainy mustard, a splash of balsamic vinegar and a drizzle of good olive oil to bind it all together.

Plus fresh thyme, salt and pepper. 

“Gregory’s Custom Chicken Marinade.” 

I had visions of bottled retail.

Fresh Purdue thighs rested in it overnight in the fridge. 

Yeah, baby.

Except they sucked.

And I mean seriously. 

We all nibbled, turned our noses up 
and two days later tossed out the few remaining. 

Friday, August 22, 2014


Locking a bike safely in New York is bloodsport. 

No wonder Kryptonite markets one of their best named after us.

But the lock alone is not enough.

A practiced thief knows how to pry the cylinder.

Or snip through the cable.

Or just twist until it snaps.

It helps to visualize what a thief might see as daunting.

The best way is to grab the frame, rear tire and a steel pole with the U-Lock, plus a cable threaded through the front wheel. 

(That nifty water bottle was gone the second day,
 nicked in front of the Western Beef.)

A second cable helps to be a pain in the ass, so they move on to easier prey. 

This one locks to the rear basket and circles several times through the frame and seat post so the bicycle can’t fall over.

Editor Brad Quartuccio of bike magazine URBAN VELO says:

 “Locking technique is more important than 
how much you spend on a lock.”

He may be on to something.

Have a great weekend!


Thursday, August 21, 2014

don’t blink

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

beam me back in time, Scotty

Sometimes a client will ask “How detailed are New York City’s architectural records?” and, “Why can’t we just build whatever we want and how would they even know?”

I'll tell you.

909 Broadway is a squat three story between 20th and 21st. It was originally built as a home and so it is mentioned in Phillips Elite Dictionary from 1881.

That old, arched iron beam over the facade caught my camera the other day.

909 is in the heart of the Ladies’ Mile Historic District, a neighborhood we’ve featured before:

This area is highly prized and fiercely protected by the Landmarks Commission for its excellent stand of antique, Victorian buildings.

So I went looking for the history of that old curved beam and sure enough, it dates from 1874. 

That “iron arch girder” is interesting enough to warrant a mention in the Landmark Commissioner’s report.

So now let us return to the present. 

Madura is a French home furnishings retailer. They applied to make changes to 909 to improve the little building for retail. That curved beam is apparent in their FaceBook picture.


They sought permission to make typical retail changes like color, new windows and storefront, an awning and some signage.

But they were denied. See?

The community board likes buildings here just the way they are, thank you very much. 


And don’t even think about disturbing that old beam.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

as if you cared

See all those twists and turns in the exhaust pipe? 

Are they just to look cool?
No. They balance backpressure.

One pipe comes off the front cylinder, the other off the back, right?

Each twist and turn creates resistance to pushing out the hot exhaust.
But the resistance must be identical to both cylinders or one would run freer than the other and set up an off-camber vibration in the muffler.

So the pipes must run near identical lengths and also with similar turns before they merge, to balance back pressure to the cylinders.

The designer adds an extra turn to the shorter exhaust pipe
 to achieve that balance.

Now you know.

Happy Monday!

Monday, August 18, 2014

or take a wait and see approach

The Summer Tomato Market-Bottom appears to have passed.
 Supply finally overcame demand and drove the price down to $2.50 per pound in early August.

But this past Saturday the price rebounded from $2.50 back up to $3.00. 

So tomatoes are up on bargain hunting and there’s still a lot of cash on the sidelines.

I’m cautiously optimistic. 


Then chop them with fresh basil leaves and put them into your freezer for December and January snowstorms.