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Wednesday, November 23, 2005

La Poderosa dies - RIP 1996-2005

But perhaps she'll be saved - the guy who failed her MOT has offered to buy her - for a princely £50!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Donnie Trump's egregious syrup - Upper West Side

West Side view - 69th St rail bridge subsiding rustily into the Hudson, the views back from the new pier. Don Trup owns most of the views this side, Trump Place etc. Look carefully and you can see the Empire State poking up on 34th St and also Don's egregious syrup on any view you care to mention. Excellent place to take some morning air after sleeping in the cupboard on 71st St!

Charles and Camilla offend New York (and vice versa)

This is the shop window in a posh store on 55th and Lexington - a diorama of the Royals, which is very offensive and funny, but the cameraphone's not good enough to pick it up. Charlie in bath, Will's on Left, Camilla holding various Diana cast-offs. The Americans don't really care about the elderly couple, to be honest...

Columbia University after the Marconi Foundation conference - Bob Kahn very interesting on CEPT and ITU, the day his Congressional Medal of Honour was announced. By coincidence I'd just been with Andrew McLaughlin at Google, works with Vint Cerf - who didn't make it. But then Pepper was in Japan on Monday when I had lunch with Adam Golodner at Cisco. On the right is Gordon Moore receiving his lifetime achievement award - third so far. He's a 'mensch' apparently - not unter or uber. Eli invited me, met Senator Pressler (nice guy from South Dakota, really cares about the Internet), Beth and Nadine oh-so-briefly, and Elena wowed them. Fibernet guy and wife blissfully happy - in fact, 3 very happy couples at one table - shock horror!

Friday night en route to the Waldorf

Note that the Rockettes were on strike at Radio City, so no start of the Christmas show (like Morecambe and Wise being on strike in UK), and do you see anyone ice skating at the Rockefeller Center? Did I try? Is the Pope Jewish?

Time Square 4 November - 70 degrees...

It can look a beautiful city if you're visiting 1440 Broadway on a hot November day...

New York - Google visit

Shown around Google by Laura - Ed's daughter - on a beautiful Friday lunchtime. We saw the new engineering floor, and its determinedly cool - beanbags, pool table, pingpong like the legendary first boardroom table, Macintosh conference room with a Mac circa 1993. With that kind of retro-Google corporate feel, they must be losing their virginity. TVWF will certainly contribute...

Washington - ran away to the Pentagon City circus!

Friday, November 04, 2005

A nice cup of tea!

New York looks better in the sunlight - don't we all! Took a walk down to the pier at 69th St, next to the crumbling remains of the NY Central Railroad bridge. There are about 6 versions of Trump Towers now, all sporting an 'egregious syrup' effect. The sun was shafting between towers, giving a epiphanic glow to a temple of larceny.
Then walked in the sun to 72nd St, bought a bagel with ham and cheese omelette (hope to go for a jog to the pier tomorrow if the knee behaves) AND...
a cup of tea with milk and sugar! Yup, you heard it here first. Didn't have to make a fuss, those Puerto Rican boys did it. Just like they would in my Pakistani hotel with Albanian janitors. Like London, almost.
Except for the sun. I am meeting Ed's daughter who works at Google NY down at 1440 Broadway (Time Square-ish) for their sandwich lunch thing. And going up to Eli's for a session of his conference. But I noly have two days of sun left - must go and sit outside later.
The book will have to wait a bit...

Google Print now has the wrong trousers, Gromit!

So there's a lot of discussion about whether Google should be scanning books, under copyright. Microsoft has scanned lots of out-of-copyright books for the British Library.
What I would like to see is OUT OF PRINT books scanned - Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, I don't care. In particular my 1999 tome, 'Convergence in European Digital TV Regulation'.
But Google Print doesn't! It does Regulating the GIS (2000) still in print, and Internet TV (2003) in which I have a chapter and they get my bio all wrong. But the book I want them to scan - no. Murphy's Law continues...
Very keen to see 'Curse of the Were Rabbit' - I think there's mental health issues that only Wallace and Gromit can cure - New Yorkers should all be made to go...
Also finishing 'Mobius Dick' by Andrew Crumey - interesting take on quantum mechanics and Hindu philosophy with a lot of wit. Its seen me through some Amtrak days on this trip - and now I know what Schrodinger's cat is really about (a waitress and a whale-imitating amnesiac apparently).

New York state of mind

Is basically insane! I arrived at 4.23pm after a beautiful almost soporific trip through the fall colours of Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey. As I'd been staying in Pentagon City, I was surrounded by healthy living, early-rise-early-bed people with big back yards. The under-current of racism is very strong - in perverse ways. People are esepcially polite nad kind to each other, as if they have the residual memory. Very false - maybe South Africa will be this way in 20 years' time.
The moment I emerged from Amtrak into the subway, what a change! New Yorkers don't wear the sullen miserable mask of the London commuter, they really twitch with the rage inside. Frankly, most of the people on platform waiting for the uptown 2/3 train looed crazy - mad, bad and dangerous to know. In my tiny room on 71st St West, I realised again that New York is like London - fun if you're rich, take taxis, know where you're going.
So I went out to PD O'Hurleys for a Guinness, discovered that Sam Adams Oktoberfest is delicious, chatted to some people at the bar, and got myself a slice of pizza and outrageous chocolate cake. Felt better and sat in watching Johnny Depp doing the best Keith Richards impression ever.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Notting Hill Carnival 30 August

With Alex (taking the photo) and Mike at a French-Kazakh garden party in the middle of the madness...when I could and did cycle and cycle for miles:-(