Must read report on NYC's Urban Future.

Must read report on NYC's Urban Future.

ReinventPhones Demo day was sold out, so the team watched via quirky.com/live.  

Looking at the quirky.com livestreaming counter, there were several hundred people watching remotely.

Once again, NYC is blazing the trail! Reminiscent of the ground-breaking polihack last year when DoITT used a wiki to get feedback on its landmark Open Data Policy, the City doesn't hesitate to use unconventional digital means to reach out to the City and beyond.

And the winning submissions are amazing!  The geek in me loves the sensory capabilities of Windchimes, but the aspiring designer in me (some of Ecco ID's design sensibilities rubbed off) love Beacon's polish.

We can't wait to see NYC's Reinvented Payphone!


Posted
AuthorJoel Natividad
CategoriesOpinion

I've only been in New York for a brief period of time, but what's impressed me about this city is its willingness to try new things.

These changes may provoke debate and objections on things like soda and now styrofoam but you cannot accuse it of not trying.

We at Ontodia have been direct beneficiaries of such efforts to try new things in the realm of city data and technology -- NYCBigApps, the Open Data Law, the NYU-Poly Incubator and even CUSP.

We're very excited to participate in one of the newer challenges to come from this spirit of trying new things, the Reinvent Payphones challenge. 


Posted
AuthorMiguel Javier
CategoriesOpinion

It was our seventh wedding anniversary the other day so I promised my wife I’ll come up for air and celebrate in style.

As luck would have it, New York Restaurant Week was underway so I could impress my wife with my discerning, epicurean (on a start-up budget) choice – Inakaya.

Truth be told, it was the only Restaurant Week participant across the street from Port Authority that served Japanese.  My wife doesnt like to walk far in heels and we normally park at Port Authority Garage when we drive in from NJ.

So it took me all of two minutes to pick Inakaya.

But being an Open Data geek, and having given our two cents to the  Open Health Inspection Specification that NYC is already testing on its Open Data Portal (thanks to Andrew Nicklin, NYC’s “Open Data Tzar”), I then took the time to literally check out the “dirt” on Inakaya beyond its A rating.

Here’s what I found:

  • Last inspection: 05/19/2012
  • Score: 95, up from a low of 87 in 2011.
  • Health Violations: 1 in 2012 (“Wiping cloths soiled or not stored in sanitizing solution”), 15 in 2011(!), and one in 2010 and 2009.

Hhhmmm… it seems that Inakaya had some problems 2011 but is now in deserving of its A rating (89% percentile).  Anyway, the proof in the sushi is in the eating, so I made the reservation.

As luck would have it, even on a busy Friday night, we were seated at the best seats in the house – right smack in the middle of the robata grill facing the chanting chefs 

Very confident that Inakaya was the right choice, I then regaled my wife about all the stats.  This had the desired effect as she excused herself to go to the powder room.  Whereupon I discreetly ordered from the special (as in budget) Restaurant Week menu while she was away.

The verdict – mechauma!   It was a very happy anniversary indeed – thanks to some luck and Open Data!

P.S.

So what about the Mochi?  Well, Inakaya has a mochitsuki (mochi-pounding) ceremony every night – a Japanese tradition normally reserved for the New Year.  Everyone fortunate enough to be present when they finish one get complimentary mochi desserts.  Delish!

NOTE: Cross-posted from http://www.pediacities.com/2013/01/anniversaries-mochi-and-open-data/.


Posted
AuthorJoel Natividad
CategoriesOpinion
 Enroute to Ecco Design for a morning meeting.  Around 3,300 steps per my Jawbone Up

Enroute to Ecco Design for a morning meeting.  Around 3,300 steps per my Jawbone Up

I've been reading Jeff Speck's Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time.  I highly recommend it.

One reason why we moved to the Varick Incubator is not only to be at the center of the action, but also because I always loved exploring NYC on foot - the most walkable city in the US.

To this day, I'm amazed how the urban landscape changes within a few hundred feet as you walk from one NYC neighborhood to another - the upscale shops of Soho, to the amazing restaurants of Little Italy, to the hustle and bustle of Chinatown.

And according to Jeff, it's no accident that the most vibrant centers of innovation in the US are the most walkable cities.  Cities are "serendipity and inspiration" engines - meetups, cultural events, random sightings, diversity central, happy accidents

That's why I've taken to walking a lot more.  Not only is it the main form of exercise I get nowadays, my best inspirations often come to me when I allow my mind to wander as I explore the urban canyons of NYC on foot.


Posted
AuthorJoel Natividad
CategoriesOpinion