Exploring a Neighborhood Like an Engineer

When I moved to Brooklyn in June, I decided that I wanted to get to know my new neighborhood reasonably well, reasonably quickly. Being an engineer, I figured a methodical approach was the best solution, so I got a map and got to work.

Based on a rough understanding of what was where, and letting the nearby Prospect Park somewhat dictate the area I wanted to cover, I drew out a grid with my new home roughly at the center, covering the bulk of the surrounding area that was of interest. The grid looked like this: (more…)

Hurricane Sandy Aftermath

Right now, I am considering myself very lucky. I’ve just lived through not only my first ever, but the most intense hurricane in New York’s history. Hurricane Sandy.

Within less than a few miles in 3 directions (North, South, West) homes are destroyed, roads are flooded, power is out. Right where I am (Park Slope) we have a lot of leaves on the ground, a few branches down and some minor damage on buildings. It’s pretty amazing how little impact we’ve directly had. It’s definitely not completely over, but we’ved fared a lot better than folks very nearby. Now we see how long it takes for NYC to get back on its feet and get things running again.

Subways are still all out of commission. 7 tunnels between Brooklyn and Manhattan are flooded. Buses will hopefully start coming online later today. What’s left of Lower Manhattan is a mess. It will be a long time before things are “back to normal” for everyone. Here’s how it looked from my perspective:


New Wheels on the Road

I moved to Brooklyn recently, and I got a new bike, which I’m loving. Brooklyn (especially Park Slope) is pretty bike friendly, with bike paths/lanes (site powered by WP!) all over the place.

It’s a Cannondale Bad Boy 9. It’s a hybrid, which is new for me (I’ve only ever really ridden mountain bikes, and used to ride downhill a bit). I’m getting used to a fully rigid frame, and feeling every bump in the often-times-pot-hole-filled-roads around here. Disc brakes are neat, and having a thin, hard wheel means you can go really fast with much less effort. Fun :)

I went for a nice ride last week around the park that’s right near my new apartment. I rode reasonably hard for the first half or so (once I got inside the park), and then tailed someone else who was going a good pace for the rest. It looked like this on RunKeeper: