Saturday, June 30, 2012


I experimented with Apple's iBooks Author this morning.

I'm not totally sold. It's all about canned templates, and me sitting there saying "How do I change this? Is it even possible?" Then I seem to spend a long time clicking around trying to do something that is pretty easy to do in InDesign.

What is interesting, though, is you preview your iBook on an iPad that you hook up to your computer. That was cool, though it also made me frustrated as I wanted to know how to change it to single page view instead of fluid scrolling. I think the answer to that might be to make it a PDF and what the hell, just do it in InDesign.

I exported a PDF so you can view it on a computer, and not have to buy an iPad and go through Apple's store just to check it out. Be kind—this isn't edited or designed, and I couldn't figure out how to do most basic things in iBooks Author. I dragged the first two chapters of 2001 into it, the original Marie-leave-New York posts.

Download here. Right-click to view it in Acrobat and not the web browser, where it doesn't work right. 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

High Above the Meadowlands

I meant to write on Sunday night, but I'd gone to a lecture on the Pulaski Skyway in Hoboken during the day, and that inspired me to cut together this instead.

I'd gone to IKEA early on a Sunday morning a few years ago, and on the way back, stuck my camera up on my car's dashboard for the three-mile run over the Pulaski Skyway.

The Skyway is the last remaining section of the United States first superhighway project ("Route 1 Extension"), which went high above the Meadowlands and Jersey City, connecting the Holland Tunnel to the wider world beyond the Newport Mall. Which, now that I think about it, wasn't built in 1932.

Monday, June 25, 2012


Canoeing last Saturday was fun, but equally intriguing was this sign by the parking area.

My 1990 Ford Taurus and I tried not to take offense.

"Should we go see the dinosaurs?" We'd just finished canoeing, a lethal-looking insect was sucking blood out of my canoeing partner's upper arm, and I was covered in sweat and sunscreen, but we were right there, where there were obviously dinosaurs.

"Okay." My canoeing partner, EJS (according to his Frogger high-score entry), looked a bit uncertain about this whole endeavor.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Newark Scenes

Denise took Roberta and me on an excursion to Newark today. We were going to see an exhibit of art by Romare Bearden at the Newark Museum, but we're all big fans of Newark, so we also went to a cafe, a fabric store, passed a glassblowing studio, and visited an Asian collectibles shop. 

The top is a grand old building near the glassblowing studio, and the painting? It's in the window of a barber shop. 

Friday, June 22, 2012

Meadowlands Canoeing Yet Again

Sweltering heat came to town along with the first day of summer. And yeah, it's hot. But we're really a bunch of heat-wimps here. It's not Kuwait or Egypt, just hot enough that everyone cowers in air conditioned homes and offices.

Not me (yet). I haven't turned mine on. But then, I have gone to the movies (spaghetti westerns at Film Forum) and found a lot of reasons to spend time in my office by Penn Station. So I'm tainted by A/C like everyone else, just pretending I'm tough. 

I'm glad it wasn't hot last weekend. I did my annual canoeing trip in the Meadowlands, for fifteen bucks with the NJ Meadowlands Commission. In the past, I've dragged along Roberta, Helen, Michael Kraiger, and Kraiger's kid, but this time, I asked Eric to come along because he's new to town (or rather, moved back after donkey's years out west), and he's not yet immune to my wacky suggestions like most people I know are.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Life's Tough When You're from Another Planet

One of my smartass friends sent me this. I don't know why.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Easter Island Video

I put together some of my Easter Island (Rapa Nui) photos into a sort-of slideshow. See what you think. 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Found Object

I was wandering around Hamilton Park with Denise on Saturday, and after we'd won the raffle and talked to every mom we happened across (Denise knows them all), we stopped at a junk sale table to check out some children's books.

And turned up this gem.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Perversity in Travel Since 1995

Peter Moore put up one of my photos on his No Shitting in the Toilet blog today!

Those of you who followed MariesWorldTour in 2012 have already seen this photo, and nearly lived through the experience with me. So you'll know that I paid the fee to go into the flushing toilets nearby instead.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Kiva in the Times

Remember when I took the glassblowing class a few months ago?

Well, yesterday my teacher was featured in the NYTimes. And I coincidentally ran into him at the corner coffee shop, which is how I know this.

Here's the link. Go, Kiva!

Saturday, June 09, 2012

At Least I Didn't Win the Lego Pack

The annual Hamilton Park Festival happened today in front of my house. Denise and I slogged our way through our gym routine (which our personal trainer Sebaj taught us), then both went to our respective homes to shower, and met in the park later.

I bought a skirt made of cotton helicopter-print fabric, was given a squirrel target from Sears, and to my surprise, won the raffle. TWICE.

I won a 90-minute private yoga lesson and a fifty-dollar gift certificate.

To the liquor store.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Abandoned Delancey Trolley Terminal

Has it already been a month since Michael Kraiger and I descended under NYC's City Hall to see the Jewel in the Crown closed subway station?


And while that excursion was fascinating, as was the free art opening of the bridges watercolors at the Transit Museum, I only bought one ticket for the next event, because it was much more expensive, and I bought the ticket several months ago, so it was too long ago for my usual partners-in-crime to commit. Instead, I joined 30 or so strangers, all of us showing up at 12:15 in the middle of the Brooklyn-bound J-train platform to sign waivers for our trip into the creepy old trolley terminal.

 An MTA employee unlocked a gate above some stairs, and the group of us filed down and through a door, into a corridor with several other doors leading off of it. A man led us through one door, and I suddenly regretted wearing sandals and just getting bright pink polish put on my toenails.

This was...dark, dirty, a bit wet at places, and kind of scary.

It's hard to imagine this eerie space turning into the LowLine we've read about on Kickstarter. And indeed, that may end up being no more than a pipe dream. Our guide explained to us that while everyone loves the idea of a LowLine, there are protocols to be follow, bids to be made. Community input to consider.

It didn't take me long to want to be out of the old trolley terminal and back above ground in the sunlight, and I couldn't hear the guide very well with all the J trains creaking by, but today's journey underground was certainly unlike any other.

More photos are here. 

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Life is But an Empty Bubble

I love the 1929 Landmark Loew's Jersey Theatre in Journal Square. I saw "My Man Godfrey" there on Saturday night and now I love that movie too. Memorable lines are here. 

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Elvis is Everywhere

Last night, I was walking past Fifth Street in Jersey City with Eric, who had been to a party I had there in 1989, when I lived with several housemates.

The party had been for Marie's birthday, I guess her 23rd, and Daniel (the professor I went to visit in Bahrain a few years back) had made her an Elvis-head cake.

"Hey," said Eric. He was pointing behind me right as I described the Elvis cake, which had met death by toilet-flush after developing some interesting mold. (I am not in the habit of flushing old cake down the toilet, but I guess they do things different in Texas, where Daniel lived at the time.)

I turned to see a ceramic Elvis bust in the window of the retirement home on the corner of Fifth an Erie.


Friday, June 01, 2012

The Value of Appreciation

Congratulations to my pal Michael Kraiger! He had four paintings in a show tonight up in Jersey City Heights, and one of them sold.

We'd talked about pricing and decided that it's better to price a little low and have someone buy it than to price high and not have someone display your art on their wall.