Two strange feelings

 

Ken McLeod at Worldcon 2005 in Glasgow, August...

Ken MacLeod: “Ineffable encounters and moments of ego-transcendence can be quite matter-of-fact. What’s really going on?” (Aeon).

Living with Cancer

My friend, the artist Lola Baltzell, is living with metastatic breast cancer. And I daresay she does much more living than most of us, who conveniently forget that we are not going to get out of this alive. I thought I would share with you this articulate and succinct statement of How to Build a Support Network she was recently invited to contribute to the weblog at Boston’s Dana Farber Cancer Institute, where she receives her care.

America’s Hippest Neighborhoods

MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 08:  A Zagat sign is see...

Believe it or not, rated by Forbes magazine: “The San Francisco-based startup Nextdoor.com helped us dig through data on more than 250 neighborhoods in the biggest U.S. cities. We assessed each area’s walkability according to Walkscore.com; the number of neighborhood coffee shops per capita (with some help from NPD Group’s report); the assortment of local food trucks (and their ranking according to Zagat’s); the number and frequency of farmers markets; the selection of locally owned bars and restaurants; and the percentage of residents who work in artistic occupations. We also factored in Nextdoor’s Neighborhood “Hipness” Index, which is based on how often words associated with hipness (for example art, gallery, designer, musician) appeared on each Nextdoor neighborhood’s site pages, and Nextdoor conducted a survey in which members sounded off on their communities.” Here is the list. Is you neighborhood there? What do you thin of the criteria used? For instance, I noticed that bookstores don’t factor in (what am I, stuck in the 20th century?). I mean, what do you do after you’ve eaten and imbibed well and looked at some art?
But, here’s a nice roundup from acb at the null device on why the notion of a geographically localized cultural style may be entirely passe.

Images of America: Forest Hills

Forthcoming book with photos of my hometown Forest Hills, a neighborhood in Queens, NY. Some of its notable residents,  some of whom attended my alma mater, Forest Hills HS, have included:

Alan King, Art Buchwald, Art Garfunkel, Bob Keeshan (Captain Kangaroo), Branch Rickey, Burt Bacharach, Carroll O’Connor, Dale Carnegie, David Caruso, David Krumholtz, Ed Cassidy and Randy California (Spirit), Ernie Grunfeld, Geraldine Ferraro and John Zaccaro, Hank Azaria, Helen Keller, , Jacob Lew, Jerry Springer, Jimmy Breslin, Michael Landon, Paul Simon, Peter Parker (Spiderman), Pia Zadora, Ray Romano, Ronnie Earl, The Ramones, The Vagrants including Leslie West (Mountain), Walter Becker (Steely Dan), and Wilhelm Reich.