Greenwich Village is in the older part of Manhattan, and the streets
are not built orthogonally with streets above 14th
street to the north. When driving through Greenwich Village it is easy
to get turned around and lose your way,
especially if the day is overcast. Greenwich Village is
part of Manhattan that is south of 14th street, above West Houseton St,
and west of Broadway. It probably gets its name from
Greenwich St. which connects the junction of 12th St and 9th Ave to
Battery Park at the bottom of Manhattan. To the East of Broadway
is the "Village" which includes Lafayette and Bowery, which are
continuations of 4th
Avenue. Washington Square Park is also located in the SE of
Greenwich Village, and Union Square Park is on the NE corner.
The Village (East Village around Tompkins Square & Greenwich
Village) is the jazz and entertainment centre for New
York. In my guide book of the "top 100" nightlife spots in NY, 43
are in the Village region between 14th
street and West Houseton.
One of the more interesting streets of Greenwich Village is Bleecker St, which wends its way west from the Bowery, (about where the CGBG club is) crosses Broadway and a few other named streets, turns NW at 6th Avenue, and stops at 8th Avenue. Most of Bleecker Street is coffee shops, nightclubs, theatres, bookshops, things and stuff that can consume one's leisure time (and money) at a frightening pace. Today (Sunday) a lot of Bleecker St. was closed off, and stallholders had set up an open air market. .
South of Greenwich Village is Canal St.
Canal St. has a market with thousands of Hawkers operating out of
suitcases. I saw a girl selling DVD's for $5 each, and happened
to notice that one of the titles was "Shrek 2". I saw that film a
few days ago, it was only released about a week ago.
Other things being sold out of suitcases were watches.
AT THE EMBASSY -
Daughter No. 2 joins everything. One
of her memberships produced an invitation to a startup event for
advance.org, (which is the website for a government sponsored network
of Australian professionals in the USA) at the Australian embassy in E
NYC. I went.
There were about 50 attendees, composed of
various government officials, a mix of Australian Professionals and
myself. The guest speaker was NSW premier Bob Carr. He spoke in
glowing terms of the large number of Australian professionals that were
expatriate (about one million) and told how he had heard that they had
a reputation for being hard, innovative workers (well you wouldn't
expect anyone who was a hard, innovative worker to stay in Australia,
would you? Last time I looked they had punitive taxes on the high
earners, and a unionized social structure that punished initiative).
He spoke enthusiastically of the US
economic miracle, and reported that Australia was partaking of that
miracle, with something like a 28% growth in the last 7 years, although
(snidely) NSW grew by 34%. (I guess all the hard workers didn't
Australia - there are a few farmer cockies who, together with the
our abundant mineral mineral (especially energy) wealth and our
producing exports of the food and raw materials and education that the
world demands, in return for which we import sweatshop produced
clothing, machinery, electronics and the like(All of which I heartily
agree with, except I believe that the farmers are not obtaining
appropriate rewards). About the only
work the rest of the Australian population does is provide the
unexportable labour component that supplies the infrastructure for
delivering and maintaining those imports and exports.)
After Mr Carr had spoken refreshments were
provided. I met someone who was in the music recording industry,
and commisserated with him that the industry seemed to have no
future, mentioning the pirated videos I had seen in Canal St.
proposition with which he ruefully agreed.
Another person was a young lady who
advised that she was on the staff of one of the larger NY
learning that I was an engineer, she mentioned that she had taught
engineers at John Hopkins. (I have only ever heard about the
Medical faculty at JH, but was prepared to agree that they might have
competent faculty of engineering). Her speciality was developing
a set of standards for ambulance crashworthiness.
Another young lady at the function was an
actress who had acted in a couple of "off-broadway plays". I also
met a young man who was an investment banker (gained an MBA on an
engineering degree.) He called out to Bob Carr who was
passing. Mr. Carr (not unexpectedly) failed to recall our earlier
LATTE - WIFI - INDEX -
When I came to the USA I decided to travel
with an unplanned
itinery. I wanted a (secondhand) car that could, at a pinch, serve as
accommodation. I also wanted a way to access information and
communicate with my family.
So I setted on a wireless (also called
wifi) broadband internet connection, with the intent of using it to
find accommodation, food and
anything else. Starbucks has an agreement with the phone company
T-Mobile. Starbux provides seating space and power outlets
for wifi hotspot customers. T-Mobile provides the wifi internet
connection, for which
it charges US$30/month for a one year contract, or
US$40/month for a "by the month" deal. There is also a "pay as
go" deal for around $5/hour. T-Mobile has similar agreements with
Border's bookshops (Borders has several stores in most US cities, and
coffee is available in most) and with Kinko's, which provides office
services to the traveller. I believe that those three
corporations are showing considerable insight into the way that the
leisure market is developing, although I could sympathize with hardened
corporate cynics (like Gerry Harvey) who would probably only see a lot
of antisocial nerds
keyboards and not using enough expensive consumables.
In Australia we call 256kb/s
Broadband in USA is measured in Mb/sec. It will support
VOIP (which 256k will, i understand, only support with
difficulty). I suppose that it is not surprising
that our internet
duopoly (Telstra & Optus) are not in a hurry to introduce US style
all, they would be slitting their own throats.
With one exception, Starbux with
wifi is just about
everywhere in the USA that I want to go. (It was not in Key
West.) It seems also to be in London, and Sydney has more than
(25) of the wifi hotspots in Australia (47). Economists have
the "big Mac" index to measure what exchange rates should be. I
propose the "starbux wifi" index to be a measure of how internet savvy
a country or city is. Just count the starbux wifi in a
region, (borders stores are too few to count, and Kinkos are not
leisure friendly enough) and divide by the population in hundreds of
thousands of the
Instance. LA (about 200 stores for about 3.7 million
people), index=540, SF (57 stores, 750,000) people, index=760, Chicago
(about 150 stores for 2.8 million people) index=535, Washington (about
60 stores shared among around 500,000 people) index=1,200, and NY
(about 100 stores in Manhattan for 1.5 million) index=670, would come
out near the top. Of course Washington is a bit unfair, because
the population of DC is commuter. That could also be said to a
lesser extent for NY and SF. LA presented a problem, what are the
city limits? Canada with 406 stores for 30 million
people has a score of 135. The UK with 366 for 60 million (index
= 61) is not even batting. Australia with 47 stores for 20
(index=24) trails even the UK badly, Sydney with 25 wifi stores for 4.5
(index=56) is by far the best in Australia, but is not quite as good as
the UK average. France
scores zero, Germany scores 6, Japan with 540 stores for 100 million
people would have a score of 54. I have compiled those numbers
into a table.
The data confirms California as having the
highest starbux-wifi index in the union, not surprising in the state
(and city) which gave us Fairchild.
I realize that
counting only Starbux, an English speaking franchise, might be
unfair to (for instance) the French, but the franchise-concept of wifi
with coffee should exist
worldwide, with some sort of agreement whereby the account travells
across international boundaries. So there is that caveat.
Another caveat is, I do not know how to
locate accounts other than Starbux/Wifi. Other accounts do exist
(e.g. in San Diego, LA, SF) I found other Latte-WiFi outlets.