Updated July 1, 2005 log continues here
Conflict with Bill.
That other guy took his "Starbucks Everywhere" site down, but one good thing came of it--his site gave me the idea to finally sign up with Google Ads. Approval only took a day, and I easily modified my page generator to include the Google ad code. The initial ads are based simply on the location, which is the most prominent text on the page. I need to think about how I can put more context on the page so that a greater variety of ads will be generated. There's only so much of a market for apartments.
Discovered another web site using the name "Starbucks Everywhere" and dedicated to a similar project, only limited to western coast states. I responded with the carrot rather than the stick, and offered the guy a chance to be interviewed for the movie.
I awoke at 7:01 and saw the that sky was still hazy. I had a headache. I had slept since about 9:30, which seemed like enough, but I still felt off. I thought about it for a few minutes before I set off for the bridge. As I drove, I felt dizzy, and I decided that since the sun wasn't penetrating fully I might as well sleep some more.
At 8:12, I still felt dizzy, but it was time to go. I crossed the bridge into the city and found the first store I wanted to reshoot, 60th and 1st. The light was wrong, though--there was no point.
Across from 54th and 1st was Tal Bagel, and I thought some food my help me feel better. But despite claiming that they would put "anything" on a bagel, the didn't have the usual bacon, egg, and cheese. Nor would they toast the bagel. So I went back out to my car. I thought about it and decided I need to get something in my stomach, so I bought a mediocre strawberry-cheese danish they couldn't heat for me. At least the juice was decent.
I had heard on the news the previous day about the Puerto Rican Day parade, but for some reason I had assumed it would be in one of the outer boroughs. Wrong. At the next store, on Lexington, I started seeing people walking with Puerto Rican flags. I asked a traffic cop, and she confirmed the parade would be over on 5th street. Crap--that was definitely going to affect my photography plans. And it did. The 5th Ave store was out. Then I had to go several blocks out my way to cross 5th, and I only got one more store before abandoning the reshoots I had planned along Broadway, 6th, and 7th. I headed all the way down to Herald Square, to try and get a shot inside the Macy's. The store didn't open 'til 11:00, so I went over to the Starbucks at 7th and waited. I got into a brief chat with a cute Brazilian visiting for 10 days with her mother, and later, while waiting for the bathroom, with a very chesty German au pair not shy about displaying her ample cleavage.
I knocked off after the Macy's store because it was late enough in the day that the city would be crowded, and because the direct overhead light wasn't what I wanted for my photos anyhow.
As usual, finding a microwave to heat up my leftovers was challenging in NYC, primarily because of the lack of large gas station convenience stores. I stopped at a deli, and dde charged me 1.50 for a can of Pepsi. A total rip, but where else was I going to find a microwave--better than letting half a $16 meal go to waste.
I attended my first Broadway play ever, Glengarry Glen Ross!!!
Another new store in New York City, but this time in Queens, not Manhattan. Specifically Astoria, and this one is particularly interesting because it is across the street from the American Museum of the Moving Image, and a block down from Kaufman Studios, where Sesame Street and Law & Order are filmed. This, according to the barista at the Cup Diner, across the street, where I had some decent challah French toast with bananas and fresh orange juice.
After another disappointing Scrabble performance (don't empty the bag!!!), I rushed to drop a player off and then find a place to eat. I was in a hurry to get food an get to sleep so I could get up early and photograph stores until the City got crowded. I found Casa Colombiana in Flushing (I think) on CitySearch, and it was pretty good.
Traffic on the LIE into Manhattan was crazy as usual, and I had no need to get there until morning, so I found a place to sleep in Queens. I drove west on Queens Blvd until I passed the commercial and residential zones and reach an industrial area near the Queensborough Bridge. I parked on 43rd avenue, and the street lights didn't bother me as much as the previous night. My only disturbance was around 1:30 AM, when a group of kids in a jeep parked on the other side of the street, a hundred feet or so ahead of me, and started blasting music, first the latest from the Ying Yang Twins, and then some Latin or perhaps Indian beat. I watched the jeep and waited for them to leave, but they actually got out and started doing some funky dance on the sidewalk! What the hell??? Hava Nagila? No, the music was all wrong. I was feeling really thirsty anyway and craving something more than water, so I drove away, to a gas station, and picked up a Sierra Mist, my first, only because their selection was so limited and I didn't feel like finding another station.
When I returned, the kids were gone, and I slept well enough until morning.
Bought a used Nikon Coolpix 2500 for $75 from someone on Craig's List. I had at least one new Starbucks to visit during my trip to NYC over the weekend, and I wanted to get a photo. Plus, I figured the slim 2500 might come in handy for shooting mall stores in the future if security was tight.
I took the opportunity of a weekend free of travel to visit a couple of stores in Northern Virginia, Fairfax and Gainesville. At Gainesville, I timed my visit to coincide with the schedule of a partner who had e-mailed me and asked for a photo with her. Unfortunately, I did not time the handoff of my camera to another partner, who had volunteered to photograph us, very well, and the poor camera fell to the floor. D'oh!!! It seemed fine at first, but as she tried to photograph us she kept complaining the images were blurry. I finally took a look, and I could hear from the rattling that something was broken--the autofocus mechanism. Rats! My project was effectively out of commission until I replaced the camera. But I didn't want to waste money on a similar model--it made more sense to skip directly to the digital SLR that I'd been wanting. A keen grand it would cost me, and I regretted having told my father to desposit that $820 check I'd written. Because of that I'd have to wait a couple of weeks, as rent would be due from my next paycheck. Rats.