Failure is the tuition you pay for success

Posted by & filed under Life, Meta, Projects.

I couldn’t sleep last night, and was up around 4am lurking on Twitter.  I came across an old friend, Elizabeth Green, who is an accomplished and awesome education writer — you’ve probably read some of her recent NYT mag cover stories, and it turns out she has a new book out, Building a Better Teacher…. Read more »

Highrise Chrome Extension

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Last week, I wrote about wanting a Chrome extension for Highrise.  This week, I built a first pass: https://github.com/nickgrossman/highrise-chrome-extension Here’s a quick video demo of how it works:

cibi.me

Posted by & filed under Projects.

The Civic Works team at OpenPlans just launched another sweet micro-site: cibi.me — for NYC’s forthcoming bike share program. The site is notable for a few reasons: First, it’s beautiful and fun to use.  The OpenPlans team has been putting out a ton of these small, beautifully designed and really fun sites recently (see change.st,… Read more »

Digital Power Tools

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This past week, I spent some time cutting a hole in the wall in between our kitchen and our family room. It’s a project we’ve been talking about for a long time, and we considered lots of different ways of doing it before we actually got down to it. We were concerned about the cost,… Read more »

The Wheels on the Bus…

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As of 11am this morning, buses in Brooklyn are telling the internet where they are.  And I’m proud to say that our work is behind it. For the past several months, we’ve been working with the MTA on this one-line pilot, to demonstrate that it’s possible to achieve a workable bus tracking solution using existing… Read more »

Time to Get Singing

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    I opened my talk at last week’s Times Open event with this little video plugging Phone Idol.  It got a few laughs, which was the point, but unfortunately no new songs sung just yet.  Derek Gottfrid from NYT made the great suggestion that I print up some stickers and put them up in… Read more »

Say hello to Civic Works

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Thank you so much to everyone who helped us think through our re-name of TOPP Labs yesterday.  Your feedback and insights were absolutely invaluable to our process. After a long night and day of deliberations, we’ve settled on our new name. Drumroll please… (and this is obviously unnecessary since it’s in the title of the… Read more »

TOPP Labs needs a new name

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For the past year or so, the group at TOPP that I manage has been known as TOPP Labs.  TOPP Labs was originally chosen not because it was the best or most compelling name, but because as we were dialing back work on the OpenCore project, we needed a name that was better than “The… Read more »

Phone Idol: an experiment in web-enabled telephony

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At work recently, we’ve been exploring the idea of integrating voice and/or SMS into our applications.  Much of what we do has to do with people responding to their physical environments — their neighborhoods and the streets and public spaces that constitute the bulk of our public experience. So, I decided to take on a… Read more »

Introducing The Board

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A few weeks ago, I created a small web app for scheduling project teams at TOPP Labs.  At any given time, we’ve got anywhere between 10 and 20 active projects, so keeping track of it all is difficult, and planning ahead requires a good clear overview of everything that’s happening. Why create something new? Good… Read more »

Same Bat Blog, New Bat Look

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This week, we launched the new, improved GothamSchools.  GothamSchools is the latest media / advocacy initiative from The Open Planning Project, and our first foray into the world of education.  We’ve got a great team of reporters in Philissa Cramer, Elizabeth Green, and Kelly Vaughan, and the new site website was put together by the… Read more »

Coming soon: Park(ing) Day 2008

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In the spirit of blogging all the cool stuff we’re doing at TOPP, I’d like to announce the launch of a new website: Park(ing) Day NYC. Park(ing) Day is a global event, originally conceived by awesome SF-based arts collective REBAR, where for a single day, regular parking spaces are “leased” for use as temporary public… Read more »

Streetfilm about Bastille Day

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  Bastille Day on Smith Street is one of my favorite days of the year.  It’s great fun: the streets are closed, sand is trucked in, and a giant Petanque tournament is held.  But the tournament is just an excuse to be there: the real fun is the great food & drink put out by… Read more »

New TOPP Website

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Over at The Open Planning Project, we’ve always had a bit of a hard time explaining what we do.  That job just got a little bit easier, with the launch of the new-and-improved TOPP website last Friday.  Reactions from within the staff have been remarkably similar: something along the lines of “Phew, now I can… Read more »

Slip-n-Slide Photo Gallery

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A few months ago, I wrote up a simple javascript photo gallery viewer for a side project, so I thought I’d offer it up to the world. It’s unobtrusive javascript, and it takes a simple list of photos and turns it into a slidey slide show. It’s built on top of the Ext Javascript Framework,… Read more »

Coming soon… The Livable Streets Network

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For the past several months, my coworkers and I over at The Open Planning Project have been hard at work on an important redesign and new product launch. I’m now excited to say that the final launch is, ahem, days away.  Streetsblog and StreetFilms have been hugely popular since they launched two years ago, making… Read more »

Taking it to the streets

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(ok, I obviously need to work on less cheesy headlines, but for the moment…) On Wednesday, I had the pleasure of accompanying TOPP’s latest hire, Kim Wiley-Schwartz, on a pilot session for her new Livable Streets curriculum.  She’s developing an education program around Livable Streets that’s debuting in several NYC public schools this spring. This… Read more »