Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hands up if you will miss your local computer game shop when it’s gone?

Anyone? No-one? Is it already gone, or bought out by a large chain that seems intent on running it into the ground? Mine has a couple of shelves of current PC games squeezed into a corner, and then a larger section of low priced budget PC titles and game guides. It's fairly clear which they make the most money from by the layout. The only reason I even bother to go in any more is on the offchance they have cheap second hand games (which they don't) or to see what's going on in the console markets.

There was a time when I would have missed my local gaming shop but now? Stick a fork in it, it's done.

Tobold writes today about the demise of retail games shops on the high street. The story that sparked this one off is quietly hilarious. Inside the Deus Ex: Revolution box is a voucher to play the game for free using OnLive, a streaming service. (This is roughly equivalent to putting a voucher for a kindle copy of a book inside a hardback.) Gamestop have decided to open up every box and remove the voucher, so as to avoid promoting competitor (ie. digital download) services to their customers.

Right. Because they removed the Steam voucher for Portal 2 on the PC from every PS3 Portal 2 box too? Nope, of course they didn't. Random retailer is random.

I can't help comparing the plight of computer games shops to boardgame/ tabletop shops and bookshops. The boardgame shop is I suspect doing the best of the bunch, if not in turnover then in longterm prospects. And this is because they provide gaming space, they hold social evenings in which people can turn up and find others to play with, and people who play board games NEED other local people to play with. A boardgame shop can support an entire local community of hobbyists, and the good ones are working hard to do exactly that. Of course you can buy the games online, but if you wanted to try the game out first, why not support the local games shop that's hosting the event? And if the difference in prices isn't huge, a lot of gamers are happy to do exactly this. It may not be a growing hobby but it does have a stable fanbase who are willing to support their retailers.

I think bookshops are doomed in the long run also, but at least you get the sense that they are fighting the inevitable. Local bookshops host reading groups, author signings, they have coffee shops and reading rooms, they encourage staff to pick out recommendations (which are usually pretty good), they sell book related gifts and sort their books into genres so that genre readers can have a shot at finding something they might like, they have regular interesting sales, and are generally appealing places to hang out and browse.

The trouble with bookshops is that it's all too easy for customers to enjoy all the bookshop facilities and then go off and buy their books online or as ebooks. The retailer is putting a lot of effort into advertising goods for other people. This is where the publisher sponsored author tours and signing events spring from: publishers know how effectively bookshops sell their books and that they need the support.

But still, even if I do prefer ebooks these days, I will at least miss the bookshops when they are gone. Not so the computer games shops; they gave up on trying to attract my custom years ago.

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Art Student Hand-Illuminates, Binds a Copy of Tolkien’s Silmarillion

This German art student, Benjamin Harff, decided, for his exam at the Academy of Arts, to do something only slightly ambitious — to hand-illuminate and bind a copy of J.R.R. Tolkien's Silmarillion. It took him six months of work. In very 21st century elvish-monk style, he hand-illuminated the text which had been printed on his home Canon inkjet printer. He worked with a binder to assemble the resulting book.

I spent a year of my life, in my youth, fancying myself some sort of modern-day monastic scribe and doing this sort of Celtic knotwork-inspired illumination and calligraphy, so I am in awe of his talent. I know firsthand how hard this is to do well.

Interview with Benjamin Harff, upcoming Tolkien illustrator and creator of the Edel-Silmarillion

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I am kicking myself for not having thought of this first.

(via PSFK)

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Listen: Jackson Browne Creates Epic Love Song From Woody Guthrie's Diary

Click to listen to Jackson Browne's 'You Know the Night (Edit)' Click to listen to Jackson Browne's 'You Know the Night (Album Version)' Jackson Browne and Rob Wasserman are celebrating the 100th anniversary of Woody Guthrie's birth by releasing "You Know the Night" a new piece of music based on a 30-page...

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Classic prints modified to tell the ghastly alternate history of monsters and elder gods

Matthew Buchholz has a great Etsy store where he sells modified classic prints that tell the story of a horrific alternate history populated by elder gods and evil emperors and vast krakens from the deep.

Alternate Histories by alternatehistories on Etsy (via Super Punch

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Blueprints of the Star Wars Galaxy

For the passing fan or the honorary Jedi that knows ever detail of the series, Star Wars: The Blueprints offers an amazing (in fact never before seen!) opportunity to discover how an entire galaxy was engineered.

Compiling over 200 of the original production, highly detailed architectural drawings created for all six films of the STAR WARS Saga, the book provides an in-depth look into the universe that was painstakingly pieced together down to the most minute detail. Complimenting the blueprints are over 500 photographs (which even highlight the construction process) and illustrations.

© 2011 Lucasfilm Ltd.

Stay tuned as ArchDaily will have an exclusive surprise about Star Wars: The Blueprints in the coming days. Take note that only a total of 5,000 English language collector's volumes will be printed.  For more about this exciting new book follow the break.

© 2011 Lucasfilm Ltd.

"The common thread running through all six of the films was technical drawing—and that will hopefully never change. Everything every fan has loved about the STAR WARS films, from sets to spacecraft to vehicles to props, down to even the tiniest of control buttons, has at some point been carefully and thoughtfully drawn. That's how important it is," says Gavin Bocquet, draftsman on Episode VI and the production designer for Episodes I-III.

© 2011 Lucasfilm Ltd.

Designed, built, painted and dressed, some of the technical drawings featured include: the Millennium Falcon, Droids including R2-D2, the Y-wing and the X-wing starfighters, the Rebel Blockade Runner, the Cantina, the Death Star, the Ewok forest, and the battle of Hoth.

© 2011 Lucasfilm Ltd.

"The unsung heroes of the art departments are the draftsmen, who drew in collaboration with their art department heads, but who also added their own ideas," said New York Times bestselling author J. W. Rinzler who selected each image that went into the book. "Their blueprints have an attribute that concept art lacks—a sense of the real. It's been an amazing adventure to bring these blueprints to light after all these years."

© 2011 Lucasfilm Ltd.

© 2011 Lucasfilm Ltd.

© 2011 Lucasfilm Ltd.

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“Stalwart Workers”: neglected backbone of the firm

Writing in a Harvard Business Review blog, professor Thomas J. DeLong talks about "Stalwart Workers," a neglected part of the workforce who don't live to work, don't crave promotion, but constitute the backbone of the organization:
Myth #1: Stars are smarter than Stalwarts. Stalwarts are not necessarily less intelligent than Stars. Achievement is a complicated blend of intelligence, motivation, and personality. Research confirms that insight; dozens of psychological studies have demonstrated that Stars and Stalwarts differ at least as much in temperament as intelligence.

Myth #2: Everybody is the same. Not every employee wants to give his all (or even his best) to the organization, leaving little time and energy for people and passions outside the workplace. Stalwarts place a high premium on work-life balance, and they highly value the time they spend with family and friends. In fact, many of the most productive Stalwarts are recovered Stars who, for a variety of personal reasons, have made a conscious decision to drop off the fast track.

Myth #3: Everybody wants the same thing out of work. Leaders often assume that all of their followers share their drive for power, status, and money. That's just not so. Many Stalwarts want to influence others in their jobs. Others value autonomy, creative opportunities, or the chance to develop unique expertise.

Stop Ignoring the Stalwart Worker (via Beth Pratt)

(Image: Cartoon Cards Game, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from andertoons-cartoons's photostream)

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Minecraft creator challenges trademark belligerents to winner-take-all Quake deathmatch

Notch, the game developer who struck gold with his multimillion-dollar bestselling low-rez indiegame Minecraft, has a novel proposal for resolving the stupid trademark threats he's been receiving from Bethesda games, who are upset that he's working on a game called "Scrolls" (Bethesda makes a game called "Elder Scrolls"). Rather than giving a whack of dough to lawyers to settle this, Notch has challenged Bethesda's devs to a three-on-three Quake 3 blood match, top fragger take all.
I challenge Bethesda to a game of Quake 3. Three of our best warriors against three of your best warriors. We select one level, you select the other, we randomize the order. 20 minute matches, highest total frag count per team across both levels wins.

If we win, you drop the lawsuit.

If you win, we will change the name of Scrolls to something you're fine with.

Regardless of the outcome, we could still have a small text somewhere saying our game is not related to your game series in any way, if you wish.

I am serious, by the way.

Hey, Bethesda! Let's settle this! (Thanks Fipi Lele!)

(Image: QuakeLive.jpg, Wikimedia Commons/Timothee Besset

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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Spider Bug! 15 Spooky VW Beetle Car Art Sculptures

Spider Bug, Spider Bug, does whatever a Spider Bug does… wait a minute, just what exactly does a Spider Bug do?? Based on the spooky looks of these 15 long-leggedly Bug beasties made from metal pipes and recycled VW Beetles, we're guessing anything they want!

Lexington, OK Spider Bug

(images via: Meltedplastic, Soonerjh and Postcards and Road Trips)

That's no "visual distraction" just off Hwy 77 near Lexington, Oklahoma… well actually, it is, and a BIG one to boot! And so what if it only has six legs; you know what they say about wounded animals. Anyway, the story goes that the Spider Bug sculpture stands on the side lot of a VW graveyard and at one point in the past it overlooked a small auto racecourse that's long since been reclaimed by weeds and scrub.

(image via: Radargeek)

To whoever's living in that house… GET OUT NOW!

Kenora, Ontario, CA Spider Bug

(images via: Martin Callum and Roadside America / Joe Desiderio)

Travelers gazing out the car window towards the the north side of the Trans-Canada Highway a mile or two east of Kenora, Ontario, might feel a sudden urge to put the pedal to the metal, just in case the giant Spider Bug just off the tarmac happens to see them first. Then again, with its jaunty top hat and bold black & yellow paint job, the automotive arachnid bears more than a passing resemblance to Mister Peanut.

Reno/Sparks, NV Spider Bug

(images via: MisterW, Bellaira and KnittyOtter)

This David Fambrough masterpiece was originally located in downtown Reno, NV, on the roof of an old fire station that was upcycled as a homeless shelter. Oddly enough (or maybe not, if you're from Reno), the sculpture was the city's first piece of public art. In 2008, however, with the building sold and the new owners unwilling to maintain the rusting Spider Bug, the Reno Arts & Culture Commission voted to return the sculpture to Fambrough while recommending he offer it to Scudders VW Performance Specialists in nearby Sparks.

(image via: Rob-Simpson)

It seems there wasn't a roof in Reno sturdy enough to bear the weight of the Spider Bug, and Scudders was ready and willing to do whatever restoration work was necessary to the circa-1979 sculpture. As for Fambough, he couldn't be happier. "Putting this on top of your business…" he said, "talk about all the advertising in the world." And also talk about War of the Worlds, which was the first thing I thought of when I found the above superbly spooky photo by Rob Simpson.

Mysterious Spider Bug

(image via: VolksRods)

We're not sure exactly where this tastefully painted Spider Bug is but there's one thing you can count on: it knows where YOU are!

Gassel & Eindhoven, the Netherlands Spider Bug

(image via: Bug3ver)

Tulips, wooden shoes, chocolate and… Spider Bugs? Add one more item to the Netherlands' claim to fame as the above towering infernal was seen striding across the countryside near Gassel in North Brabant… probably attacking windmills and stuff. Now that's no gouda.

(images via: MonkeyIron and VW Vortex)

When reports first came in about giant spiders invading rock concerts and car shows in Holland, it was chalked up to the locals spending too much time in those infamous Amsterdam coffee houses. In fact, the Dutch Spider Bug does indeed exist, and was caught on film at the 1999 Dynamo Open Air music festival held near Eindhoven, the Netherlands.

Swetsville Zoo, CO Spider Bug

(images via: Eric Neely / Denver Post and Becca)

The Swetsville Zoo isn't a "zoo" per se, unless one uses their imagination a bit. Created over a roughly ten-year span (1985-95) by former farmer Bill Swets, the Fort Collins, CO landmark features a mirthful metal menagerie built by Swets from old auto parts, disused farm machinery and scrap metal.

(image via: Toria Clark)

The zoo's resident Spider Bug conveniently shelters a picnic table, because if there's anywhere you want to enjoy lunch with your family & friends it's beneath the belly of a giant spider… amiright?

Avoca, IA Spider Bug

(images via: Silly America, Misskatherinemiller and

According to Phyllis Bruce, this is a giant spider made of a Volkswagen body near Avoca, Iowa, "is just sitting on this lot for no apparent reason!" Not apparent to YOU, my dear Phyllis, but just wait until sundown… actually, get the heck outta there!

Grace, ID Spider Bug

(images via: Jan Tribe / RedBubble and VolksRods)

Idaho's famous for potatoes, Napoleon Dynamite, and now this tastefully trimmed Spider Bug! The unattributed artist seems to be channeling a little Black Widow, though we only can wish it was little. You'll find this ominous static sculpture guarding a salvage yard near Grace, Idaho. Gosh!!

North Palm Springs, CA Spider Bug

(images via: F Y Palm Springs! and Waymarking)

Most homeowners know that if you see a spider in hour house, it probably got in through a hole in the wall. Such is the case with giant spiders as well, at least it is with this spiky Spider Bug spied in front of the "Hole In The Wall Welding", a former VW repair shop in North Palm Springs, California. Visitors are advised to be on the lookout for giant mice.

(images via: Waymarking)

Well, now we know why Santa doesn't use reindeer to pull his sleigh anymore… you can guess what happened to the reindeer (burp).

Port Hope, ON, Canada Spider Bug

(images via: Will S, K & GM and Celtic Connexions)

The picturesque berg of Port Hope, Ontario, is famed for its hospitality towards visitors… except for car-sized, bug-eyed varmints who get impaled on 20-foot steel poles. Hey, it's a tradition.

Taranaki, New Zealand Spider Bug

(images via: Robert Newell)

The bejeweled Spider Bug above exudes an elegantly gothic vibe as it crouches on the lawn near the visitor's centre in Stratford, Taranaki, New Zealand. Ahh, Taranaki… come for the Spider Bug, stay for the Spider Bug's dinner – take that any way you wish. Thanks to Robert Newell for snapping this shot and approving its use here.

Calgary, Alberta, CA Spider Bug

(image via: VWVortex)

That's not snow on an old video capture you're seeing, it's snow as in the frozen white stuff. Hey, this is Calgary in Canada, you were maybe expecting palm trees? Regardless, this is one welded arachnid one won't want to run into while walking home from a Stampeders-Roughriders game. Even Green Riders fans aren't this scary.

Erie, PA Spider Bug

(images via: Gizmodo and Huffington Post)

Looking for something eerie in Erie, PA? Step right up, if you dare. Former auto dismantler turned junkyard artist Dick Schaefer created the red-eyed, striped-legged, long-fanged Spider Bug above. "Usually, I will see the junk first, get an idea and look for a way to make it conform," says Schaefer, who has also been known to turn cement trucks into bumble bees. Bees, my god.

Rural Oregon Spider Bug

(images via: Scot Hart)

Kudos to intrepid photographer Scott Hart, who captured the above white & rust Spider Bug in a fenced field just off the I5 in Oregon. It appears the sinister sculpture (which may be one of the 4 original Fambrough pieces) roams a park beside a schoolyard… do your homework, kids, or else!

Mound House, NV Spider Bug

(images via: Steven John Koeppe © Dada Design, Kreed99 and Roadside America)

David Fambrough crafted the above Spider Bug with his usual attention to detail – the Bug has eight legs instead of the more typical six. It seems that Fambrough originally built four Spider Bugs around twenty years ago and at that time all four could be seen alongside Hwy 395 just outside Reno.

(image via: Omar Alan Pierce)

Time passed and the Spider Bugs did as Spider Bugs do, namely roam across the desert landscape gobbling up unwary travelers on the road to no return.

(images via: K&R, InnAtElmwood)

The big bad black beauty above ended up in Mound House, near Carson City, and is the tiny mining town's main attraction… besides its 4 brothels, of course.

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Dasparkhotel is a series of tubes

Dasparkhotel (The Park Hotel) is, literally, a series of tubes. Constructed from repurposed sewer pipes, each tiny room offers a double bed, storage space, a light, and the fun of an inside that is very nearly outside. Nearby are shared toilets, showers, a bar and coffee shop. [via Laughing Squid]

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Afloat on the Boggsvile Boatel

Constance Hockaday under the Boatel sign

The Floating Neutrinos were a bohemian family who sailed around the Northern Hemisphere in house boats made of scavenged wood. I actually met them on-board one of these funky floating domiciles in 1998 while gathering sound for an NPR story about the State of New York's efforts to evict them from the Hudson River off of Lower Manhattan. When Papa Neutrino, a.k.a. David Pearlman, dropped by my loft to pick up a copy of the NPR story, he asked if the piece mentioned his plan to cross the Atlantic and establish a floating orphanage in India. I told it did not and Papa Neutrino– may he rest in peace– was quite annoyed. I didn't have the heart to tell him I thought there was no way the scrappy houseboat was capable of a trans-Atlantic voyage, especially after watching a harrowing video of it being tossed around in 12-foot swells off of Labrador. Some months later, sitting on a bench at the Union Square farmer's market in Manhattan, I looked in disbelief at the front page of the New York Daily News. The Neutrinos, who were aiming for France, had landed in Ireland!

A few years later, the Neutrinos drifted into Port Isabel, Texas where a 19 year-old college dropout named Constance Hockaday was living with her parents. Hockaday, a rather alienated young woman, immediately became enthralled with the idea of living on a boat and not paying rent. Before long, she was on the boat, so to speak. Her life hasn't been the same since.

Hockaday on the deck of the Ms. Nancy Boggs

That was ten years ago and if you sit with Hockaday, as I did recently, and listen to her explain the impact the Neutrinos have had on her worldview, or her admiration of Nancy Boggs, who presided over a floating brothel on the Wilamette River in 19th Century Portland, Oregon, you definitely come away with the sense that if anyone was going to create a floating hotel on Jamaica Bay in New York City, it would be Hockaday.

Over the course of a month from early June till early July, she and a small crew of DIY volunteers transformed an old houseboat and the fiberglass hulls of four abandoned motor boats into a "boatel." This cheap hotel is located at a marina in the Rockaways, a strip of New York City waterfront that has become a destination in recent years for young hipsters. Marina 59 is situated on an inlet with a bird's eye view of jumbo jets taking off from John F. Kennedy airport. The five vessels are attached to two pencil docks and a floating platform on to which Hockaday has erected a wood frame for a movie screen. Hell, if you're going to make a floating hotel, why not include a "boat-in" movie theater?

The marina is a fitting location for these unconventional accommodations. It has a couple of goats on the premises that roam around "mowing" the lawn, two shipping containers being transformed into an art gallery/performance space, and one of the houseboats at Marina 59 is an off-the-grid vessel named Jerko where sustainability workshops are held. Jerko includes a composting toilet on a raft. Where else would you moor a boatel but a few paces from Jerko at the end of Dock C?
"I did throw around the idea of creating a floating brothel but I don't know if I'm quite madame material," Hockaday says with a straight face.

Houseboat Ms. Nancy Boggs, which costs $100 a night

For as little as $50, you can spend a night at what has been christened the Boggsvile Boatel. Ms. Nancy Boggs, a houseboat that is more than 40 years old and can supposedly sleep up to five, is named after the infamous Oregonian madame. It goes for $100 a night and is described on the boatel's web page as a "down-home love nest" with two beds, one of which "can fit 3.5 people… It is the perfect place to roll around with more than one or two." Okay…

The rest of the boatel consists of motorboats sans engines. Most are around 30 feet long. They don't have electricity, so guests rely on candles or flashlights. And the boats don't have working bathrooms, so it's a long walk down Dock C, past some picnic tables and a parking lot, to Marina 59′s showers and toilets. The marina's communal bathrooms have a sign warning tenants not to scale fish in the sink under penalty of expulsion.

Boatel guests get a warning, too, after signing a liability waver. The welcome letter informs them that the boatel is not a real hotel. "This is an adventure at best and an art project at worst," it says. And the letter warns "if we feel that you are too drunk or obnoxious, we reserve the right to send you home in a taxi at your expense."

Still, despite the lack of amenities and the fact that the boatel is at least an hour by subway from Manhattan, it's sold out for the rest of the summer. The place is supposed to close on Labor Day.

Greta Gertler and Adam Gold relax on their boatel lodging, the Queen Zenobia. To the far left is the wooden frame for a floating composting toilet. Above it are brick public housing project buildings in the distance

Among those who spent a night there are Brooklynites Greta Gertler and Adam Gold, who were celebrating their third anniversary. The couple has a band called The Universal Thump.

"I didn't realize how much I actually really enjoy watching planes take off," said Gertler, as a steady stream of jumbo jets ascended from Kennedy Airport and soared east over the Atlantic. "It's just a matter of stopping for a while and watching what's around you. New York is generally a great place to do that but this takes it to another level," she says with a laugh.

Gertler and Gold sat on the deck of the Queen Zenobia drinking beer as the sun set on the not totally rustic maritime getaway. Later they barbecued sausage on foot-high grills in the darkness. It was so cool at the marina that evening, your MAKE correspondent wished he had brought a flannel shirt.

If it weren't for the periodic roar of jet planes taking off and the A train rumbling by on elevated subway track a couple of blocks away, it's easy to forget you're in New York City. The Jamaica Bay nature preserve is off in the distance and as you look into the bay, JFK's air traffic control tower sticks out over the tree line. On one side of the inlet there's a public housing project and on the other a school bus parking lot. The boatel also has a great view of a sunken tugboat, portions of which become more visible with the changing tide. The old tug is symbolic of what happens to old vessels that are not worth salvaging. It was simply left to rot dead in the water.

Marina 59, like so many other boat marinas around the country, has been plagued by owners abandoning their vessels. Owner Ari Zablozki was eager to donate fiberglass motor boat hulls to Hockaday's wacky project. The abandoned boats cost several hundred dollars each to have junked.

"People abandon their boasts very quickly," complains Zablozki, who has movie star good looks and happens to own a bar in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. "Once the engines in these fiberglass-hulled boats are gone, they're basically worthless, so the people who own them usually just dump them on the marina. When I took over a year and a half ago, there was about 90 junked boats piled on top of each other in the back. It's horrible. It becomes a giant junkyard, so you have to really stay on top of it."

It can cost as much as $10,000 to replace a failed engine in a motor boat, according to Nobby Peers of Whitworth Marine Services in Patchogue, Long Island. Boat owners usually decide that with new boats costing around $15,000 to $20,000, it doesn't make sense to sink so much money into a battered fiberglass hull, says Peers who makes his living doing marine engine restorations.

Needless to say, Zablozki was more than happy to donate the abandoned boats at his marina to Hockaday's boatel. He was introduced to Hockaday by the Flux Factory, a Long Island City-based arts group that organized Sea Worthy, a series of exhibitions, installations and boat trips celebrating the city's marine heritage. Flux Factory helped Hockaday gather donations of building materials and decorating supplies from two local non-profits, Build It Green NYC and Materials for the Arts. Hockaday is reported to have spent $2,000 out of her own pocket on the boatel, some of which went to a neon sign at the end of Dock C that proclaims "BOATEL." She's also collected lumber in dumpsters around Queens and Brooklyn for the project. Some of the volunteers came from a mention in Nonsense NYC, a weekly email that lists quirky art projects. "We have a barbecue pit and the swimming is good," the call for volunteers noted.

"Some of the biggest work that we did was actually getting the boats to float," explains Hockaday, who has an undergraduate degree in Participatory Community Development from Prescott College in Arizona. "We had to put them on cranes, lower them into the water, found out that they leaked like all hell, plugged them up, sealed them. This and that. I mean, that was probably the bulk of the work." There was also some upholstering done with a staple gun and ripping out a lot of old, moldy carpet inside the boats. Hockaday insists she's not trying to bring Burning Man to Far Rockaway.

"There had to be an element of it that was adventurous enough to really feel like you were stepping off of that dock and into a different place, but not so aesthetically overwhelming to separate it from what is already here and already really beautiful," she explains.

Many of the working class fishermen who keep their boats at the marina were unaware of the boatel's existence. But Rob Bryn, a 34 year-old musician who sublet his apartment in Brooklyn for the summer and is staying in a fiberglass hull he is renovating on Dock B, is hip to the boatel scene. Bryn spray painted his name on the hull of his craft and placed several five-gallon buckets with house plants on the bow.

"The economy being what it is, this is a vacation spot that's a subway ride away," he points out. "So the fact that people can come on down here and get acquainted with this place, I think is great."

More from Jon Kalish

Stories told with ripped-up photos

Torn Lives is a photoblog which "collects torn pictures along with something reflecting back on the missing parts". [via Dangerous Minds]

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Sad Etsy Dogs

Sad Etsy Dogs is the spiritual sequel to Sad Etsy Boyfriends. [via Metafilter]

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Space Saver: USB Wall Socket


I love finding products that are clever, well-designed and celebrate the realistic presence that technology has in our homes. This wall socket is the same size as a regular outlet, but includes two USB ports - a great solution for small space living or older homes where the number of outlets are often limited.

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