Thursday, August 28, 2014

camminando | on the Rockaway Beach

Yesterday was one of the hottest day of this yet comfortable summer, perfect to pay homage to Rockaway Beach. The Atlantic Ocean was murky and not too inviting, especially after being spoiled by the pristine beauty of the Great Ocean Road beaches, on the other side of the planet. Yet the ocean breeze was soothing, and the boardwalk inviting, even if unfortunately partially destroyed by Sandy fury. And the glorious sunset A train the tunes of the Ramones' song.

camminando | My Geospatial Self on August 14: Iconic Landmarks

I continue recording daily my displacements on the planet, together with the visual perception of the places my walking body intersects. Below are a few visual excerpts of my walk from August 14, which was constellated by encounters with several NYC iconic landmarks. The total walk amounted to 17 km, covered in about four hours with multiple stops; it started in the Upper West and ended in Dumbo, where my sore feet made me opt for the F train as return transportation means. Broadway was the main artery, crossing many streets, neighborhoods, urban, visual, cultural and social landscapes: walking brings continuity to the city diversity.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

summertime | In, Out & About: Hudson Valley

A solarized view of the Taconic Parkway, the infrastructure of my weekend getaways
Summer is slowly, yet relentlessly, fading away and I am posting a few of the visual memories of the places and events I have been intersecting with. Photography has become a storytelling medium and the narrative is increasingly expanded to include some vertical panoramas where backbending aids in framing the composition.
Framed views of an opening at John Davis Gallery in Hudson

Walking while interacting with dancers in the Fields of Art Omi
Suspended whales in the industrial archaeology of Basilica Industria, reminiscent of the Hudson past
A view of the Huson river with the Catskill Mountains background
Warren Street, Hudson

Monday, August 11, 2014

camminando | NYC, Super Moon from Central Park

The "super moon" as viewed from Central Park, at about 20:30 EDT. The moon is seen rising behind a building in the Upper East Side.

thoughts | Cooking and the Mis-en-scene of Research

Sometimes insights are induced in the most unexpected way —as the eureka term suggests recalling the famous exclamation from Archimedes stepping into his bathtub.
Image altered from "Archimede bain" by Unknown - Historia N° 767 - Novembre 2010 - page 38. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons 
My eureka du jour happened today while listening to the radio while chopping fruits and vegetables for the morning breakfast juice. The WNYC segment, worthwhile listening to, related professional cooking to self-help and organization and emphasized the importance of mise-en-place for chefs  —the French term denoting the organizational space of cooking. The radio segment producer interviewed several chefs and all felt strongly about the importance of the mise-en-place in their profession, although each had a different interpretation and implementation. I was particularly interested in one chef who mentioned a "zen" intention in the cleanness and minimalism of the mise-en-place in his kitchen.
   While I am struggling to continue my PhD  among academic politics and lack of resources, finding a daily mise-en-place has become essential for progressing with my research. Perhaps it varies at difference stages, but the organizational structure is becoming even more important than insights. Creative thoughts are exciting but if not orderly organized in an a clear data structure, but can get lost in the black holes of ideas and never make it to become an "original contribution to knowledge" that is the output of research. Following the cooking metaphor, the university becomes the kitchen and the research audience, or even its applications are the restaurant.
   Ultimately, perhaps like everything else in life, can finding the comfort of order in chaos and clarity in confusion, provide meaning on its own?