My routine for Saturday mornings includes an easy stroll down a street lined up with a few mature trees, to a recently opened patisserie where I can have freshly baked pastries, perhaps a strong-flavoured tea and from there to the bookstore to secure a good dose of weekly magazines in matters of travel, entrepreneurship and technology. There is a good bench just one block up the bookstore that guarantees a good amount of sun on your back while you read, or there is a very large park where the background laughter of kids does well to read with optimism no matter what. I like the flow of these simple events, as each one prepares me to enjoy the next move better. I like the fact that it all takes places within just a few blocks, my neighborhood.
I was reminded of “experience design” while reading a little post by Henrik Werdelin about his stay at a W Hotel:
The other day, I stayed at the W hotel in San Francisco. As I was stepping into the shower I noticed that the bath mat towel used when stepping out on the floor after showing was rolled instead of [...]
From the editorial of AFAR Magazine:
We’re looking for an elite group of curious, well-traveled, interesting, and influential people who are willing to help us test the site before we roll it out to the public in September. If you would like to throw your hat in the ring, please visit private.afar.com and fill out a questionnaire that will help us put together a group that represents the AFAR community. This is an opportunity to get in on the ground floor to influence the direction of AFAR.com, and to share your expertise with other like-minded global citizens.
The community of people devoted to writing about travel is very savvy and has found on Twitter a great way to keep tabs on the various projects going across the space. The AFAR project spread like wildfire over the last couple of months, so purchasing the most recent issue of their magazine happened without even flipping through its pages.
Yes, there are some silly editorial experiments within its pages, but mostly you’ll find well researched, professionally written articles from people on the road and not behind their desks. I’m particularly fond of the words “nomad”, “global citizen”, “cultural immersion”, ” [...]
The New York magazine devoted its most recent issue to Neighborhoods and in the process of trying to decide which one was the most livable, they ran into some very interesting challenges. Unlike other rankings based on the opinion of an editorial group, they decided to arm themselves with as much information that would quantify different aspects of livability and create a model that would use it all to compute the results. Seems too algorithmic? Consider some of their sources: Yelp, StreetEasy, Zillow, US Census Bureau and the local government. In the age of open data, things like potholes, code violations, test scores at schools, crime rates, density of shopping alternatives, parks, noise levels and many more are all available to provide a robust foundation. All of these get organized into broad priorities such as housing, transit, safety, schools, diversity, green space, etc. Don’t trust their formula to prioritize the various factors that affect livability? Try their Livability Calculator to set your own priorities.
What I find most useful about this approach is the recognition that open data can be built into dynamic tools that help us make [...]
As I’ve been announcing for a few months already, today we’ve finally launched the St. Lawrence Market guide in collaboration with the PlanetEye team (in case you haven’t heard, that’s my day job). I learned a lot over the last year trying to figure out how to bring this project to life and I’m pretty happy with the results. There are many ideas flowing through my mind about the significance of this project, but I’ll limit this post to brag about the guide itself:
St. Lawrence Market Guide
How is it different from other city guides? Well for starters is not a city guide, it is a neighbourhood guide. You know that neglected urban molecule that often defines the character of its citizens but it is rarely given its credit.
- Curated content: the fact that we limited the scope of this guide to a very small section of the city, allowed us to be thorough in our research. If you are from Toronto, you’ll find that our features are carefully selected and represent the best this area has to offer. If you have never been to Toronto, you probably don’t [...]