Sunday, July 13, 2008

Neighborhood Spotlight: Ditmas Park and Kingston Brooklyn

Today a new section of the blog is born, neighborhood spotlights. This section will feature certain areas around the city to help you gain better insight into the areas of the recreation and of the actual area itself. After all interesting neighborhoods make the city.

We'll kick it off with out very first showcase, Ditmas Park and Kensington Brooklyn. The historical areas of Ditmas Park and Kingston are not only one of the most suburban areas of Brooklyn, but one of the most historical. We'll take a tour of these area today in 3D.

First we head to Ditmas Park with its tree lined streets and historical victorian homes. Ditmas Park is an area of Flatbush bounded by Flatbush Avenue on the east, Church Avenue to the north, Coney Island Avenue to the west and goes south until about Brooklyn College.

Here's a version of the area in SimCity.

The real Ditmas Park in Google Streetview

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Middle class and upper middle class families live along these tree lined streets in homes that cost anywhere from $400,000-$650,000. Though, I've seen homes on going for more than $1 million in this area.

Looking above the area around Beverly Road

Next we'll head off to neighboring Kensington, just west of Borough Park. There's some dispute amongst real estate agents and residents over the official borders of Kensington but the borders are tentatively McDonald Avenue to the west, Canton Avenue on the north, Rugby Road to the west and Ditmas Avenue to the south.

Kensington has a bit more affordable housing than Ditmas Park and offers more types of housing such as walk up and multi-story apartments buildings. The area is diverse and is home to many immigrants.

A suburbanesque street in sim Kensington.

The real thing in Google Streetview.

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More next time.

NYC Google Streetview Easter Eggs- Nightview

Cruising around the streets of New York in Google Streeview I came across two Easter Egg of a nighttime captures of a drive over the Brooklyn Bridge and of Times Square.

Brooklyn Bridge at night in Google Streetview

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Times Square at night in Streetview

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More coming up next time.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Ferrara Bakery and Cafe Review

In addition to mashup maps that help you get around I’m adding a new section to the blog, restaurant reviews. A 3D recreation can also be practical and helpful as well as entertaining ;)

Since it’s the middle of summer we’ll see where the Best Gelato in New York is.

There’s a lot of great places to get some great gelato but Ferrara Bakery and Café In Little Italy has some of the best gelato in New York (or at least Manhattan). Even though it can be a little touristy and sometimes pricey ($6 for a iced mocha) it’s still worth it for the gelato, tiramisu and cannoli’s.

You can check out photos of Ferrara at Yelp.

Ferrara Bakery & Café
195 Grand St (between Mott St & Mulberry St)
Average tab- $10-20

Ferrara Bakery SimCity stlye

Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy Fourth of July

The fireworks will be going off over Manhattan tonight. Be sure to catch the Macy's Fireworks starting at 9pm EST on the East River. If you're planning on seeing the fireworks watch out for street closures and the closure of the FDR Drive.

Also, it get's extremely crowded even hours before the event starts so be sure to leave with enough time to claim a spot. Have a happy and safe 4th!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

New York Waterfalls Exhibit

Olafur Eliasson's public art installation entitled "Waterfalls" opened to the city back in June. Man made waterfalls were constructed at various points on the East River including under the Brooklyn Bridge, Pier 35 just north of the Manhattan Bridge, Piers 4 and 5 in Brooklyn and one at the northern tip of Governor's Island.

This is the largest public art installation since Jeanne-Claude's “The Gates” in 2005.

Rendering of the project

Photo: Vincent Laforet of The New York Times

Waterfall at Pier 4 in Brooklyn photo: nydiscovery

Brooklyn Bridge waterfall at night photo: Rick Elkins

The exhibit lasts untill Oct 13.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

New York Google Maps Mashups

Being a SimCity player I’m always interested in checking out the data layer of maps in game and seeing how the traffic is flowing on my roads or where crimes are happening in my simulated creation.

Google Maps mashups are similar to data overlays in SimCity only mashups can be used for finding and mapping any real information that exists in the anywhere in the world. Even as it occurs in real time.

Here’s a collection of my favorite and most helpful Google Maps mashups for New York.

-New York Hotels Map

A handy little map of hotels in Manhattan from Trip Advisor.

-Real Estate Mashup Maps maps Craigslist housing listings on a map of New York. Listings are plotted on the map and allows you to easily and quickly find an apartment. Red placemarkers indicate the listing doesn’t have pictures.

Also, head over to for more New York real estate mashup maps. There are some listings for rentals but most of the listing are for roommates wanted or sublets if you’re looking to split rent with someone else.

New York Zip Code Mashup Map

This handy map lists all the zip codes in the five boroughs.

-Real Times News Map

Gothamist has produced a nifty map of breaking news around New York. Map plots news in real time.


New York on Tap is a site listing bars around New York City and their proximity to subway stations. Just be sure to check them out on Yelp before you go.

Dissident Design is a mashup site that has a growing map of restaurants in New York. Also, double check restaurants them with Yelp reviews.

New York is known for it’s great Pizza. Serious has created a New York Pizzeria mashup map with a separate map for each borough.
Williamsburg Restaurants has a map listing restaurants in Williamsburg Brooklyn. Place markers are color coded based on restaurant reviews.

NYC Bakeries and Sweets Map-

Looking for a sweet spot in New York? Look no further than Find all the places in Manhattan to get sweet treats.

NYC Coffee Map

Find a good place to grab a cup of coffee with the New York coffee map.

NYC Farmer’s Market Map

The Union Square Farmer’s Market isn’t the only farmer’s market in the Big Apple. Find others with the New York Farmer’s Market Map.

Parking almost anywhere in New York is a driver’s nightmare. That’s why best has made a helpful map of places to park in New York.

Real Time Traffic Map of NYC

Google Traffic Maps has a great real time map of New York traffic conditions around the metro area. Be sure to check out traffic conditions from live traffic cams around the New York.

New York Subway Navigation Map

See how to get around on the New York Subway system to your destination this handy map from Also, be sure to check out's nifty subway map.

Zip Car Map of New York

Locating a Zip Car rental in New York is much easier with zip's very own Zip Car mashup map of New York.

NYC Bike Path and Lane Map

Find bike paths in New York.

Fun and Entertainment-

NYC Movie Locations. Find out where scenes from your favorite New York based movie were filmed.

NYC Celebrity Sighting Map

Head over to Gawker to see where the celebrity spots and sighting are.


Public Restroom Map of NYC

A great mashup map of public restrooms in New York.

Be sure to checkout The site has all kinds of useful information listed by each neighborhood such as crime statistics, breaking news, restaurant inspection results, real estate listings and more.

More next time.