Brian Hoffman, who regularly leads our Midtown Food Cart Tour and the Brewed in Brooklyn Tour, was featured in last week's issue of Time Out New York. Brian also runs a food blog, Eat This New York, and last year, he set out to eat every item on Time Out's best 100 dishes of 2009 and chronicle the experience on his blog. I don't think I have even eaten at 100 restaurants in New York in my entire lifetime, but Brian completed the monumental task in a matter of months. He informed Time Out of his accomplishment, but unfortunately, they ran their 2010 best dishes list in October instead of December, as they had last year, so Brian didn't make it into the issue. They did, however, include him the following week (October 28 – November 3), and he vowed to conquer the newest installment as well. I don't think any other person in New York has eaten all 100 dishes from last year, and even if they have, they certainly have not written about them with the honesty and enthusiasm that Brian has over the past year.
The other team member featured in the media was yours truly, Andrew Gustafson. Last Monday evening, I was sitting at home when I was suddenly bombarded by emails, phone calls and text messages informing me that my face was on the home page of the New York Times online. The paper was running a feature called “Your Life, Your Map,” in which they invited readers to submit their own interpretations and re-imaginings of the New York City subway map. Being a cartographer, I decided to submit a map I had made based on my Halloween costume from last year. I dressed up as the subway map by sewing pipe cleaners and buttons to my shirt and pants. Not wanting to sew 26 lines (since reduced to 24) and 468 stations, I decided to make a “mental map” of the subway, including only the lines and stations that I frequent. I then took a photo of myself and overlaid labels and geographic features, which had been absent from the costume. I was surprised to see that not only was my submission accepted, but my face and body, thrust into an awkward position to mimic the course of the A train from Inwood (my right arm) to Rockaway Beach (my left leg), were used as the thumbnail image for the online feature. I was even more surprised on Sunday to see my map, along with seven other submissions, featured in the paper's print edition.
As Urban Oyster's resident cartographer, I have made maps for the Brewed in Brooklyn, Fermented NY, and Food Cart tours, though none of them have been as creative or personally revealing as the subway map. If you would like to see more of my work, including projects I am currently working on, visit my personal website, where you can also find out more about the subway map. Unfortunately, due to my poor needlework, the costume barely survived Halloween night, but now it will live on in the New York Times! Finally, if you would like to a see a map of the world of Urban Oyster, check out our new interactive map.
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