Tag Archives: reddit

The free list of free New York museums: iheartnymuseums.com

IHeartNYMuseums.com

IHeartNYMuseums.com

Last Wednesday, in my haste to get it over with before I forgot about it after a weekend at NICAR, I threw up a hand-compiled chart of New York museums and other cultural attractions, focused primarily on when they were open and free. This was in response to a NY reddit user who asked just the right question to hit my “hey-maybe-*I*-can-do-something” buttons:

Does something like this exist? A chart? It seems like every museum has a day or two that it isn’t open and then one day that it’s open late (ideal for me) but they’re all different. Today, for example, I thought “I’d like to go to a museum but it’s going to be 5 soon and I have no idea if any are open late.” If somebody has an idea how this could be most logically put together, I wouldn’t mind doing it. I just can’t even imagine what form this would take other than some dry list or spreadsheet.

Well, I’m not much of a designer but I like making stuff that uses simple color bars and graphics to represent data, ever since my boss made me attend a Edward Tufte lecture. I also am a big fan of the special nights that museums have; a friend took me to the MOMA on one of the Target Free Fridays and I became a member afterward; I can’t count the times I’ve been since or the number of friends I’ve brought in, at the $5 member discount rate. Considering my tendency to sit around at home, I may have never gone without that first free night.

I got interview requests from writers at the Village Voice and the WSJ the day the map went up, so hopefully this chart gets out to the people who need one more reminder to check out all that’s great in this city.

The site’s a pretty lame technical feat; I looked at list of museums from Wikipedia and Yelp and then hit up each website to fill out a spreadsheet, which I converted to a webpage that’s way too big of a file for being mostly simple HTML. I guess I could’ve run a scraper on each site, but I wanted to acquaint myself with each place so I could get inspired to check out some new places. The info-gathering was by far the most painful and time-consuming aspect of this (my humble explanation for why it would take 7 days to make a sloppy HTML page with a Google map on top). It reminded me of the many restaurants that make you click through bouncy Flash graphics just to find their business hours. In defense of the museums though, their site-design M.O. is probably to wow people enough with images so that they won’t mind digging through to find the pertinent visitor and admission info. Still, it’s kind of annoying for those of us who just want to get down to some art-seeing business.

Now that I’ve got the basic info down, along with a lot of the museums’ social media links, the next step will be to…well, make this a real site from a framework rather than a Ruby script that reads from a Google spreadsheet. Then, to make a newsfeed of exhibits and events and put everything in a standard hcard format. I’ll probably tackify the site up with photos I’ve taken, too. As someone who needs Google to find what direction I’m walking in, I’m always kind of reluctant to do what the Great Indexers, including Wikipedia contributors, have already done. But then again, those broad informational frameworks don’t always show you enough specific details up front (such as the existence of free hours) to encourage you to go beyond the first search results. And since working on the Dollars for Docs project, I’ve learned there’s always a way to make already-easily available information much more useful.

Check out IHeartNYMuseums.com here.

Altruists Anonymous: What is the nicest thing you’ve ever done that no one knows about?

AskReddit is just a great place to kill time and learn a lot about life, from people for whom anonymous handles means more about being honest and less about trolling. This thread asking what was the nicest thing you’ve ever done without telling anyone is a tear jerker. Whether or not these were real secrets, it’s interesting/amazing what people can keep to themselves.

Some of my favorites:

mightyelf 212 points

I used to pick up pretty much any hitch hiker I saw. I would even pick up people at the bus stop. It just seemed to me that since I had a car and some free time that it was no big deal to help someone out. I never asked for money or anything like that. It was nice to see the people smile. One day I pickup up a guy about my age( I was 19 at the time) and he was very thankful that I I did. He was telling me about all the stuff he had to do that day and he knew that he would only get 2 or 3 things done because the buses. I had to be at work soon so I asked him if he knew how to drive standard. He looked at me funny and said yes. I pulled into my work and told him to be back here in 12 hours. I gave him $20 for gas and said bye. The guys at work asked me who he was but I didn’t even remember his name from the short time we rode together. They urged me to call the cops but I told them the kid would be back. After my shift ended my car was there. The kid had the biggest smile on his face and as I drove him home he told me how he was able to get everything done and that I had saved him atleast a full day of running around. I saw him from time to time after that. It was nice to hear that because I helped him out he would go out of his way to help others out.

MonkeySpanker 53 points 4 months ago[-]

I won a lawsuit and got about 25k in the bank. I dropped about $8k on my debt, $2k on toys for me (laptop), and the rest went in to paying off debt for friends and family. $8k went to my sister’s credit cards, $2k went to dental work and other kinds of stuff needed for her. $3-5k on a friend who was about to lose his house.
Besides, I’m horrible with my money… I probably would have wasted it on stupid shit anyways.

Line6 27 points 4 months ago* [-]

One day my best friend’s wife told me that she is planning to leave her husband. She wanted me to know in advance so that I can be there for him. Now my friend is one of the decent person I’ve ever known in my life. He loved her like crazy and would have done almost anything. Her wife’s problem was that she was not feeling like a princess. I don’t judge her for that but the guy was working hard to provide his family with some financial stability.
I told her then and there, if she is planning to leave him because she doesn’t love him anymore that can easily be fixed. Just let him know somehow and he’ll make you fall in love with him again but if you don’t want to love him anymore just drop the bomb and leave. She didn’t say anything and left. Next morning I got a text from her that said “Thank You I know now”. They are still married.

euryalus0 31 points 4 months ago[-]

When it looked like he didn’t have much time left, I gave my best friend who had AIDS all my money so that he could take a trip across the country to SF and be with his boyfriend. Only about $1500, but we were both pretty broke at the time. The good news is that after about 10 pretty rough years full of very close calls he is now in pretty good health thanks to the latest meds. (The bad news is we had a pretty major break-up of our friendship about 8 months ago and he hasn’t spoken to me since.) Don’t regret it at all however.

JustATroll 190 points 4 months ago[-]

One of my best friends lost $800 in overdraft fees and didn’t get paid for 2 weeks. They called me crying, I told them to call the bank and see if they can sort it out. Meanwhile, I went to the bank and deposited the amount he said he was missing. To this day he still thinks the bank reversed the overdraft fees. This was like a year ago, and (at least from what he tells me) he’s never overdrafted since.

kr 202 points 4 months ago[-]

I pickup tissues and trash that coworkers (and other folks in the building) throw on the floor in the men’s room before the caretaker goes in to clean.
She caught me once.

atinasutherland 789 points 4 months ago[-]

When I got my settlement check for getting my finger cut off at work I kept $2000 dollars and put the rest in the bank. That night after dinner and drinks I was coming home and saw a homeless man (25-30) that I’ve seen several times before, posted up against a wall near the intersection shivering in the cold. Since there were 3 hotels at that intersection, I stopped, rented a room for a week on my debit card then took the key out of the envelope, replaced it with $1700 and walked over to the gentleman to hand him the key and cash.
No bullshitting, I saw him a month or so later working at a gas station, clean, shaved and nice hair. Im not sure if he recognized me but I’m glad because I recognized him and he appeared to be happy and doing well which said enough. I haven’t seen him in several years but I like to think he’s back on his feet, maybe a family, a house, whatever really but just doing well.

johnbc5 985 points 4 months ago[-]

When I lived in the city an older lady about 90 got her apt robbed in my building. They went in a stole all her cash and took some valuables that she had. She did not have a bank account so the thieves took about 30K the ladies life savings. She was afraid of being evicted for the apt because she wouldn’t have the rent money and did not want to end up in a state run nursing home. I called the landlord and paid her rent in full for the rest if the year, five months worth and told the landlord not to tell her it was me. I also had groceries delivered to her once a week for the next two months until she had some money saved from her social security checks. I never told anyone what I had done for her and I don’t think she even knew my name because the apt building had about 50 apartments in it. The landlord was I only one who knew and he wanted to tell her what I was doing but I told him that I would deny it. I did not want her to feel indebted to me. She posted a letter in the lobby of the building to thank who ever had helped her. I took the letter down and kept it. The landlord still writes to me every few months to tell me how she is doing. She is still living in the apt seven years later. I never told any one.

I’d like to think I’ve done equally selfless things and that I don’t remember them off the top of my head because I don’t have anyone else who knows to refresh my memory. One time I drove a drugged-out homeless man who was making a scene at Starbucks to the nearest Methadone clinic, but that’s mostly because I didn’t have anything to do that morning.