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Happy Thanksgiving!

Did you know…

The first Thanksgiving was a 3-day harvest feast held by the founders of Plymouth colony in 1621, attended by 53 colonists and 90 Wampanoag? They ate deer, geese swan and duck along with shellfish and lobster. And pumpkins, of course.

Enjoy more fun facts in this infographic by…and enjoy your Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving by the Numbers

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Video: Best Logos of the 20th Century

Great video by Yungsik Hong featuring some fabulous logos from the last century. Makes you wonder what the 21st century will bring.

Refresh this page if you can’t see the video below.

20century logos14 from YUNSIK HONG on Vimeo.

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Fun Friday: 100 Years of Change Infographic

It seems June turned out to be Infographic Month. I didn’t mean for that to happen, there have been some good ones recently.

What can happen in 100 years? A lot, it turns out! There are some striking comparisons in the infographic “100 Years of Change,” which explores differences in American life from 1913 to 2013. The most surprising one to me is the change in average life expectancy — from 52.65 in 1913 to 78.2 in 2013! That’s a full 16 extra years of good living. What’s most surprising to you? Enjoy.

100 Years of Change

Via DesignTaxi


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Ten Technologies You Don’t Need to Upgrade!

Remember when we could buy things and not have to re-buy them in three years? I still have a working GE clock radio my cousin gave me in 1988. Of course, it’s been replaced on my bedside table by iPhone crickets…but the point is, it still works! Are products made to last gone forever?

Illustrator Angela Liao of 20px gives us this nostalgic digital hand drawing of times past. Hmmmm. Maybe we can’t live without technology. See more of her great work here »

10 Technologies You Don't Need to Upgrade

Comic illustration by Angela Liao, 20px. Published without permission; all rights reserved.

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“Where is Beacon, anyway?”

Follow the Hudson River north from Manhattan, travel past the Tappan Zee Bridge in Tarrytown,  past the Bear Mountain Bridge in Garrison, even. Keep going until you hit the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge. You may think you’ve gone too far, but there we are on the east bank of the river, nestled  at the base of Mt. Beacon (elev. 1,611′). Mt. Beacon used to be known for having the steepest incline railway in the country. A century ago, city folks would travel up the Hudson on steamship, ride the trolley up Beacon’s Main Street, then take the railway straight up the mountain to play at the casino that was located at the top. Today it lies up there in mysterious ruins.

Mt. Beacon Dawn by Robert Rodriguez Jr.

The artists here are still inspired by the Hudson. “Mount Beacon Dawn” by local photographer Robert Rodriguez, Jr. © Copyright Robert Rodriguez, Jr.

I moved here in 2006, looking for an affordable place to focus on my work that was within train distance to the city. Beacon had a coffee shop and a yoga studio, satisfying my two primary requirements for civilized living. The rest of town was in the beginning stages of “gentrification.” Dia:Beacon, the larger-than-life home to Dia Foundation’s permanent collection, had opened in 2003 and many talented artists followed. Here I found a wonderful, warm community of like-minded creative types. Amid the beautiful, crumbling brick, Beacon immediately felt like home.

Falls at Fishkill Creek

View from my first place in Beacon. The old brick building has now been rebuilt into a stunning restaurant, bar, and event center.

Each summer, I help organize Windows on Main Street, a public art exhibition along Beacon’s Main Street. It’s really cool — 40-50 Beacon artists (oh, there are way more than that habitating here!) install site-specific artwork in the retail storefront windows along our mile-long Main Street. It’s a  testament to the fantastic scope of Beacon’s artistic class.

Benjamin Norman for The New York Times

Over the last seven years, the New York Times and others have written about our city numerous times, continually hailing it as the “art destination” of the Hudson Valley. It’s true, there are more galleries than coffee shops along Main Street, and the living-artist population continues to grow as more young entrepreneurial families move out of Brooklyn to the “Williamsburg of the Hudson Valley.” Just last week, Bloomberg News wrote about how we’ve “shed our crummy image.” But Beacon shop owners continue the struggle to keep inventory moving during the winter months when there are far fewer tourists. Secretly, I think we loyal residents don’t want too much fuss about our little town. It’s nice when the post office staff knows your name and face, and I hope Beacon stays that kind of place.


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