Exit Through the GIF Shop
The .GIF has taken over the Internet. Once the purview of Geocities sites and cheap Internet 1.0 shenanigans, they’ve made a Renaissance as a form of humor and communication in Tumblr posts, Buzzfeed listicles and ways to express our existential dread — they even have their own search engine.
This past Sunday, in a packed screening room in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, filmmakers Eric Fleischauer and Jason Lazarus showed the first feature length experimental gif documentary. The film, called twohundredfiftysixcolors, is a historical record of the gif-as-art-form from 1987 to 2013 as told by the medium’s strangest, most viral practitioners. The team behind twohundredfiftysixcolors spent years putting the film together, collecting the gifs by putting out open calls, contacting artists and building a database of over 3000 gifs organized by similar aesthetic themes.
It looks like no one’s safe from the trendy, skinny jeans-wearing wrath of gentrification in New York City—not even Google.
This morning, The Village Voice picked up on a jaw-dropping Google Maps glitch that perfectly illustrates the effects of gentrification.
Yelp may have inadvertently created the most effective online courtship tool since eHarmony.
This heat map shows where certain words pop up most often in Yelp reviews throughout the Big Apple. So next time you’re cruising for dudes in the five boroughs, why not use it to filter bachelors by stereotype?
Hey, ladies! Are you 18-25? Are you attractive and looking to make a little extra dough? Do you sometimes miss the gender tropes of the Mad Men era and long to be treated like a nubile piece of furniture? Well, you’re in luck!
Styleblaster, a project installed by a handful of Brooklyn-based technologists that uses a camera to chronicle the sartorial choices of Williamsburg residents and upload the photos in real-time to the web, has quickly devolved into trolling.
When a Daily Dot commenter used Google Maps to sleuth out the address, it spread across the internet lightning-fast. The camera is situated in a window at 234 Driggs Ave., a block from the Bedford Avenue stop.
No Sleep ‘Til Back in July, Betabeat revealed that Williamsburg-dwelling coworking space The Yard would be launching a General Assembly-like roster of classes–and at “Brooklyn prices,” no less. Well, the curriculum site is now live, with a full list of offerings. Examples include iOS app development for beginnings and Intro to Makerbot. A course on Kickstarter makes the joke about would-be creators of mason jar cocktail shakers almost too easy.
Your Digital Newsstand Now live: DuJour, an ultra-luxe magazine targeted to the rich and fabulous. Glossy photo shoots are all well and good, but DuJour hopes to distinguish itself by thoroughly integrating print and digital–meaning readers can finally click through to featured items that strike their fancy. Giving the pub a long leg up: A partnership with Gilt Group, which’ll allow the magazine to launch with a subscriber base of three million.
Back in February, Betabeat introduced you to The Yard, a freshly-opened coworking space in Williamsburg that we minted the “General Assembly of Brooklyn.” Turns out we’re psychic, because today The Yard announced that–just like its Manhattan competitor, GA–it will be offering continuing education courses in subjects like programming and biz dev, beginning this fall. All at “Brooklyn prices,” no less!
“We really want to cultivate a culture here that is cutting edge and innovative and collaborative,” Andy Smith, The Yard’s PR and curriculum coordinator, told Betabeat by phone. “It seems like now that we’re at a point where we are full, we can sort of branch out and extend our efforts to other aspects to cultivate that culture. Educational initiatives seemed like the next natural step.”
Cowork With Me?
Enterprising film students and death trap jellyfish tank builders aren’t the only people who could use a little crowdfunding. Lucky Ant, a neighborhood-based crowdfunding platform, has expanded its reach from the Lower East Side, adding Williamsburg to the repertoire of ‘hoods with local business in need of funding.
Others have tried and failed to make a coworking space grow in Williamsburg. (The Makery is dead! Long live, Bnter’s new office!) But “real estate professionals” and born-and-raised Brooklynites Morris Levy and Richard Beyda may have the home-court advantage. The duo opened The Yard, a 14,000 square foot coworking space, in November and are already at 65 percent capacity.
A number of tech companies, including Hype Machine, Wanderfly, Mobile Roadie and Uber are already working out of the space, as well as a few startups still in splash page mode, like Gander TV and Spotflux. Somewhere between 60 to 70 percent of The Yard‘s residents are techies, although that wasn’t exactly the owners’ intention. “We knew there was a need in Williamsburg/Greenpoint for something like this, but we didn’t realize the tech scene was happening here and that that was the direction it was going to go,” Mr. Levy told Betabeat by phone.
Now that the startup syngery is under way, however, The Yard has been “planning strategic alliances” with angel investors whose portfolio companies might be interested in working there. For example, Mr. Levy said he’s currently in talks with Brooklyn Bridge Ventures founder and First Round Capital alum Charlie O’Donnell, who launched a Kings County-centric seed fund last month.
Jay Parkinson, the man Fast Company dubbed “The Doctor of the Future” in 2009, was lounging in his Williamsburg backyard, a few blocks from the Bedford stop on the L. It was a sleepy afternoon, interrupted only by the occasional sound of his Goldendoodle, Buddy, crunching on a bone, or his neighbors, on the other side of the fence, giving their pet pig what sounded like a bath.
The Bose radio in the kitchen piped soothing Dixieland standards past the verdant rose bushes. Dr. Parkinson went sockless in his loafers. He wore navy seersucker shorts and had his chambray shirt unbuttoned to somewhere around his fourth rib, revealing a tight, tanned torso. Life seemed swell.
“I was the doctor of the tech community,” the 35-year-old Dr. Parkinson recalled of his emergence on the scene several years ago. “It was just my first practice, but I got a ton of press and a lot of hits. So, like, anybody young and creative in New York would call me up to be their doctor.”