Appearance on BK Live for Beyond Coding

Over the past few months, I’ve been involved with a program called beyondcoding.io, which is a series of courses at New York City tech companies designed to develop career skills for people who are entering the tech industry.

I produced one of the classes with Maryam (see our NLP talk) at Foursquare on technical communication. I would describe it as a workshop that involved talks by Maryam and myself as well as some audience participation and group communication.

On Tuesday, I was interviewed on BK Live, which is a show on BRIC TV (a Brooklyn-focused television station in New York). Also appearing on the round table was Bethany Marzewki who works at stack overflow and did a great job organizing Beyond Coding with the New York Tech Talent Pipeline. This also features program students Keanna Hines and Shlomo Maghen!

Ok enough of the background, here’s the full video!

A few notes on what I said:

  1. I really wished I played up Foursquare and Swarm more, especially for high school and college aged people. I mean – if that were available to me when I was in high school or even much younger, I’d be all over it! For one, I’d compare checkins to the (now defunct) North and South cafeteria in Weston High School.  I was sort of vague on whether Foursquare or Swarm would be something that could get a teen interested in technology. Obviously there are certain applications, like do-my-taxes applications that isn’t going to get anyone interested. I should have put Foursquare on Swarm squarely on the other side of that!
  2.  I don’t condone cheating.. seriously. Good thing I’m not running for office, or that’d be a great campaign ad for my opposition. I think modding games, though, and learning how to hack code in the process, is great. So long as you’re not betting on the games.

Brooklyn Neighborhood: Sunset Park

Before I get into some of the more technical or idea-oriented posts, I want to practice by talking about one of my day trips last week, and that was to Sunset Park, Brooklyn.

Now last week I actually took a week off from work, and it seems like every time you take time off you’re expected to go someplace exotic or at least visit someone in another city. Instead, I opted to stay at home.  This is apparently known as a “staycation”!  As it turns out, there’s so much to enjoy about living in Brooklyn.

I can write a whole post on just how this “staycation” went, but instead I’m going to start a series on Brooklyn neighborhoods. On Wednesday, I decided to go to the closest neighborhood that I haven’t checked out yet, which was Sunset Park.

I went in the early afternoon and I had a few hours to look around. I rode a few stops on the Bay Ridge-bound R train from Dekalb to 45th street. When I got out, there were rows of shops – including some Mexican grocery stores, as well as some interesting architecture on a nearby Catholic Church which really stands out on 4th Ave. The cross streets are nice Brownstones.

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So then of course I had to get to the park itself. Starting at the base of the park, it doesn’t look like much. Once I walked up the steps, I could see there was tons of activity for a Wednesday evening. The park was full of picnics and sports. It was difficult to find the much talked-about view of Manhattan at first, but once I moved into the right position it was pretty amazing. You get Downtown Brooklyn, Downtown Manhattan, Jersey City, and the Statue of Liberty all in one shot!

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In that last photo, I can actually see the apartment building where I live, which is the one reflecting sunlight. The view doesn’t go both ways – I still can’t see the park very well from the roof of the building! In the photo, you can also see nearby One Hanson Place which is the big clocktower all the way to the right.

This is a pretty unique view of Manhattan! I’ve seen the skyline from many different angles, but this one actually looks like you’re looking “down” at the city.

So finally I needed to stay for the Sunset. It turns out that they don’t call it Sunset Park for nothing. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

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After that I needed to get back, but I wanted to grab dinner first. Foursquare tried to get me to go to Tacos Matamoros but that was mainly a sit-downplace , so I ended up getting take out at Tacos El Bronco. It was very good, and obviously the neighborhood has no shortage of Mexican food!

Overall, I think this is a great place to spend the day or a few hours if you want to explore a lesser-known (especially to tourists) neighborhood of New York City. It’s also a fairly easy ride on the subway. Perhaps I’ll follow up with my take on other neighborhoods in the future!