Tuesday, January 18, 2011

3S Artspace: We Need This Why?

It's inescapable.  It's ubiquitous.  It's ridiculous!  Everybody we know is telling to us vote, and not just vote once, but 3 (three!) times!  Each day!  Whatevs!  I mean...
...It's on TV:

...It's in the newspapers:  http://www.seacoastonline.com/articles/20110104-NEWS-101040393
...It's on the Web:  http://www.3sarts.org/
...It's on Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/3sartspace
...It's on Twitter:  @3SARTSPACE

If you're like me, you're getting harassed to vote on a daily basis.   

So I ask you: What, exactly, is the big deal?  What advantage or unique opportunity does this artspace create?  It's not like Portsmouth isn't already the arts and culture capital of the state.  We've got at least 3 live theaters, we've got art galleries, we've got more restaurants per square mile than anyplace in New England, we've got original local music in nearly every nightspot, we've got Strawbery Banke and history up the wazoo, we've got the Button Factory for artist space, the Music Hall to host larger events... and all this is just off the top of my head.  So why all the hoopla about this 3S Artspace project?  

I asked my old friend Evan Karatzas just that exact question via e-mail.  Evan is on the board of directors for 3S Artspace.  He was our creative director at Flywire back in the day, and now his Proximity Lab just took home some hardware from the MITX Awards as I blogged a couple weeks ago.  Here's what Evan had to say:
"The idea of an integrated creative space like this is so strong and so overdue for a city like Portsmouth with a reputation for valuing arts and culture. You know how important music is to me, so naturally the prospect of an intimate venue like this with a connected farm-to-table restaurant was compelling. But what really drew me in was idea that this gallery space would coexist with these other multi-sensory spaces. More specifically, I'm interested in the potential it provides to represent activity throughout 3S as a dynamic installation experience."
Interesting, I'll grant you.  (Ha! Pun intended!)  Next I asked Christopher Greiner (who, somehow, I don't know personally), who with John Gayle co-founded the project, the same question. 
"You're correct, Portsmouth is the "cultural capital" of the state -- with more cultural options (such as the ones you listed) for the consumer than any other city -- but ask any local musician, artist, actor, or culture-seeker, for that matter, and I'm certain that the vast majority of them would tell you that we have a long way to go before the market is saturated with cultural venues. [...]
I have a fairly long history of firsthand experience on both sides of the artistic fence - administrative and creative [Chris's experience includes The Music Hall, Art-Speak, City Cultural Commission, RPM Challenge, etc. --DSC] and I've spent a lot of time listening to both artists and consumers of art.  It's out of these conversations and my own observations over the last decade that the concept for 3S was born. From the business side, 3S takes direct aim at the gaps that exist here: we are creating a midsize (300 capacity) venue that sits between the capacities of the small theaters, bars, and The Music Hall; we are creating a large, non-commercial gallery space, which will not be driven by sales, where installation, site-specific, cutting edge and not-necessarily-salable work can be shown; and we are creating a restaurant (farm-to-table) that aims to be as creative as it is affordable."
To me, it seems to me that 3S could, as a multi-displinary artistic outlet, complement rather than compete with great artistic outlets Portsmouth already has, and even better, bring several of them together in one place and time.  It could leverage our reputation as a cultural center and take it to the proverbial "next level," if you will.  By offering food and drink, it offers a venue alternative for events that can suffer from the lack of both, especially those held near dinnertime.  The project would also make use of an empty (eye-sore) building and make a destination point out of the upper end of Islington Street, which itself is due for streetscape treatment that could revitalize the area and expand the "downtown." 

The potential uses for the space are wide open and Chris said he's "all ears" to suggestions.  Plus, it would be great PR for the city in general if we could pull this off. 

So, yes, given all the foregoing, I'm caving into the daily peer pressure and voting every day!  After all, it's just a few clicks, and the upside is $50,000 infusion from a high-fructose corn syrup purveyor to the local community.  If you agree, I encourage you to vote, as they say, early and often:

As of this writing, 3S is ranked #28 in its category, exactly half-way through the voting period.  Let's see if we can't push it to the top 10 before the end of the month!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Jay Childs Honored by Catapult Seacoast

Hearty congratulations to Jay Childs on winning the 2010 J.T. O'Donnell Award from Catapult Seacoast. Thanks to Andrew Leibs for doing such a nice job telling Jay's story. Here's the link... Read all about it! 
Jay does video production, interactive design, and consulting.  He's based in Portsmouth.  For more information about Jay's company JBC Communications, check out his web site.  

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Jon Stewart Explains why the Verizon iPhone is a Big Deal

Some might not get why I'm so jazzed about the Verizon iPhone.  It's partly because I've been waiting so long for it.  I've held out and made do for the past couple years: 

Yes, that's the LG flip phone 5400 on the right.  I've had it about 3 years, or about 12 in technology years.  I'm ridiculed regularly at the eBrew and have been asked to turn in my Geek Card on more than one occasion.  You can laugh, but don't judge me.  ;-)  On the left is my iPod Touch, which I dearly love, but of course, makes no phone calls.  So I carry them both.  Annoying. And texting on the number pad? It ain't pretty, pardner. 
And frankly, I've held out so long it's become a bit of a White Whale (if not a White iPhone)... a personal test of my fortitude... could I suffer along with this flip phone while everybody and his mother (literally, my mom and dad both have them) gets iPhones before me?  We've got a great family plan with Verizon and switching providers would've caused us to take quite a hit in the checking account. 

But if you don't believe me that the VZ iPhone a big deal, would you believe Jon Stewart?  He is, of course, the most trusted newscaster on TV.  Being the genius he is, he makes the case more compellingly than I ever could. Enjoy:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Verizon iPhone Announcement
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire Blog</a>The Daily Show on Facebook

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Live from the Verizon Store in Portsmouth con't

Just tried VerizonWireless.com and got the splash page we've all been waiting for!

A great place to watch the news as it leaks out is http://www.macobserver.com/  This site is run locally in part by long-time Apple blogger David Hamilton of Durham.


I just "signed up" on the Verizon page.  Not sure what that does or what that actually, you know, means.

On the floor here at the Verizon store, there was one fellow who had the same idea I had... wander in around 11AM on 1-11-11 and attempt to the be first to pre-order the new iPhone.  A graphic artist from Amesbury, he's a new Mac guy, having converted his whole house to Apple over the past 2 years.  He was also very excited about AAPL stock, which he and I agreed would be splitting soon.  At this time, 50 minutes into the Verizon Era, the stock is at 341.

Several people have walked in and asked for the new iPhone.  Yep, they're right out back, let me just go fetch one for you!  ;-)  People unclear on the concept. 

Breaking news... Now it looks like the street release date is February 10.  My birthday.  Yep, I know what I want! 

Live from the Verizon Store in Portsmouth

It's official!

One enthusiastic employee has been refreshing engadget.com every 5 seconds for the past 45 minutes or so.

Details are trickling in.   One thing that isn't trickling in are the phones themselves.  They're ready for delivery, but that date could be a few weeks out.  One source says Feb 3.

They're also wondering about training here, as that needs to happen before they can sell the phones on the floor.  "Funny," I said, "it's as if they assume none of you have ever seen an iPhone before."

The pricing will likely be the same iPhone $199 starting point and the same $30 unlimited data pricing.

More in a bit. 

Live from the Verizon Store


Friday, January 07, 2011

Happy 12th Birthday eBrew

Thanks to Chuck McMahon at the Portsmouth Herald for an excellent job pulling together this story on the eCoast and the eBrew ahead of our special event. No doubt it contributed to the outstanding turnout we got... I estimated way over 100 (more like 150) of the local technorati were at the Press Room last night to celebrate 12 years of eBrews.  The article is a great overview of who we are and why we get together every month.  Give it a read and then join us next month!  It's always the 1st Thursday, upstairs at the Press Room.  Your bartender's name is Sam... She's the best and will take good care of you.

BTW, there are a few pics on the eCoast Facebook page.  Here's one of me and my pal Isaac Brake.  I'm wearing the wi-fi detecto t-shirt Melanie got me for Christmas, courtesy of ThinkGeek.  It was a big hit and a great conversation starter.  Plus, I know at least one person bought the same shirt after seeing mine (right Mark?!)... I think I should get a commission. 

And yes, I got full bars.  SSID=PressRoomRocks.  ;-)

1-11-11 at 11AM

It's coming!

The Verizon iPhone, for which I've only been waiting for about 3 years, is widely rumored to be announced on Tuesday.  I'll be at the local Verizon store to check it out first hand and see if I can  pre-order.