Posts Tagged: Hobbies

The Drones Take New York

On a frigid Saturday in March, two dozen members of The New York City Drone User Group (or NYCDUG, a local Meetup dedicated to amateur drone builders and pilots) convened at Van Cortlandt Park in the upper reaches of the Bronx. The group gets together every month or two to fly, build, and talk shop about unmanned aircraft. The group is a place where enthusiasts are trying to “find out what our position is in this crazy drone world—to find our footing and figure out how we can fit in the larger scheme of things,” said Fred Masson, one of its active members.

Drone pilots across the globe [...]


Oh Bituminous Blast! At Midtown's 'Magic' Gathering

Remember Magic: The Gathering? It was a game very popular in the '90s, and if you were like me, you may have spent hours in your bedroom, the sounds of Nirvana or Soundgarden bouncing off the walls around you, flipping through your cards. But then it might have gotten too expensive (a pack of 15 cards went for something like five bucks then, which doesn't sound like much except you were 16, had virtually no income and always needed more, more, more cards to compete)—or maybe you just moved on. But if you didn't know, the game has been enjoying a recent resurgence, and if you need proof, you [...]


Is Bigfoot Chillin' In The Minnesota Woods?

Springtime in Minnesota. The prairie thaws. The butter sculptures melt. Prince cuts the backside out of his pants. And Bigfoot comes out. "I'm 110% convinced that it exists," says Bob Olson, a co-founder of the Northern Minnesota Bigfoot Society. "There's just too much evidence, too many people's emotions showing when they recount their stories. One lady cries when she recounts her story of how this thing stood up and looked at her. She felt it looked into her soul."


The Brooklyn Museum of Death

I attended my first rat class on a Sunday afternoon in January. The snow melted overnight, but by morning it had refrozen into black ice, which made the walk between the 4th Avenue-9th Street stop and the future Morbid Anatomy Museum, located in a vacant, pre-renovation nightclub in industrial Gowanus, extremely terrifying. This probably explains why most of the registered students bailed at the last minute, even after paying $185 for a dead rat, scalpel, access to a box of accessories fit for Barbie and expert instruction.

When I arrived, Katie Innamorato, the teacher, was wearing a polyester wolf jumpsuit with pointy ears, a row of white fangs, and [...]


Why Will Leitch Burned All His Baseball Cards: A Q&A

This series is brought to you by TurboTax Federal Free Edition.

Pictured: New York mag columnist and movie enthusiast Will Leitch on deck, 1992.

Hey Will, thanks for taking the time to talk to me.

Sorry, I'm late. I'm on baby duty right now, but I duct-taped his mouth, so we should be okay.


I'm just kidding!

Whew! So people used to collect baseball cards, and you were one of those people. Can you tell me about your first memories of baseball, and how you got into it?

Yeah, so my dad struggled with getting me into playing baseball for a long time. And by a [...]


The Awl Radio: "Car Phone!"

Not long ago, as overly observant readers will know, I flunked out of my masters program in Gay Mixmastery. This was the track for which they sent me packing. Well, people said that Erykah Badu's "Telephone" couldn't be mixed with Lady Gaga's "Telephone" with Blondie's "Hanging on the Telephone." The truth was, they were wrong, but then again, so was I. I would say "Enjoy!," except that one cannot. Stream or download as you wish.

(MP3 direct download: The Awl Radio: 'Car Phone!', 11MB. And previously: The Awl's Totally Gay Dance Weekend Party Radio.)


The Museum Of 9/11 Golf Balls, Terrorism Sweaters And World Trade Center Knives

Pinnacle Anniversary Tribute Golf Balls

In most suburban homes, you wouldn't be surprised to find an array of dusty objects—pencil sharpeners, empty milk bottles, skateboards, air fresheners and perhaps a Mr. Potato Head—tucked into corners of spare bedrooms. In Andrew Marietta's house, in Cooperstown, New York, this stuff shares a common theme: September 11, 2001.

Marietta is the owner of one of the world's largest private collections of September 11 memorabilia. Stored in boxes scattered around his home are 1500 to 2000 objects originally produced by companies to commemorate the event. Many of these items are strange in their ordinariness: Marietta's collection includes not just plaques [...]


The Extremely Far-Off Green Pea Galaxies

"Round or elliptical galaxies are huge and almost always reddish. Spiral galaxies are less huge but still large and almost always bluish. Galaxies that are small are almost never round and certainly not green. By July, 2008, the Zooites had found enough of these galaxies they were now calling Green Peas-their slogan, Give Peas a Chance!-that astronomers were getting seriously interested. So astronomers did what they always do with a new project, they gave it to a graduate student, this one named Carie."


I Am Wistful For Things I Never Even Liked

Portrait of a changing America: "As the beer can nears its 75th birthday in January, many hobbyists are crying in their brew over their inability to lure young people to a pastime that hooked many of them when they were youngsters in the 1970s. 'We'd ride bikes to each other's houses and start trading cans,' says Dan Baker, 47, an Illinois collector who started when he was 10. 'That's what all the kids did back then.'"

There's something kind of sad about this article. I was thinking about ships in a bottle the other day: Do people still make those? I wonder what we're losing in this new [...]