iPod mini — Minimally Minimal

My first job after college was at an Apple Retail store in San Diego. The first launch event I was a part of was the iPod mini launch. Andrew Kim takes a look at what he feels is one of Apple’s most timeless designs. Knowing that the iPod mini will be 10 years old this year really puts into perspective how well its design has aged.

Why Beats Music Matters

Federico Vittici over at Macstories has a great write up on Beats Music, the new streaming music service from Beats Audio. I’ve been an Rdio user since 2011 and while I love the service, Beats brings some new features. I really love the curated playlists in Beats Music. They have people on staff making specialized playlists and they also partner with 3rd parties such as KROQ to make playlists that cater to specific listeners.

New users can try it free for 7 days or if you’re an AT&T user, up to 3 months. Check it out here.

★ Thank You Crosby

“You want to check out this place in Santa Ana?”
My old roommate asked me this question on a random weeknight. Santa Ana? Really? During college, it was frequently joked that Santa Ana was where Irvine PD took homeless people to keep Irvine looking “suburban”. I had nothing better to do so I tagged along.

Mike told me that one of his buddies had friends that were opening up this bar/lounge in Santa Ana. My expectations were low so once I walked into The Crosby, I didn’t know what to think. It was as if I was transported to somewhere other than Orange County. There were old 80’s boom boxes on the walls. There was music playing. No DJ (yet) but really good, background music you could bob your head to. They served food and had beer and wine (no liquor license yet). I got the cheapest thing on the menu, The Starving Artist, and was pleasantly surprised when they had Chimay on tap for $6.

I knew this place was different when I took that first bite out of the sandwich. I said, “Oh shit” out loud. When I have good food, I’ll raise my eyebrows or nod my head in approval. I rarely use profanity out loud unless the food is that good. The Starving Artist is chef Aron Habinger’s take on the grilled cheese. And it was $5. We left that night and thought, “We’re coming back again.”

This was the beginning of my love for The Crosby. We kept going back and in February 2009, I moved to Santa Ana in an apartment two blocks away from The Crosby. I loved that I was walking distance from The Crosby, Memphis and other great bars and restaurants in Downtown Santa Ana. I loved to show this side of Orange County to people who thought it was nothing but suburbs and conservatives.

Around the same time, DJ Rhettmatic and planbb started their infamous Shift residency on Thursday nights. This changed everything. As if we didn’t have plenty of reasons to go, Shift on Thursdays always gave us something to do on Thursdays. My friends and I had it down to a routine. At around 8, Nino and I would walk to CVS to restock our fridge. By 9 we had our first drinks made and started getting ready. By 10, friends would come over and have a few drinks and by 11, we were walking the two blocks to The Crosby to enjoy the rest of the night. We did this for almost every Shift and for countless other Fridays and Saturdays from 2009 until Nino and I moved out in 2011.

The Crosby was more than a restaurant, bar or lounge. You could argue that it single handedly changed people’s opinions of Santa Ana. It was a huge reason why I moved to Santa Ana. It gave my friends a reason to visit and hang out in Santa Ana. I celebrated birthdays there. We celebrated New Year’s there. I reconnected with Mary there and threw her first surprise birthday there. I’ve bought many rounds of drinks for countless friends. When I think of my late 20’s and my transition into responsible adulthood, I’ll always look back and think of my time in downtown Santa Ana and The Crosby. And I’ll be happy that I was a part of it the short time it was there.

★ Three the Hard Way

“All of these restrictions are because [the city] doesn’t know us or our concept,” Alfaro believes, “so that’s their way of making sure we don’t create this crazy nightclub where people get stabbed every night.”

An eerie premonition from The Crosby co-founder Chris Alfaro in a 2007 interview in The OC Weekly. A few weeks have passed since Kim Pham was murdered. Two weeks after her murder, The Crosby closed its doors forever. The reason why is still unknown but I have a feeling the City of Santa Ana might have something to do with it.

If you’ve never known the full history behind The Crosby, this is a great read.

The New Dark Sky

Dark Sky is my weather app of choice. Known for their frighteningly accurate rain forecasts, they redesigned their app to include same day and 7 day forecasts. It was hard to justify $4 for a weather app that only predicted rain, I can easily recommend this app as your only weather app.

Download Dark Sky in the App Store.

Announcements

I’d like to take a moment and share a few new things about this site.

First, there is a new Portfolio section showcasing a few of the sites I’ve worked on. I’ve added this new section because I’m adding website design and creation to my list of services. I am now available for hire to create a new website for your business or update an existing website. If you’re in need of a new website, let’s chat.

And second, I’m testing out another feature on this site. Squarespace recently launched e-commerce tools that are available to all users of its service. I also have a few gadgets that I’d like to find new homes for. I’ve decided to set up a sort of Internet garage sale where I post items of mine that I no longer use and post them on my site for sale. This goes hand in hand with the previous point: if a client wants to sell goods from their site, I should be able to set this up for them. You also get the benefit of potentially coming up with slightly used gadget. You can view items I have for sale here.

Facebook Paper

Yesterday, Facebook released a new app called Paper. It’s a new way to view your News Feed. It presents photos your friends take in a beautiful way. It also takes advantage of innovative gestures to scroll through your feed. You can also add other sources of news to your feed including top headlines, tech news and sports. It already has replaced the original Facebook app on my home screen. 

Paper is available for free on the App Store. 

Apple – Thirty Years of Mac

The Macintosh turned 30 years old last week. Apple has a great retrospective on their site. It’s amazing how far it has come. It’s also amazing how little has changed in 30 years. “File Edit View” on the menu bar on ALL computers today originated on the Macintosh.