As a nod to St. Patrick’s Day, our second dinner was in the spirit of Ireland:

Irish Stout Granita with Raw Oysters
Guinness

Irish Cheddar Fondue With Stout and Whiskey with Buttermilk Soda Bread
Emerald

Irish Roast Salmon & Champ, Potato Yeast Rolls
COS Pithos Bianco, 2015

Guinness Pie & Creamed Kale
‘Outis’ Nessuno Etna Rosso, 2014

Ginger Stout Cake
Coole Swan Irish Cream

Chef(s): JP & Angela
Bar: Matt
Photographer: Angela

Citibike Station Data (Park Pl & 7th Ave, Brooklyn)
This is an update on my Citibike data/D3 charts experiment. The chart above represents a little over a month’s worth of Citibike station data at one station. One can kind of see a pattern here, but there’s a lot of noise.

As I watched the data for this chart fill in over the last month, I began to see the story of this station. It is, unsurprisingly, different on weekdays versus weekends or holidays. During the week, there are very few, if any bikes available at this station overnight. Between 06:00 and 09:00 in the morning, the station fills up. It usually remains that way until the evening rush, when it empties out by around 20:00. On weekends and holidays, things are a more erratic, I also suspect that the weather has a much bigger effect on the weekend.

Prior to collecting this data, my sporadic observation (usually on weeknights and weekends) led me to believe that there were rarely any bikes available at this station. When, in fact, there are large swaths of the day when this station is lousy with bikes. So, I learned something.

Unfortunately, my original vision of how this chart would work isn’t doing a great job of getting the point across. There’s too much noise. Adding filters to allow one to turn off different day types (weekday vs. weekend) might help. I had also thought about making the older data less opaque, thereby giving newer data more prominence. But, I’m not sure if that would help much. Perhaps the line chart isn’t the way to go at all. The first chart Abe Stanway uses in his analysis of Citibike weather is much cleaner and the pattern is clear.

I’m not sure what’s next for this experiment. Rather than refine this chart, I’m thinking about going in a slightly different direction. In thinking more about the story here, I want to dive into the trip data and see where all these bikes are coming from. Since central Park Slope has good Citibike coverage, but not many subway stations, I suspect that most of the trips to Park Place & 7th Avenue on weekday mornings originate from that part of the neighborhood, but I could be wrong. A lot of the data visualizations done on Citibike data have shown bike movement, so there should be plenty of examples for me to learn from.

Airport Variety Store, gone

Sadly, the little cuban place that my Dad turned me on to many years ago is now a vacant lot.

Airport Variety Store (I didn’t know the name until I looked it up today) was located across from the St. Pete/Clearwater Airport. It was known for its cuban sandwiches, but my father and I would go in for the crab roll. For those not familiar with the crab roll, it is a deviled crab sort of thing they used to keep in a little food warmer on the counter. If hot sauce that was your thing, they would jam a squeeze bottle of vinegary pepper sauce in each end and give it a generous squirt. The resulting mess was wrapped in wax paper and thrown in a paper bag. It was delicious.

Update 2017-03-06: I found a blurry picture of one of these crab rolls from back in 2009. The picture doesn’t really do it any justice, but I thought a bad picture was better than no picture at all.

Crab Roll

I’ve been wanting to gain some more proficiency in D3.js. I went through several tutorials at some point in 2016, but I really needed a project to work on. More recently, I’ve become interested in Citibike data, specifically, the patterns of available bikes at given locations. Why not graph it?

Citibike maintains a comprehensive dataset of all trip data, but does not seem to maintain a historical dataset for stations. So, I hacked together a python script1 to gather some historical data from the station near my apartment.

I’m a total D3 neophyte, so I found a sample multi-series line chart that I could use to start viewing the data I collected. I hacked another script1 to transform the data into something that would be easier to chart.

After a bit of modification to the sample chart, I got this:

A Bad Line Chart

It looks cool, but it’s really not what I was going for, and it’s pretty useless.

After some more work, I’m getting closer:

A Slightly Less Bad Chart

…but, it still needs a lot of work. Specifically, the x-axis labels are worthless. Also, I really don’t have enough data there to show what I want to show. I think I need at least 30 days as opposed to the 7 I currently have. It doesn’t help that the system was closed for a couple of those days due to winter weather.

I’ll check back in a couple weeks to see how it is shaping up.

1The scripts referenced in this post are available at github.com/jpreardon/citibike-station-status.

This inaugural dinner set the bar quite high for future hosts. For this delicious taste of Catalonia, Dario pulled out all the stops. He even purchased some Spanish style wine glasses. It was like Barcelona… in Brooklyn.

Chorizo, manchego & valdeon cheeses, and olives
Yzaguirre Blanco Reserva Vermouth Spritzer

Warm Spanish Style Giant Bean Salad and Fire Roasted Peppers with Boquerones
Avinyó Cava Reserva, 2013

Almejas con Chorizo
La Caña Alberiño, 2015

Catalan Beef Stew with Mushrooms and Patatas Bravas
Camins del Priorat, 2015

Crema Catalana
Rare Wine Co. Historic Series Charleston Special Madeira

Chef(s): Dario & Matt
Photographer: Angela