Gizmodo loves documenting its hi-tech or oddball adventures, and 2014 happened to be a year chock-full of them. Whether we were tagging along with King's Distillery to turn Coca-Cola into whiskey or journeying deep underground into the 2nd Ave subway tunnel, Gizmodo always had its camera ready. Here are the best original photo and video posts on Gizmodo and Reframe from 2014.
Last week, as New York City suffered through blistering cold temperatures, 43 street artists were secretly painting three entire floors of a soon-to-be-demolished apartment building. We got to visit during an exclusive, two-hour show on Friday night.
In Greenpoint, Brooklyn, the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant borders Newtown Creek and Long Island City to its North. The facility opened in 1967 and, since then, has undergone several renovations and expansions—including its massive silver digester eggs—to accommodate NYC's constant growth and evolution.
Oh and in case I wasn't completely clear: It's entirely full of shit.
You probably don't realize it, but, at any given hour on any given day, a small yet incredibly sophisticated train armed with cameras, lasers, and ultrasound equipment is sliding around New York City's subway system inspecting the tracks. It looks a little bit like Optimus Prime, and, like the good Transformers, it's there to keep you safe.
The only two options that freight trains have for accessing the east side of the Hudson River are to cross a bridge in Albany—140 painstaking miles North of New York City—or to ride a rail barge across the Hudson through the highly efficient marine-rail operation run by NYNJ Rail in Jersey City.
As Hurricane Sandy revealed almost two years ago, New York's 100-year-old subway is not a modern and robust system. In fact, compared to other cities, it's downright dirty, unpredictable and technologically behind. But the Metro Transit Authority is currently dragging it into the future—and I got the chance to go behind the scenes of the MTA's mission.
Think you can only make whiskey from rye or barley? Think again. At least at Brooklyn's Kings County Distillery, they've made the spirit with some crazy components. When Gizmodo stopped by for a visit earlier this week, we spent a fascinating day with co-founder Colin Spoelman as he pulled some transubstantiating magic and turned Coca-Cola into whiskey.
This week marks the opening of the Thunderbolt, a modern roller coaster looping and corkscrewing through historic Coney Island in Brooklyn. The coaster is a towering orange lasso with 2200 feet of track, squeezed into an unbelievably narrow space. Here's our up close and personal look at NYC's latest thrill ride.
There are few names that represent a commitment to the distribution of classic films like the Criterion Collection. Since the 1980s, they have remastered and released hundreds of movies on Laserdisc, DVD and Blu-Ray. We recently visited the Criterion headquarters in New York to get a first-hand look at the meticulous restoration process that brings cinematic gems back to life.
On the west side of Manhattan, a new neighborhood is taking shape. This is Hudson Yards, a development that will turn a dreary section of Manhattan into a technologically advanced neighborhood of the future. But in order to do that, its designers are undertaking one of the most expensive and unusual engineering projects in NYC history.
New York City's new 2nd Avenue subway line is a construction project of truly monumental scale. Decades of planning and billions of dollars have led to the near-completion of Phase 1 of the tunnel running underneath Manhattan's Upper East Side. Gizmodo was lucky enough to take a tour through a section of the caverns and passages that will soon be a bustling subway line.
Inside Bell Labs almost 70 years ago, the invention that defined the 20th century was born: The transistor. On a recent sunny April day here in the present, Gizmodo had the rare opportunity to tour the historic and cutting edge facilities at Bell Labs—and get a preview of the inventions that could change this century.
Since 1994, as far as movie theaters go, the IMAX at Lincoln Center in New York City is the best there is. With films projected on an enormous 100-foot screen, any viewing experience there certainly fits the bill as "larger than life."
I went inside the projection booth to see what type of machinery makes the best-in-class experience possible.
As of last month, New York City's Sunset Park waterfront is home to the largest commingle recycling facility in the nation. After its inaugural run on opening day, the facility shut down for some final tweaks and testing before it opens full time. During this period of maintenance, Gizmodo visited the new facility for a private tour of the process that materials go through in the new location.
We've all seen the MetLife blimp, emblazoned with Snoopy, floating slowly along the NYC skyline once a year every summer. Far fewer have seen the view from inside the blimp. But this month, I was lucky enough to ride along with British-born pilot Mark Finney as he steered MetLife's 20-year-old Snoopy 1 along this exact voyage.
For the past five years, New Yorkers have enjoyed that linear green thoroughfare known as the High Line, which has been slowly extending up the West Side of Manhattan since 2009. Yesterday, the third and final phase of the park was completed, and it's both happy and sad—that a great project was seen to completion, and that the excitement of the project is over.
When you walk into the Shapeways headquarters in a sprawling New York City warehouse building, it doesn't feel like a factory. It's something different, somehow unforgettable, inevitably new. As it should be. This is one of the world's first full service 3D-printing factories, and it's not like any factory I've ever seen.
The US Army Corps of Engineers is responsible for keeping debris out of New York's Harbor, whether it's dead whales, helicopters, driftwood, or floating docks. Without the Corps the harbor and the outlying beaches of the Rockaways and the Jersey Shore would be filled with massive pieces of debris and ships would risk being critically damaged. Using specially equipped boats the Corps pulls flotsam and jetsam out of the water with cranes and nets.
Wind tunnels are amazing. These massive structures made remarkable contributions to science and engineering, and from a photographer's perspective they are simply gorgeous, dramatic spaces. A few days ago, I was lucky to explore this vintage Hungarian wind tunnel—an outstanding example of an early aerodynamic testing facility that remains active today.
The Javits Center is a 2.1 million square foot behemoth convention center located on the west side of Manhattan. It's host to some of the largest events that occur in New York City, opening its doors to two million visitors every year. And as of this spring, it's home to the largest green roof in North Eastern United States—though you'd never know it from the ground.