New York City neighborhoods are often named using acronyms. For example, there’s Tribeca (Triangle Below Canal Street) and SoHo (South of Houston Street).

New on the scene is Crapensta, or the Crap Around Penn Station. When you’re in Crapensta, you’ll know it.

Check out Crapensta twitter for more information about this neighborhood. They seem to have coined the term Crapensta. Brilliant. I think they should create and sell an illustrated map that helps people who live or work in Crapensta find decent places to eat or chill. It could be something whimsical along the lines of Nancy Chandler’s map of Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Buying a Used Car Seems Less Daunting

The idea of buying a used car is daunting to me. Because I live in New York, I have never bought a car. If I were going to buy one, I’d probably look for a used car, but I would have no idea how to evaluate one in a savvy manner. The whole process seems daunting.

Internet sites make the whole process seem approachable. You can search for a particular used car model by zip code, and then narrow down your search along different dimensions like mileage, number of doors, or other options. But wait, there’s more!

Some websites can then negotiate with car dealers on your behalf. In their words:

We have professional negotiators that have negotiated with hundreds of dealers. On average, we negotiate with 20 dealers for each customer. We also use proprietary tools and technologies to value cars, verify quality and decide which dealers to contact.

My friend used a site that negotiated savings for you up to 25% off the Kelley Blue Book value of the car. If you purchase the car, they take a 15% cut of any savings they’ve negotiated, giving them an incentive to negotiate larger discounts. If you decide not to purchase a car with them, there’s a minimum upfront fee of $150.

The value of RSS

Many blogs invite you to subscribe to their RSS feed. This blog is no exception — check out the orange RSS icon at the very top of every page.

Ever wondered what RSS is and what it can do for you?

Actually that’s a confusing question. It’s like asking what radio waves are, and what they can do for you. The answer is, don’t worry about radio waves. What you need to know is there’s something called a radio, which plays music broadcast by radio stations. If you like listening to radio stations, you should get a radio.

What you need to know is there’s something called a feed reader. It displays articles published by blogs. If you like reading blogs, you should get a feed reader.

I use Google Reader, which is free and web-based. There are many different feed readers to choose from, but the basic premise is the same. I’ll user Google Reader as my example.

When I find an interesting blog, I’ll subscribe to it with a couple clicks. Just scan the blog for a “subscribe” link or the orange RSS feed icon and follow the instructions to add the feed to Google Reader. Now you’re subscribed.

When I feel like reading blogs, I open up my feed reader. Google Reader display a list of your subscriptions along the left. Click on one of your subscriptions, and some recent article headlines will be displayed on the right. Click on a headline to expand the content and read the article. Some blogs transmit the entire article to your feed reader. Other blogs publish only a teaser, hoping you’ll click on the link and visit their site directly to read the rest of the article.