I’m a hacker/artist/attorney/writer/beekeeper/cook living in Brooklyn, New York. I founded the first legal occasional restaurant in NYC, was Art Director for the 2012 MIT Mystery Hunt, and ran my own law firm for years before moving into full-time software development. When I was a kid, I wanted to grow up to live in a library [in a lighthouse] and spend my time learning and problem-solving, and minus the lighthouse, that’s pretty much what my grown-up life has become!
I’m currently a software engineer at Case Commons, where I get to write code that helps improve kids’ lives. Life is grand!
My most popular personal projects have been my accidental limerick detector (Nantucket) and my gender-swapping Chrome extension (Jailbreak the Patriarchy). You can check out more of my code on GitHub, of course – I’m pretty strongly devoted to contributing to open source software. And I’m proud to have been a part of Hacker School batch.
In 2005, I got it into my head that I wanted to keep bees. (And not let them get away! Yes, yes.) Of course, beekeeping was illegal in NYC at the time. What to do? I found a fellow to give me some hands-on experience with his hives, did my due diligence and research, and set about working to change the law. When beekeeping was finally legalized in New York in 2010, I promptly went out and ordered three pounds of bees.
Now that I can do it on the up-and-up, I’m the resident beekeeper on the roof of the East Midwood Jewish Center.
You can read about my ongoing beekeeping adventures here.
sketching and illustration
I take a sketchbook, pen, and waterbrush everywhere I go. I volunteered as Art Director and did all the illustration for the 2012 MIT Mystery Hunt, try to keep my illustration portfolio relatively up-to-date, and my ongoing sketching updates are available here.
glass art jewelry
I create one-of-a-kind lampwork jewelry from molten glass at my torch, often set with hammered silver or semi-precious stones. I blog about my glass work here, and once in a rare while actually put things up on Etsy for sale. I like creating more than I like selling, though, so I tend to have a good stash of beautiful things all over the apartment.
When it comes to law, my passion has always been for criminal defense. This mention no longer constitutes attorney advertising, because although I ran my own firm for about 5 years after leaving my Criminal Court clerkship, I’m no longer actively practicing law or taking on clients. I am, however, still on the Hearing Officer committee at the Park Slope Food Co-op.
I find it immensely satisfying to do pro bono work for good organizations. Places I’ve volunteered with include LeGaL, the Mass Defense Committee of the National Lawyers Guild, InMotion, the Family Center, East Midwood Jewish Center, the Bowery Mission, and St. Joseph’s Soup Kitchen, among other places. All great experiences, and I can’t recommend jumping in and helping them out strongly enough!
In 2008-9, my partner and I were chefs/owners of Jack: an occasional restaurant, where we served 5-8 course tasting meals every month over at the Brooklyn Lyceum. (You can read reviews of the restaurant here. Jack was also mentioned in Edible Brooklyn and in Tribes by Seth Godin.)
I’ve occasionally catered events, with past clients including the Fresh Fruit Festival and SalonCon. I’ve taught private cooking lessons, and I won Best Savory Pie at 1st Annual Brooklyn Pie Bake-Off. The closest I’ve come to baking a wedding cake was making 300 wedding cupcakes for a friend, but hey, you never know.
I provided the tiny vials of honey and wrote the introduction for Amal El-Mohtar’s The Honey Month.
I also spin fire.