Place Report: Ninja Walking in Bow Market

Place Report: Ninja Walking in Bow Market

Bow Market
Bow Market

Bow Market is a scrappy exercise in placemaking.

It combines a quirky location and odd building (a former auto garage) with an ambitious business model that hopes that tiny, fledgling entrepreneurs -- food and miscellaneous -- can attract a sizable clientele. 

The kind of businesses that usually launch small: pop-up style, or at farmer's markets, or in storefronts in frontier neighborhoods -- that's the core at Bow Market. 

Bow Market's proposition to these start-up vendors: our leases are short (I think they're around six months) so you can can test an idea without a huge commitment. The square footage is also low so the rent doesn't add up as fast. 

The result is that Bow Market has a feisty mix of small start-ups, and a solid core of food-related businesses. 

Bow Market does have its challenges, starting with near zero street presence. And it's not *that* close to Union Square, where I was coming from.  

Bow Market is a destination, not something you just happen to stroll by, unless you're a regular at the local Market Basket.   

When Max and I went Bow Marketing on a winter Saturday, not too cold, it was surprisingly busy. 

I videoed a few reasons why things seemed to be clicking: 

  1. Fire pits
  2. Greenhouse-like enclosures
  3. A clear division: a food-centered first floor, with shops upstairs.

Max, meanwhile, took some artsy shots of the courtyard, and gas meters (great shadows), and an old "No Parking" sign. 

Then I made a mistake: I took a walking tour with the DJI Osmo Pocket. 

You may remember the Osmo Pocket from previous episodes -- good for skateboarding, windsurfing, yoga on the beach...

One of the secrets to the Osmo Pocket is its 3-axis gimbal, which is supposed to keep things smooth, very smooth. 

The cool idea behind a 3-axis gimbal: it allows the camera head to move independently from the person holding it. That's some technology there. 

Think about a gyroscope. That's essentially the action that's going on inside an Osmo Pocket. 

Let's look at some 3-axis gyroscopes: that will give you the idea. 

gimbal rotation


gimbal rotation



Gimbal tech gave me confidence. Too much confidence. 

Because when i took my Osmo Pocket on a trip around Bow Market, my footage looked surprisingly shaky, bouncy even.

I got home and searched the interwebs. I discovered that I needed to learn... the Ninja Walk.

You can see three Ninja Walkers describe their technique in this Bow Market video, below. You can also see the Ninja Walk-inspired videos I took after binging on YouTube.

 Not quite there yet, but smoother. 

Here's some Ninja Walking 'round Bow Market. 

After walking heel-to-toe for awhile, Ninja style, I was eager for a change.

So I tried out a Sony ZV-1.

This was a refreshing vacation from a 3-axis camera, which has a mind of its own. A 3-axis camera is always seeking the horizon.

The ZV-1, on the other hand, is a simple box of camera technology, not that far -- in form factor -- from the original Brownie. You can point that anywhere, and lock it down. 

That's what I did with the ZV-1. I took a few pictures that looked like they were weighted down with granite blocks. Felt good. 

One of my ZV-1 images is at the top of this post.  

Then I was done.

After shooting a brief video with the ZV-1, just to make sure it worked (more ZV-1 next time), I Ninja Walked out of Bow Market, heading back towards Union Square.