I discovered Gothamist about a year ago. I had heard about it before, but I never really checked it out. And discovering this particular Web site was different. I actually remember doing it. I had become totally annoyed with blogging, and completely frustrated with blogs in general. I was in search of a decent, non-NYT, non-major corporation, local Web site. I wanted to find one about New York City, New Yorkers, and our local news. So, I visited Gothamist, added it to my RSS, and the rest was history. I’ve been hooked ever since.
Back up a minute. I can’t tell you how annoying it is moving from a small town like State College, Pennsyltuckey, to a big city like New York City. In State College, when something goes wrong, it makes the news. If someone gets shot, stabbed, or hit by a car, it makes the news. If someone falls out a window or jumps out of a moving car, it makes news. You’re never left wondering, “What the hell ever happened to that person?” The news reports on it. That’s life in a small town.
In New York City, there is obviously lot more news because New Yorkers are slightly deranged and create a lot of it. The big corporations are left trying to figure out what to cover. In the end, they pick out only a few stories. I’m not sure how the NYT, The Post, or The Daily News figures out what they’re going to report. But they barely graze the surface most of the time. I find it frustrating. Sometimes I want to know why the L Train is being evacuated on a Monday morning and I want a follow-up after all the speculation settles. Sometimes I want to see close up street shots of a fire in Greenpoint and figure out if someone I know lives there. Unfortunately, a lot of the larger corporations become too big for their own good. They shoot photos from helicopters, they interview top officials instead of those of us who live here, work here, and walk here. Sometimes, the bigger the corporation the more they forget about the little guys, and who their audience is at all.
That’s why I love Gothamist. They fill that HUGE, open space between a one-person blog and the plethora of massive news organizations. They employ local voices and writers. They accept (and read) email from their readers, which helps everyone out when something eventful is taking place. And, nine times out of ten, they’re the first to know about something. And if the writers of Gothamist don’t have the answer, a commenter certainly will. Gothamist gives New Yorkers a voice again. We the people matter again. And news stories don’t fall by the wayside.
Last night Tobyjoe and I attended the Gothamist holiday party. It was held at Cronkite Pizzeria and Wine Bar. If you’re a fan of the owner’s Williamsburg based restaurant, Fornino (an absolute favorite of Toby Joe’s and mine), you’ll love Cronkite.
The party started at 7 PM. Normally, I try and arrive a little late because I have this freakish phobia about entering public places but I was worried it might be a sit down dinner so we arrived a mere 8 minutes late. We were some of the first people there.
Jen, whom I’ve wanted to meet for a long time, greeted us immediately, armed with a smile. We’ve exchanged emails here and there, but I’ve never actually met her. She was warm and friendly in spite of being a little under the weather.
I also met Jake (shown above) who made me blush and I’m not a blusher. I met Tien (shown above) whose cats I have admired on Flickr for a long, long time. (Seriously, look at this little guy! And this one? Cute!) I met S.D., his wife, Jenny, Rich, Tracy (whom I’d like to link to but her blog is anonymous), and Tamara (the wine) Lover. I even met EdEx.
Have you ever been really proud of someone else’s success? That’s the way I felt for them last night. I want to see them excel even more. It’s nice when you see good things happen to good people. They deserve to quit their day jobs (if they haven’t already) and make a living keeping New Yorkers sane (relatively speaking, of course).
If Gothamist didn’t already exist, someone would have to create it.