The Attack of The Blogs

This is a quick survey of Blogs that are written by, or for, folks in our neck of the woods. Some blogs (web + log) may start out as shared on-line diaries bursting with ideas and content, only to peter out as the muse is lost. The blogs here are more focused, however. That’s not to say they will be around forever. Or even for a few months. A number of blogs I used to follow have either folded or stopped adding content. Among them are Eli Kramer’s “Brooklyn Junction”, the Kensington blog (silent for four months) and Flatbush Vegan (moved on to “less greener pastures”). So in another year, this list may be as outdated as VHS tapes.

City Pragmatist
Argyle Road’s favorite son, Alvin Berk, has a wonderful new site that invites discussion on our local governance. While politics can get heated, here the flame simmers at a low level, with the light generated by thoughtful reporting about our civic landscape; no demagoguery or hotheads allowed, thank you very much.

Ditmas Park Blog

All Victorian Flatbush, all the time. Sign up on the home page by entering your e-mail address and get a daily summary of the past 24 hours of posts. Until the Post, the News or the Times opens a Flatbush Bureau, this is as close as you’re going to get to an almost real-time update on what’s going down in these parts.

Flatbush Gardener
If you have a green thumb (or wish you did), this blog’s for you – beautiful lay-out and photos. Xris doesn’t just write about botany, though. He will often post local stories of interest (like the recent sale of the Loew’s Kings) and his slide shows of holiday lights are always a treat. Also a fantastic list of other Brooklyn and gardening links.
Deep In The Heart of Brooklyn
Brooklyn day to day with politics and lots of music.

Only The Blog Knows Brooklyn

The Comic Book Guy on “The Simpsons” summed it all up for me when he said: “The best name for a Brooklyn blog ever.” The daily pictures are great and you’re bound to find some excerpt from local bloggers that you’ll want to peruse. (Author also does fabulously funny "Smart Mom" column in Brooklyn Paper.)

Flatbush NYC

A resident of Flatbush Gardens (what used to be the Vanderveer Projects when I hung out there as a kid) shares his droll adventures with spelling-challenged management.

70 Precinct Community Council

Meeting minutes, useful phone list, schedule of next get-togethers and press of interest.

Times City Room Blog

I know what you’re thinking – how could this be considered a blog? Well, I don’t care what you call it - it’s got great features and links (including a lot of the blogs I list here). Sadly, by the time you read this, it might not be free any more, unless you have a Times subscription.

Well, that’s enough to get you started. While compiling this list I spent hours wandering around links embedded in these blogs and found a dozen or more sites of interest, particularly some devoted to old or forgotten Brooklyn streets, trains, celebrities and photos, which for some reason I can’t resist.

The most spectacular site for history buffs is the City’s map page, where they have added aerial photographs of the entire City from 1924: Once at the site, simply click on the camera icon at the top and slide the view from 2008 to 2006 to 1924. In 1924 at the highest magnification, you can see the Glenwood Road bridge, the lack of any structures along stretches of Coney Island Avenue, and a lot of vacant land between Newkirk Avenue and Dorchester Road. Also, the land upon which Brooklyn College would stand was still being cleared, the LIRR freight line looked a lot busier (there was a station and a rail yard at the Junction) and a lot of other interesting sights. Plan on dawdling there for a good hour before resuming your blog quest.

Hopefully by the time I retire the Internet will not have morphed into some sort of FaceBook juke box where our constant updates are sung to each other by Youtube avatars at some astronomical cost, because I’d really like to spend some quality time giving all these sites the time they deserve.

Joe Enright

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