New York Shitty Street Seating du Jour: 42 Days Later

This one’s for you, Bob.

Miss Heather

Much Ado About the Gowanus Lounge

January 3, 2010 ·
Filed under: Area 51 

GLscreencap

It has been brought to my attention that there has been much speculation about what happened to the Gowanus Lounge. Ben Muessig of Gothamist writes:

Less than a year after the death of blogger Bob Guskind, someone has apparently acquired his acclaimed Gowanus Lounge website and changed its focus. Sources close to the deal told Gothamist that Guskind’s wife was approached by a company interested in paying $7,500 to purchase the domain where the journalist once detailed Brooklyn development and neighborhood minutia…

I have a creeping suspicion who the aforementioned “source” is. It is none other than yours truly. It is in the interest of staving off even more speculation that I am writing this post. Last December my husband, who is the admin for the Gowanus Lounge, was contacted by a gentleman who was interested in purchasing the site: url, content, everything. My husband forwarded this offer to Bob’s widow, Olivia, as it is her property.

After much discussion, soliciting of advice and tough choices a compromise was reached: the url would be sold, but Bob’s work would be migrated to a different site: www.bobguskind.com. This has been done. I will not disclose what was paid for the Gowanus Lounge’s url. This is because it nobody’s business but Olivia’s and the purchaser’s. I will point out, however, that Olivia offered my husband and I a portion of the proceeds as way of saying “thanks”. We turned it down. As far as we are concerned it was the least we could do for a good friend. I hope this clears up any confusion.

Miss Heather

Gratitude

September 10, 2009 ·
Filed under: 11211, Brooklyn, Greenpoint, New York City, Plagiarism, Williamsburg 

I rarely give shout-outs to blogs for the simple reason I do not have the time. After I have completed my posts, sift through the detritus in my inbox and surfed the webs I call it quits. Today I am going to make an exception. Brooklyn11211 writes in a post entitled Behold the Power of the Interwebs:

Brooklyn11211

I can independently verify Einstein’s theory of relativity. That doesn’t mean I should call it my own. The Post has no more right to its “exclusive” based on its own verification of a blog post.

You’re making a very dangerous proposition 11211. You are making the argument that “neighborhood bloggers” (the ghetto print establishment likes to relegate the likes of me and you) and journalists are equals. We’re not. Mr. Ginsberg’s missive makes this all too clear:

Post policy prevented me from crediting you in print. Allow me to do so now. You did a fantastic reporting job. All I had to do was follow your steps (and make a few extra phone calls).

I won’t discuss at length the policy of not crediting blogs (or anyone else). I’ll just briefly explain that as long as we can independently verify every bit of info, we don’t credit…

Looking forward to amplifying more of your good work in the future.

The truly nauseating thing about Mr. Ginsberg’s comment is he thought he was being nice— and that I should be somehow beholden to him for “amplifying” my scoop. I am not grateful. I am pissed off. And no amount of crying “Post policy” is going to change this. If anything, it is a clear indication of a lack of moral/ethical fiber on his part. But I suppose that comes with the territory.

Needless to say when I read Suzi Halpin’s defense of her employer I damned near had an aneurysm:

The New York Post credits blogs, bloggers, and other media all the time, as our readers know.

Except when when your readers don’t know— because your employer, the New York Post, doesn’t cite them. Which is often. Here are a few examples to refresh your memory Ms. Halpin.

fathergiorgiotriangle

September 14, 2008: I wrote a post about how the plaque at Father Giorgio Square was stolen. I happened to walk by when the police were taking a report. There was no way the institution you represent would have known about it save my blog. I published it on a Sunday. The next day Murdoch’s flunkies were on it like flies on shit. They even called the Brooklyn Kitchen to ask about their stolen tree. Is this your idea of reporting? Stolen trees?

103normanavegillespie

May 4, 2009: I get a tip about strange graffiti in Greenpoint. I post it. My readers decipher ityet it was a New York Post “exclusive”. I take up the matter and get what can be best described as a semi-literate and crazed email from its author: John Doyle. If the previous is an indication of what it takes to be a reporter, god help us all.

lets-take-mccarren-park

May 18, 2009: I wrote a post about a flier I found at McCarren Park decrying the noise made ice cream trucks. Reuven Fenton and his homeboy were on the scene the next day. I know this because a reader and contributor of mine bumped into them:

I was just finishing my run in McCarren Park when I saw a guy sporting two fancy cameras talking to another guy near the pool.  Being a sucker for men with big lenses, I ventured over to see what they were up to and it turns out they were from the Post covering a story on ice cream trucks disturbing the neighbors of McCarren Park.  I mentioned NYshitty covering the story and I asked them where they heard about this story and they said Curbed and Gothamist. Hmmm… no new york shitty? The dudes names were Reuben and Paul, wait isn’t that like Pee Wee?

I called them on it. And your publication gave me a crumby quote in return. Removed from context and not linked to despite my creation of a mirror site: www.thatgreenpointblog.com.

It was at this point I began to understand that the paper you represent depends on people like me for their livelihood.

Which brings me to your institution’s latest act of plagiarism.

117s3st

August 19, 2009: I wrote a post about “Cutting Edge Fitness” at the behest of a tipster.

It took awhile for the Post, the publication you represent, to get around to it, but lift it they did!

August 31, 2009

GYMRAT

Quite frankly, I was disappointed it took almost two full weeks for your employer to rip off this one, Suzi. I’m not a patient person. Thankfully I was engaged in other things and Alex Ginsberg saw fit to post this comment on my blog:

Post policy prevented me from crediting you in print. Allow me to do so now. You did a fantastic reporting job. All I had to do was follow your steps (and make a few extra phone calls).

I won’t discuss at length the policy of not crediting blogs (or anyone else). I’ll just briefly explain that as long as we can independently verify every bit of info, we don’t credit.

You will find that the Daily News observes the same policy, but the Times does not. (They often write an explanatory phrase like, ‘The investigation into Mr. Spitzer was first reported in the New York Post.’ That’s not a real one. I just made it up. Although I would note that another Times policy would prevent them from actually printing the name of your blog, presenting them with an unresolvable conflict between two inflexible rules.)

Looking forward to “amplifying” more of your good work in the future.

Alex

I wrote a blog post about it. And you have been hired to explain it away. There is no explanation: it is plagiarism, plain and simple.

To drive the point home (because it is all too clear Mr. Ginsberg, you and your employer is too “thick” or arrogant to “get it”) here are a few more examples:

2009_01_future-of-coney-copyGL

Gowanus Lounge, January 13, 2009:

This is yesterday’s news, because we ran the story on Curbed early yesterday morning, and we’re sure some of the papers are going to be “discovering” the story and having some fun with it today, but The Future of Coney Island website URL was acquired by a Belgian porn entrepreneur. (The Post’s Rich Calder predictably reports the story as though he discovered it without crediting Curbed for breaking the news.)

spaceinavaders

POSTED May 18, 2009

bulletspaceEVGRIEVE

May 12, 2009: EV Grieve posted this. Your reporter’s “scoop” is pretty much verbatim regurgitation of EV Grieve’s work.

May 28, 2009: the New York Post, your employer, posted this:

HOSTEL

Vanishing New York, reported about this as early as May 19,2009. What’s more he (she?) kept at it.

I have just cited seven examples where the New York Post, your employer, has blatantly lifted material from blogs without citing them, Suzi. If you need more I’ll gladly tender them to you.

I understand that you are in a very tenuous position, Suzi. The print media, New York Post included, has not adapted to the reality of online media. I suspect this is why your employer, Rupert Murdoch, is waging war on Google. When defeated the entitled try to change the rules:

Mr Murdoch, the chief executive of News Corp, was among the first to hit out at Google, one of the biggest aggregators through its Google News service.

“Should we be allowing Google to steal our copyrights? If you have a brand like the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal, you don’t have to.” Robert Thomson, the managing editor of the Wall Street Journal which is owned by News Corp, went further in his attack. “There is a collective consciousness among content creators that they are bearing the costs and that others are reaping some of the revenues. “There is no doubt that certain websites are best described as parasites or tech tapeworms in the intestines of the internet,” said Mr Thomson.

I find this ironic given the worst plagiarists I have dealt with to date, as a “blogger” (and by Murdoch’s definition a “parasite” or “tapeworm”) are New York Post reporters. Could you please clarify how your employer is any different from than various and sundry parasites who troll the webs and claim my content (as well as the above-listed as their own), Ms. Halpin?

To take Brooklyn11211’s more nuanced approach: if I can verify via “independent sources” that your employer, Rupert Murdoch, is an unscrupulous shitbag who is doing everything in his power to bully independent media, plagiarizes my blog and others— constantly, spouts right-wing bullshit and wants to suppress free speech do I need to cite him? I eagerly wait your answer to this question, Suzi Halpin.

Given the number of stories your publication has lifted from my blog I have ample credentials to be a “reporter” for crap rag you call the New York Post.

HIRE ME.

Oh wait— I have ethics.

Miss Heather

P.S.: Here’s a (working) honor roll of blogs, big and small, who have found Mr. Ginsberg’s/New York Post’s conduct objectionable:

THIS WEEK: Robert Guskind’s Memorial Service

March 29, 2009 ·
Filed under: Park Slope 

bobthumbAlthough I have already made mention of this event on New York Shitty I feel compelled to follow up with an update. Here it goes.

Thanks to the tremendous outpouring of time and money from Nicole Davis of Brooklyn Based, Jake Dobkin of Gothamist, Lockhart Steele of Curbed, Jonathan Butler of Brownstoner, Susan Fox of Park Slope Parents, Norman Oder of The Atlantic Yards Report and many others too numerous to list here it is shaping up to be a lovely memorial service. Among the things you can expect at this celebration of Bob’s life and work are:

  1. a running slide show of photographs from The Gowanus Lounge (including a fine selection of “Street Couches”!)
  2. video footage of Bob from his numerous online and television appearances and
  3. a roster of keynote speakers including— but not limited to— Jake Dobkin, Lockhart Steele, Norman Oder and yours truly.

To clear up any confusion as to how to RSVP for this event you need only point and click your way over to the evite page we have erected for just this purpose. Be sure to indicate how many people will be in your party and if you care to speak.

Robert Guskind’s Memorial Service
April 4, 2009 2:00 – 5:00 p.m.
The Brooklyn Lyceum
227 4th Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11215

Hope to see you there!

Miss Heather

Gowanus Lounge Obituary

March 11, 2009 ·
Filed under: Area 51 

bobthumbnailAfter putting our collective heads together we— the close friends and family of Bob Guskind— have finally completed the obituary to be posted on his site, The Gowanus Lounge. Given the number of people involved in its creation the process took a little longer than all of us probably would have liked. Thankfully our patience and persistence were well rewarded; each of us came away from proofing the final draft satisfied we had created the very best obituary we (and possibly anyone) could.

I would like it to be known I did not contribute much in the way of content. My role was more that of an editor and/or adviser. My rationale for acting in this capacity is that I did not (and still do not) feel I can adequately put together the words to best express my feelings and thoughts about Bob Guskind’s death just yet. Thankfully one of Bob’s oldest friends, Marc, was up to the challenge; he did a smash-up job of both composing a great deal of this tome and coordinating feedback from the rest of us.

In all likelihood I will express my thoughts about Bob Guskind’s passing (and the big shoes he has left us to fill) at his upcoming memorial service (which, by the way, we have started to organize). This feels “right” to me. It’s been my life experience that these things take time to understand, much less to articulate. And as strange as it may sound the act of putting this post together was very therapeutic. Not only did it help us— Bob’s friends and loved ones— get to know each other better but it also helped us to heal. As we discussed how Bob impacted our lives we even had a much needed laugh (or two). I know this would make him happy.

But enough about us. Without further ado here is the obit for Bob Guskind as posted on the Gowanus Lounge. It is my sincerest wish that you (and if you’re listening Bob 😉 enjoy reading this heartfelt tribute to his life as much as we enjoyed composing it.

Miss Heather

Disambiguation & Gratitude

March 7, 2009 ·
Filed under: Area 51 

peace

First off, I would like to thank everyone who has tendered their thoughts via comments here, the Gowanus Lounge and via email. Frankly I was overwhelmed by the response. I suppose I shouldn’t have been: Bob’s dedication and hard work were an inspiration to many, myself included. For those of you who reached out to me I want to tender my heart felt gratitude and sincerest thanks. To those of you I have not replied to (yet) my silence should not be construed personally. The last few days have been very been hard ones. I simply needed time to sort through my feelings. I guess you could call it grieving.

The previous having been said I would like to make a long overdue clarification regarding this post:

With great sadness, a few of Bob’s friends, who were given access to his site, will try to update Gowanus Lounge with:

1) An obituary and other links

2) An announcement of a memorial service…

In keeping with his wife’s wishes (amidst all the hype, gossip and rumor-mongering it seems to have been forgotten that she is the one who has been most impacted by his passing. She has and will continue to have a heavy cross to bear.) Bob’s funeral service will be a small affair limited to close friends and family. When my colleague wrote the previous it was not intended to intimate that the funeral was going to be an open affair but I suspect it was taken as such. I am not trying to lay blame here; we have all been under a lot of stress and such missteps/ambiguities can and should be expected. We are doing the best we can to both cope with our grief and ensure that Bob’s wishes are faithfully observed.

The previous having been said, I do not want to suggest that a “memorial service” (or wake) is not in order. It is. To this end myself and a number of his close friends are going to organize a tasteful forum where people who knew him, people he has inspired, in short; people whose lives were affected by Bob can have their say. This effort is in its infancy but as the arrangements— “a plan” if you will— become more concrete I will relay the details both here and via the Gowanus Lounge. In the meantime I will be reaching out to people I know Bob respected both as professional colleagues and friends. People he would have wanted to be key note speakers at just such an event.

The fate/future of the Gowanus Lounge

After reeling from the initial shock (and, in my case, reading some of the rumors abounding on the Internet) the Mister and I agreed it should be brought back online as soon as the caprice and/or ineptitude of Lunar Pages, the Gowanus Lounge’s host, could and would permit. It is still experiencing problems and will be offline for awhile so my husband can conduct some much-needed trouble-shooting. A number of people close to Bob— including his wife— felt that it should remain online as a living memorial to his work. The Mister is working very hard to make this happen, e.g.; pulling late nights and working many an early morning. We will also do everything in our power to preserve his photographs on Flickr and wonderful YouTube footage. At the moment we are circumscribed from doing so but in due time it will happen.

In closing I want to thank again all of you who have tendered your kind thoughts and have volunteered to help organizing an event to celebrate the life and work of Robert Guskind. Wherever he is he now (as an agnostic the previous is an example of the  type of schmaltz I ordinarily revile and yet feel compelled to write here. Go figure.) he is undoubtedly very touched— and perhaps a wee bit surprised: he had always underestimated the impact he had on others— be it personally, professionally and otherwise. I cannot help but suspect he is smiling down upon us now.

Thank you again.

Miss Heather

Dedicated To A Good Friend

March 5, 2009 ·
Filed under: Area 51 

Today’s offerings on New York Shitty will be limited to the following film.

bob

Goodbye.

Miss Heather

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