Tuesday, September 5, 2017

King of Gowanus

Canal Month has to include a tribute to the late Robert Guskind, whose blog Gowanus Lounge, which ran from 2006-2009, had a huge influence on local news coverage in Brooklyn & beyond. Guskind, a seasoned reporter who had worked for The Washington Post, brought professional skills and an open heart to Gowanus Lounge, and attracted a passionately loyal group of followers, some of whom were already involved in neighborhood blog reporting, and others who were inspired by his example to start their own blogs.  All of his readers remember his kindness, his humor, and the crazy mosaic of topics he covered. He's still missed today.  After his death, Underground Voices published a collection of his essays, King of the Baja, which it hoped would serve as an "unfinished memoir" of Guskind's earlier, pre-Brooklyn years, and his long struggle with addiction.

With the blog format now taken over by the speedier gratifications of social media, it seems almost quaint and cumbersome today.  Even on serious, widely read blogs, the number of comments on posts has dwindled considerably over the last few years.  The conversation moves too slowly for many readers.  But there are still some fine local bloggers out there, digging out stories the press has no time for, and advocating fiercely on behalf of their local turf. I admire them immensely.

The Gowanus Lounge archive was preserved online for years after Guskind's death, but recently I've had a hard time locating it. I found it briefly a year or so ago, and then it slipped my grasp.  If I find it again I'll link it here.  Here's a tribute video made by Blue Barn Pictures. It was played at Guskind's memorial.

Robert Guskind 1958-2009 from Blue Barn Pictures, Inc. on Vimeo.

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