This is obviously not the only website out there about New York City. There are blogs about nearly everything in New York: apartments, arts, individual neighborhoods, specific lifestyles, food, news, there is even a blog about a particular puddle in DUMBO.
Everyone has their favorites and this, of course, is nowhere near an exhaustive list. I’m sure that as time goes by we will post other lists of blogs that will be helpful – each borough deserves its own list of must-reads and we will get to those soon. In the meantime, these are the blogs I think each person new New Yorker should explore. At the bottom I’ve embedded a bundle of these blogs, so if you use Google Reader, simply click “Subscribe” and you will automatically become a reader of each of the sites on this list!
I hear that some people out there still read newspapers (I occasionally pickup a New York Times, but mainly for a rainy Sunday morning or the crossword), and there are more than a dozen to pick on any given day in town, but I’ve found that the best source of news for the city is via Gothamist. This site is a great source for breaking news, gossip stories on celebrities doing/buying/saying craziness, city politics, subway service problems, weather, and just about anything else around the city. The site clocks in around 40 posts per day so there is always something to read up on. More than any other site I’ve found, Gothamist does the best job of getting me the information I need to get around the city and have an idea of what’s going on in local government.
Curbed is made up of a a few local sites covering real estate, design and decor for New York, Chicago, LA, San Francisco and the Hamptons. Reading the New York site is a great way to see what’s happening with various construction projects around town, news about landlord/tenant laws and of course, a gratuitous amount of apartment porn. Seeing a post about someone’s $25 million apartment with a putting green, water slide and movie theatre will simultaneously make you physically sick with envy and a bit more motivated to go to work on Monday.
A first glance at Ephemeral New York and you think it’s a generic, almost boring, site design that anyone could setup in 5 minutes. On that count, you would be right. Rather than focus on ‘flashy’ features or elaborate design, the site’s author regularly delivers incredibly well researched and written posts about days-gone-by in New York. (Think: historical photographs, vintage painted building ads, antique maps.) I love this blog because the author does a great job of researching the history of neighborhoods or landmarks and giving you perspective on life in a city that is so steeped in people’s memories. The author of the site is anonymous and there are no ads anywhere to be seen, so you know the research and writing that goes into Ephemeral New York is a labor of love.
Sometimes, you don’t need news or educational info about the city. Often, simple reminders about how beautiful and unique New York really is are exactly what a new New Yorker desires. Hello New York is maintained by soemone who doesn’t actually live in the city, but does an amazing job of finding beautiful photos of all five boroughs. Check it out and you’ll quickly be reminded of some of the iconic locations you might have forgotten, or notice the beauty in some of the more mundane things you see on a daily basis.
Kottke is technically not ‘about’ New York. Curated by Jason Kottke, a blogger who lives in the city and has maintained the site since 1998, the site is an ongoing collection of interesting links, articles, games and news. At first glance you think ‘what the hell is this site even about?’… but after reading for a few days you will come across gems that will get you hooked. Jason does occasionally post about New York-centric topics and everything in between is pure gold.
Brian Dubé posts to New York Daily Photos everyday (aptly named, huh?) and always gives you something to think about. Usually, posts consists of a couple photos of a seemingly normal subject – a graffiti wall, a sax player in a park, a dog on a stair – along with an insightful few paragraphs about the history or uniqueness of the photos’ focus or setting. This is one of the few blogs that I don’t simply scan the headlines, I make it a point to read through each post because it gives such insight into the lives of people and places you might never see. Like Hello New York, this site is mainly about capturing the soul of the city, and it does a great job at just that.
Scouting NY is one of my favorite blogs – the author is a film scout who scopes locations for movie/tv productions and shares his exploits on the site. He gets some amazing access to awesome, very unique locations (everything from old buildings to factories, schoolhouses, hospitals and castles). He posts a plethora of photos from each site and gives a great glimpse of parts into the city you might not usually see. Scouting NY is a great way to see some of the amazingly unique places around New York – check out some of the best posts here.
Swissmiss is another blog that isn’t so much ‘about’ New York as it is about ‘awesome stuff that you will probably find interesting.’ Tina Roth Eisenberg is a Swiss designer who moved to New York in 1999 and regularly posts about the world of design, websites, nifty new innovations, creativity, useful tools and just about everything else that qualifies as cool. Her blog is also a great source of info for creative events around the city, including Creative Mornings – a monthly breakfast event she started some time ago. I’ve actually had the pleasure of meeting Tina at a Creative Mornings breakfast in 2009 and she is just as gracious and sweet as she seems on her blog. Check it out, I’m certain that anyone can find something there to enjoy.
Become A New Yorker
Well, we never said we were humble. Our goal is to give you some insight on moving to New York, getting setup and then helping you explore the city. If you are wondering about something in particular, drop us a note on the About page and we’ll see what we can do.
Hopefully everyone finds these sites as interesting or helpful as I do, but again, this is definitely not a complete list. What are some other blogs that might appeal to the masses in New York? Feel free to drop us a line and share. In the meantime, if you use Google Reader, simply click the subscribe button on this feed bundle to subscribe to all the sites in this post!
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Image Credit:Philipp Klinger
About the author: Andrew Cafourek
Andrew lives in Brooklyn, and just got back from drifting around Eastern Europe for a few months. He makes stuff on the internet including Become A New Yorker, Alumni Spaces and a variety of other goodies with A022 Digital.
Andrew came to New York from the Midwest in the fall of 2008 after selling his car for $350... just enough for a one way plane ticket.