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Naval Gazing

May 2, 2011

Maybe I should have taken care of this self-indulgent introspection yesterday and spent today promoting the two exciting events scheduled later this month. But, like a shark, we must keep swimming forward.

Today is the first day of the third year of the FUSSYlittleBLOG. Last year at this time I had a plan for year two. It was a good plan. But nothing ever came of it. And I’m not about to launch off into another speculative venture about what might be in store for the next 364 days.

But I’m very excited for year three. There have been a few things that have happened over the past several months that I think have brought a whole new dimension to this project, and I hope you are as eager as I am to see where this goes from here.

For those who may not have noticed, or who haven’t been reading since Day 1, here’s a bit of a recap of the past two years.

The FLB really started as an extension of my Yelping the Capital Region. I had left my job in San Francisco and made the move to Albany. The food here was different, but I was convinced there was good stuff in the area, and it was just a matter of finding it.

Yes, there were some great places we found early. And there are other places with promise that I still haven’t been. But I also found that there were many well-regarded restaurants that left a lot to be desired. And some of these couldn’t be addressed with a Yelp review, because there were things about the menu that were so wrong I couldn’t bring myself to even walk through the door.

That, in addition to Yelp walking away from supporting Elites in small markets in 2009, led me to start my own thing. Well, I guess there was one more factor. I sat down and figured out what I really wanted to do. Ultimately, that was to improve the state of food in Albany. And setting my compass to that goal, I set off writing.

I was very pleased at the launch of the blog.

From the start there was an active community of commenters. But I think there was also a lot more negativity. And to be honest, it took me a few years to like living in Berkeley too. Some people just jump right into their new communities with all kinds of positivity. It takes me a little longer.

This past fall was the first time the FLB really came alive with the Tour de Donut, turning words on a screen into real world experiences with readers. Since then there has been the Tour de Hot Dog and the Tour de Soft Serve. If you haven’t made it out to one of these events, you are missing out. Each one brings new surprises and a new batch of readers out into the field to try some of the best things in the region. They never cease to be eye-opening experiences, and I expect these will continue to happen every few months or so.

This past winter marked a big turning point as well, with an end-of-the-year post I wrote while down on the farm in Pennsylvania, Flecks of Gold


I had no idea when I was writing this that it would have any impact at all. Really it felt like one of those end-of-the-year vacation throwaway posts where I did a little recap of stuff instead of writing something meaningful. But after the fact I learned that it was what brought Sue in as a reader, and it directly influenced All Over Albany’s decision to ask me to take over the Eat This! feature on their site.

Now because of that I have a much broader platform to write about a few of the more delicious things around the Capital Region. And it’s refreshing to get thank you notes instead of hate mail. But ultimately I think my end goal of improving the food of Albany requires both carrots and sticks. And I’ve got a thick enough skin to deal with the personal attacks.

But my involvement with AOA doesn’t just provide me with a louder voice in the community. It has also encouraged me to do things I had been meaning to do, yet somehow never got around to doing. Like going to Adventure in Food Trading or sampling more of our local wines. The side benefit of these posts is that they are bringing me closer to the people on the front lines of food in the region, like Chef Kevin Everleth. I got to have a spirited conversation with chef Kevin at the AOA birthday party, and I hope to continue it and check back in with him before too long.

This past year has been marked with similar interactions that are further connecting me with food businesses. I sat down with John Stage at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, spoke with executive chef Daniel Barash at Moe’s, had a quick conversation with the meat manager of the Honest Weight Food Co-op, and apparently can now count the Governor’s executive chef as a fan.

Just the other day, I noticed On the Farm had a sign in the window with quotes from the Tour de Soft Serve.

None of these in and of itself is all that significant, but together they start to paint a picture. And while I’m not sure what that picture is, it feels like it’s headed in the right direction.

Thank you all for your ongoing support, readership, input, inspiration and participation. I may have a lot to say, and it might be attracting some outside attention, but the FUSSYlittleBLOG continues to exist day after day because of you. Seriously, thank you.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. May 2, 2011 11:06 am

    Keep it going! With this kind of momentum, you can only get better and better!

  2. May 2, 2011 12:46 pm

    I got excited and thought this was going to be about sailors.

  3. Sarah M. permalink
    May 2, 2011 2:31 pm

    Viva la Fuss!

  4. Jessica R permalink
    May 3, 2011 3:24 pm

    FYI – Peter Pause also has the “Eat This!” column on their wall. :-)

    You forgot to add two more of your bigger projects – The letter to area chefs and (of course) the FUSSYlittleBALLOT!

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