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The 900 Posts of Dr. F

March 19, 2012

I could wait another four months and get all misty-eyed at the milestone of reaching 1,000 posts. Or I could wait just a few weeks to do the same at the third birthday of the FLB. But for some reason, 900 still feels significant enough to take a pause and reflect. And in this case I quite literally mean taking a pause, as I pushed publishing today’s post from Sunday to Monday, lest the story get lost over the St. Patrick’s Day holiday weekend.

The blog has come a long, long way from where it started off almost three years ago. Part of me is tempted to go back to some of the short pithy posts on food and wine from the early days. Occasionally I look back on those first posts, including the original Fussy Manifesto, and smile.

Today, it’s much different. Today the blog is as much a community as it is bunch of words on the screen. Today I’m keenly aware of that fact, especially coming off of this weekend’s super-top-secret cupcake tasting. The results of that tasting will be coming soon. However, I want to take this opportunity to thank just a few of the people who have helped to grow and transform the FLB.

All Over Albany
They were fans from the beginning. Greg and Mary noticed my prolific Yelp reviews and suggested that I might be the king of Yelp. They were ahead of their time, because Yelp had yet to institute their duke/dutchess king/queen scheme. I suggested that perhaps I might be an archduke, but certainly not the king. Anyway, when I started the blog, they featured it on their site, and have ever since helped me to spread the word. I continue to be thrilled to judge their Tournament of Pizza, serve as their supermarket correspondent, and write the always-positive Eat This. Greg was also a cupcake-serving and photographing machine yesterday. His efforts allowed me to nibble down a few bites of each sample while making sure everything continued to run smoothly.

Table Hopping
When it comes to food communities in the Capital Region, Steve Barnes reigns over the largest of them all. When I first started writing, I was convinced that the local newspaper was partially responsible for the sorry state of food in the area (now I realize the problem is a lot more complex). And I was especially critical of Mr. Barnes in his role as a senior editor of the Times Union’s food section. Despite this adversarial but respectful relationship, Steve has carried a link to the FLB on his blog for a long time now. A lot of traffic flows in here from his pages, and I thank him for both his support and his class. He and I may not always agree, but I never tire of talking with him about food and drink.

Mrs. Fussy
Almost every day, Mrs. Fussy reads these posts with blurry eyes and plenty of disinterest. A long time ago, when we were dating, she broke up with me because all I did was talk about food. She thought it was boring. She still thinks it’s boring, but reads the posts anyway. As a result of her tireless support, my writing is assuredly a lot more pleasant to read; the most obnoxious opinions, grammatical errors and egotistical statements are removed before they can offend you. I consider her input to be invaluable, and I hope you do too. 

Albany Jane
Hopefully Albany John doesn’t mind me calling his real wife my “work wife.” AJ and I don’t always agree either, but we have a lot of fun disagreeing about and eating food—together. The process of writing can be a bit solitary. It is something you do by yourself. But eating is actually social, and AJ is always up for an adventure (although this new job that she has is really cutting into our fun time). She is also single-handedly responsible for Little Miss Fussy’s love of red bean buns and all things Hello Kitty.

Stanford Steph
Steph feels like an old friend, because in many ways she reminds me a lot of ADS. Really, that’s mostly a combination of being smart and having a deep abiding love of Disney. Had it not been for her pushing, the FLB would never have extended beyond the screen into real-world events. It was her idea to do a Tour de Donut, so that people could have an excuse to compare a bunch of the region’s best apple cider donuts. People actually came. And everyone had a good time. So despite my resistance to planning events, the Fussy Little Tour has become a quarterly phenomenon. That spawned the Ala Shanghai dinners. And now it looks like we have a successful model for conducting blind tastings. Steph went above and beyond the call of duty for the cupcake tasting, doing some investigative journalism, and even running out to the store for additional paper plates (when I had an eleventh-hour panic resulting from my inability to do simple math).

Readers & Commenters
Honestly, I don’t think I would have been blogging this long or this frequently without the support of this active community of readers and commenters. Yes, I’ve got a lot of strong feelings about food. And yes, I’m glad to have an outlet for them. However, there is only so long that one can shout into the ether. I feel incredibly fortunate to have found a significant group of people to engage in these conversations about food, taste and quality.

Recently Darren Shupe left a comment where he said:

Let’s face it: you have around 20-30 dedicated commenters on your blog, from what I’ve observed, and we’re probably the same people who frequent the few gems in this community and keep them open – Rolf’s, the Asian market on Central, et al.

And it made me curious, so I decided to take a quick count. Over the last few weeks, I’ve had not 20-30 but over 60 different people leave comments on posts. And if we were to go back further I have no doubt that number would double and maybe even double again (if we were to back to the very start). Yes, some are more active than others. And that list changes depending on the month.

Right now the most active of the bunch are:

1)    irisira
2)    KB @ Home-Baked Happiness
3)    WrigsMac
4)    Mr. Sunshine
5)    derryX
6)    jenh718
7)    Burnt My Fingers

The funny thing is that I knew none of these people when I moved here to Albany. But thanks to the tours, tastings, dinners and other food events I’ve actually met them all. I haven’t spent as much time with irisira and WrigsMac, but I’m sure we’ll get to know each other better as the months and years march forward. Because with the support of all the above I’m good for at least another 100 (and really probably another 1,000 after that).

Thank you all.

17 Comments leave one →
  1. llcwine permalink
    March 19, 2012 9:38 am

    Count me in as a loyal reader and sometimes commenter…or is that commentator? I look forward to each of your postings, here, on Yelp and All Over Albany

  2. March 19, 2012 9:49 am

    Congrats on making it this far!

    While we don’t always agree on everything, I think we’re both interested in highlighting the quality that we find, and that’s what makes the community special.

    Keep it up, sir!

  3. Mr. Sunshine permalink
    March 19, 2012 10:32 am

    Congratulations, Daniel.

  4. March 19, 2012 10:41 am

    Congratulations Fussy Little Blog! I’m a lazy commenter, in pretty much every blogging niche, but I’m so glad that you’re here in Albany. Without you my cappuccinos would still be on the terrible side, and I would not have met several people who have become valued friends.

  5. Sarah M. permalink
    March 19, 2012 12:46 pm

    Mazel tov, DB! Keep on fighting the good fight.

  6. March 19, 2012 1:26 pm

    Congrats on the 900 milestone.

  7. March 19, 2012 1:41 pm

    Congratulations! I’m a relatively new reader, but already hooked!

  8. Darren Shupe permalink
    March 19, 2012 1:51 pm

    I’m glad to be wrong, Daniel. I didn’t mean to sound snippy – there are many smart, passionate food lovers who visit your blog, and it’s reassuring to know they’re out there. I hope to be reading your writings for many years to come, and maybe even running into you at a future egg sandwich tour or some such event…. :)

  9. March 19, 2012 3:35 pm

    Congrats on 900. This is a fun little place and it’s cool to see the impact you’ve had on the community. It was great meeting you in person this weekend, I’m certainly looking forward to your future events.

  10. March 19, 2012 3:58 pm

    Congrats on reaching 900 – quite an accomplishment! And thanks for including me in your schemes…even though I am now sick of cupcakes forever.

  11. Bob W. permalink
    March 19, 2012 4:20 pm

    Congratulations on a significant milestone, good sir.

    To paraphrase Hamlet, may you continue to take arms against Albany’s sea of inedibles, and by opposing end them. Or something like that.

  12. March 19, 2012 6:35 pm

    Congrats. Your blog has become required reading, and I respect your standards and dedication.

    Minor clarification: I am a senior writer at the Times Union who is assigned to the features department, and I cover the dining scene, and to a lesser extent nightlife, in print stories, my print column and my Table Hopping blog. I also write regularly about the arts. I am not an editor and the only coverage decisions I make are what to put on my blog. I do not and have never supervised the Times Union’s food coverage.

  13. March 19, 2012 7:58 pm

    Wow, am I really the number 1 commenter? And I’m not even the prime foodie in the house, my husband is! (However, I am the prime extrovert, so there is that.)

    And, yes. As of now, I’m planning on being at the Tour de Hard Ice Cream (Chris will probably be traveling, but if not he’ll be with me for that one – he’s a night owl but I imagine the Tour de Hard Ice Cream will be later in the day than the last two tours!), provided that a family tragedy doesn’t befall again. Your Tours seem to be cursed, for me. However, I like to think we broke the trend with the cupcake-off, even if not an “oifficial” tour.

  14. Kerosena permalink
    March 19, 2012 10:34 pm

    Thanks for keepin’ it FUSSY!

  15. March 20, 2012 8:58 am

    Was Fussy Manifesto your very first post? I went back and looked and even that had critical comments! So much more interesting than a food blog where the typical comment is “sounds yum!” Congrats and keep on carpin’!

  16. March 20, 2012 9:44 am

    Thanks, Daniel for your hard work and dedication. I have enjoyed reading your pieces and getting to know you a little bit. I appreciate you criticism and find it refreshing to find similar ones to my own. Keep up the great work!

  17. March 20, 2012 10:48 am

    I enjoyed this post a lot.

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