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Almost Five

April 30, 2014

Tomorrow the FLB turns five years old. That’s five years under the belt and beginning to embark on year number six. Much of this year was spent in exile from the Capital Region, so unlike last year I can’t quite reflect on how much things have changed for the better. And it’s hard to say how much my own personal perceptions have changed until I return to Albany in July and see it again for myself with fresh eyes.

What I can for certain is that I have changed. Maybe not so much in the past year exactly, but definitely since the beginning of the blog.

In some ways I’m feeling much more optimistic about food in general, even though I’m now more keenly aware than ever of the deep structural roots of Albany’s restaurant culture that are blocking some of the improvements I’d like to see.

So with these things in mind, perhaps the time is right for a change.

In the beginning I had a plan for the FLB. Before it went live, I spent some time up in the Adirondacks scribbling notes on a sheet of paper trying to come up with an organized framework and some initial posts that could serve as the foundation for more posts to come.

I’m still pleased with the framework, and I hope you too feel as if I’ve been able to keep the content fresh. Sure, sometimes I get too bogged down by one topic of interest, but Mrs. Fussy is usually pretty good about letting me know when a theme gets played out.

What has been causing me a little bit of grief, though, is my very first post.

At the time, I think it was a perfect reflection of my ideals and the direction in which I wanted to move the blog. Plus, it was important to frame my thoughts on food and define what it means to be fussy. However, I have evolved, and it’s time to revisit this for the future.

If you look back, the overriding sentiment was that food does not have to be expensive for it to be good. That trope is still a central tenet of the FLB. However, I’m less convinced that those first examples still reach the bar for what I consider to be good food.

Plus, there is something important that’s missing from the original Fussy Manifesto. Part of that comes from the new optimism. And it has something to do with the things that I think make food special.

Let’s take Rolf’s in Albany, for example. Does Glen use the happiest pigs and cows to make his teawurst? No. Would it be better if he did? Absolutely. But that doesn’t make what he does at Albany’s oldest meat market any less special. The place is a gem and should be celebrated. Maybe not by vegetarians. But I’m still hoping to win Glen over to the glory of using a better canvas onto which he can apply his craft.

So tomorrow this will be my birthday present to the blog. I’ll redraft a version of the Fussy Manifesto which can hopefully serve as a blueprint for the next chapter of the FLB.

For those of you who have been around since the beginning, thank you for coming back to read this thing day in and day out. I especially appreciate those of you who are brave enough to emerge from the shadows and occasionally comment on these posts. It’s always great to hear from new people too, so please don’t be shy. Thanks to those of you who share these posts on Facebook, Twitter and such for spreading Fussy into the wider world.

Thank you to everyone who has ever come out for a tour, and a special thank you to Steph, Jessica and Maeve who helped keep the tours running in my absence.

Thanks to all my editors, Mrs. Fussy here at the FLB and AOA Greg especially, for making sure all the commas are in the right places, generally making me seem smarter, and pushing me to be a better writer.

It’s been a helluva ride and I couldn’t have done it without you all. Thank you.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Debra permalink
    April 30, 2014 12:09 pm

    Thank you Daniel. I have learned a lot over the time I have been reading your blog. Yes, sometimes I think you’re too “fussy”, but most of the time I agree with you fully. Happy 5th year to you. Can’t wait until you’re back in the Capital Region again.

  2. Jessica R permalink
    April 30, 2014 3:02 pm

    You’re welcome! Happy 5th birthday!!

  3. April 30, 2014 3:40 pm

    Thanks for your perseverance! It takes a long time to create change, and we’re glad you’ve got what it takes to keep trying and to keep thinking of fresh ideas.

  4. April 30, 2014 5:29 pm

    What is it about your first post you want to change? (Other than taking out Kraft Mac & Cheese.) It seems pretty open ended. (Actually, it IS the Mac & Cheese, right?)

    Also, what is this “new optimism” of which you speak? Must be an Ivy League thing. Don’t think it’s made it to these parts.

    Note there are three questions in the above.

  5. May 1, 2014 11:54 am

    Here’s to another Fussy year!

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