Saturday, February 26, 2005

A comparison of the Ists + a nice book


Gothamist is where it all started. I link to it enough, and did so in the previous post, so go there at once and have a browse if you want a read which truly reaches out into the current happenings in New York. There are snippets of arts, entertainment, film. There are restaurant reviews. There are regular recipes. There’s even a weather slot. This is the perfect example of the genuine outreach blog.

Next, I chose to check out Bostonist, which at only two months old is already doing quite a bit of its own outreach. There’s a regular music listing and some selected international news — Pontiff Watch Boston Edition as an example.

Seattlest (hmm, no –ist suffix) is more homely, with sports high on the agenda. It’s as old as Bostonist. There’s an offshoot, also, of the recent Gothamist–esque your–questions–answered feature: where to unleash your dog is the latest appearance. Food and drink are also honoured.

DCist is Washington’s stall in the stable. It’s been around for about 8 months. Its outlook is quite arty, techy and weathery also, but I have to confess that just as DC doesn’t do much for me as an ‘idea city’ — it seems sterile somehow — so DCist doesn’t succeed in making me think that I’d really want to go there. It does link to Club Whirled, what I think is a fictional blog (although maybe not, but it’s certainly a rollercoaster) about three gay men who live within a block of each other in DC, though. So it’s not all bad.

Chicagoist, an 8–month–old cheeky chappie of a blog, has what to my eyes is an ideal mix of film, urban outreach and the odd spot of sex: I loved this entry about a court decision that sperm is a gift, not a loan! They currently have a good entry on The Oscars, too.

Torontoist, born in October 2004, has the usual mix of shopping, food, news and urban outreach, and I like its concentration on arts and media of all kinds. Theatre and magazines get mentioned, including The Walrus which, despite its name, is a respectable arts title.

LA and San Francisco are also offshoots, but I’ll concentrate finally on Londonist which to my mind just doesn’t reach out enough into what’s happening there. Around since October 2004, it’s sadly more of a general blog with a London slant, rather than a London blog with a general embrace. Didn’t even post specifically on a London event, by the looks of things, until 2005. Not enough Londoncentric photos, either. But it’s a promising start and if it wasn’t an Ist, I’d be fond of it as it is.

So, that’s it. But I do want to mention one other thing: I was looking at Poets & Writers yesterday and it had a link to the lovely Vernacular Press, which has a line in lavish production and new writing. Anthropology of an Americal Girl is a book which, judging by the quality of the first chapter, I’d really like to explore further.

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