Sunday, February 04, 2007

A New Yorker's View of the Food Blogging World

Do you remember that old poster of the New Yorker's View of the US? The one that showed the Midwest as a flat empty plain punctuated by a few landmarks, like Vegas and the Rocky Mountains? Well if the article in today's New York times is any indication, it would appear to be an accurate portrayal. The front page of the Sunday Styles features a prominent article about food blogging, which in typical myopic New York fashion, omits any mention of the fact that food bloggers exist outside of the City of New York. I guess I can understand, since there are sooooo many food bloggers out there - but they mention only a few of the many prominent blogs in New York, and don't even nod to the possibility that readers in other cities might want to find food bloggers who write about their cities as well.

The slightly snarky tone of the article also reflects the undercurrent of jealousy evident in most mainstream press coverage of blogging world. The other evidence of this jealousy is the fact that most mainstream press outlets are starting their own blogs. The San Diego Union Tribune (aka www.signonsandiego.com has two blogs, a dining out blog, and a nightlife blog - called Side Dish and Velvet Rope, respectively, and The NY Times itself has several blogs put out by Frank Bruni, Michael Pollan and Eric Asimov. Even Gourmet is into the act, with blogs on Epicurious.It seems a bit silly, if you ask me, not to mention duplicative, considering they provide ordinary press coverage of the same subjects, but the mainstream press (particularly newspapers) are desperate to increase their readership and ad revenues. The future of the press is on the internet, not on paper, and the writing is on the wall. (An image of Burt Reynolds in "Boogie Nights" flashes through my mind.)

On my sidebar, I have a list of the San Diego food blogs that I admire - and a few from LA and OC. I recently updated my blog roll to add some newer blogs that I like, and take some out that I simply stopped reading - not because they weren't good, but just because things change. I wish I had the time to search for well-written restaurant blogs in other major cities, so that I could recommend them to others who are looking for good writing about food in their home town. If you know of a good food blog about restaurants in your city - or heck, if you write a good food blog about restaurants in your city - please leave a comment and toot that horn! Especially if you live outside of NY, LA or San Francisco. I will figure out some way to get the best "reader recommended" blogs onto the sidebar!

2 comments:

  1. I think part of it is that the number of blogs in the big metro areas (NYC, LA, SF, etc.) outnumbers those in other parts of the country. I have a city-oriented blog (http://www.columbusfoodie.com/), which covers Columbus, OH - and I'm a big fish in a small pond, so to speak. In any of the other cities, I probably wouldn't even be a blip on the radar.

    I think another part of it is that our "best" fine dining establishments pale in comparison to the big metro areas - I've yet to have flawless food and/or service anywhere in my city.

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  2. Funny. I thought the same thing when I read that article. It was interesting to see how competitive it is in NYC. I thought, gosh, in San Diego, all us bloggers talk to each other share information. I also agree with your thoughts on how somewhat negative the tone was from a big media stand point. Almost a "we have to recognize these people exist, but we don't like it" approach to writing about bloggers. The UT should do an article on local food blogs...

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