(Artist: Lori Merhige, mixed media, 2009, Titled: Fall; Display made possible in part by The Wassaic Project)
This picture was snapped at the Brooklyn Blogfest 2009 afterparty held at the Galapagos Art Space. It was a chic, happening spot, but still not as happening as across the street where Blogfest had just wrapped up.
Some may say this sculpture has a sexual connotation, but I say it looks like a woman drowning. It’s art, so we can take it however we want. Still, drowning seems more like it, since the sculpture is placed in a moat of water.
I chose this picture of a drowning woman for my blogfest post, simply because I identify with the concept. Many of you were surprised to learn last night when you met me at the Place Blogs pew upstairs at the powerhouse Arena that — I am a woman. One other thing that didn’t come up in our conversations, is that I can’t swim to save my life.
It’s not that I didn’t try to learn. In fact, I have taken classes at Kingsborough Community College, but just as the other students were teasing me for being the teacher’s pet after he complimented me for learning all the strokes so quickly — I had to exit the pool for a hot shower to keep from going numb.
What does this all have to do with the Brooklyn Blogfest 2009, you ask? Well, it’s because this sculpture shows exactly how I feel as a blogger. Most days, it’s great fun being in the water, but the reality is that the task of blogging with all of the related responsibilities is like having the feeling of drowning head first in the freezing waters of a dark ocean.
Yesterday’s blogfest was so well-organized and the energy was high. [I wonder did that Jolt Energy Gum have anything to do with the high intensity atmosphere?] I got the chance to meet and say thanks to many of the excellent professionals whose sites I’m familiar with.
Plus, being identified as a “notable blogger” means that I’ll be checking my e-mail inbox everyday for new opportunities like the ones Hip Slope Mama gets (please, please, please, I take hold of The Secret and envision those checks coming in the mail).
Except for a few (i.e., Gothamist, Brownstoner, etc) they were all individuals plugging away unpaid as lone rangers, during their every free moment to work toward a cause (e.g., Atlantic Yards Report, Noticing New York, etc.) or to bring people together around a specific interest or place (e.g., Clinton Hill Foodie, Myrtle Shuffle, etc).
This brings me to my splashing around having fun vs. head first drowning — a.k.a., love-hate — relationship with blogging (and Brooklyn living for that matter).
Jumping into the clear pool, in 90-degree weather, sun shining down, cool refreshment nearby, lifeguard there to rescue me in case I happen to go down in the shallow end and splashing around with some fun people — well, that was yesterday at blogfest.
Getting pushed head first into the cold, black sea without a life jacket, nothing but sharks around waiting to comment about (or attack) on every little word, with no one to rescue me (well, that’s not entirely true — sometimes big brother Ned intervenes just as the shark’s about to chomp) — well, that’s the everyday reality.
Blogging can be fun, but most of the time, it’s hard work and lots of responsibility. I just can’t sit down and write my opinion, although, I do often share a bit here and there. There are facts to present, people to be quoted, stories to research, questions that need answers, and readers to please. Every post takes minutes, hours, or develops over time.
But, in the end, it’s something I (and I’m sure Ned, too) do because I feel a need to speak up for our beloved Sheepshead Bay or at least, the memories of the way it used to be when I was a child. It’s a little scary being out there with an opinion that seems a different than what the powerful majority have.
To the powerful majority: With power comes responsibility. You can’t go around squashing everyone in sight, because you feel that it serves your best interests (by best interests, I mean wallet and bank account).
I am not against responsible development, but I am totally against skyscraper buildings that no true middle class person can even think of living in for the long term. Well, the owners and developers make their billions, they’re off to their mansion in some other place — which is as quiet as Sheepshead Bay used to be.
Then, when the whole majority finally tires of this place all overdeveloped and littered with so much dog waste on the streets, they’re off to the suburbs or another place by-the-sea where they can afford beautiful backyards with a fenced-in dog walk area. What will be left behind? Those of you who hear what I’m saying, go ahead and write in.
Let me just take this time to say: I have no specific ill-will against any person or people. But, please whoever you are, don’t make a mess of Sheepshead Bay. It was for me, a welcoming, quiet community with people of many races and ethnicities living and working in relative peace and harmony. Every now and then, we like to take a little stroll by our picturesque waterside.
Here, on Sheepshead Bites, everyone is welcome to join in our little stroll. It’s our simple wish that all would feel included, just the way I felt when my parents (so wisely) first planted us here in the 1970′s.
[If you're not happy with my little self-involved 'report' of yesterday's blogfest, you can check the Atlantic Yards Report for a comprehensive review. If you're not sure what I'm what this little tirade against the majority's lack of concern for the Sheepshead Bay minority means, go to New York Shitty and see what happens when regular people get disenfranchised in their own communities. My comments about the dog waste are only directed to those losers who are not cleaning up after their pets.]