Several years ago, as a college undergraduate, I sat in my journalism ethics class and watched as other young, idealistic students discussed the implications of a blog posting something-or-other. Heated arguments shot back and forth — back then blogging was a new term, its relationship to journalism tenuous, and its ethics questionable. After a few minutes of impassioned debate, the professor, a tough-as-nails 4-foot-high sack of wrinkles, called on me. “What do you think, Ned?”
I rubbed the groggy, glazed look out of my eyes and attempted a composed, studious demeanor — but only achieved what can best be described as a diligent apathy — and I began, “Well, if I were ever so lowly as to blog…”
And now, here we are.
Welcome to Sheepshead Bites.
Answering the Call
Sheepshead Bites began in response to the observation during the Third Annual Brooklyn Blogfest in May 2008 that my neighborhood, among others, are seriously “under blogged.”
Well, I’ll show them.
Unfortunately, the Brooklyn blogorati have a point. Many of Brooklyn’s neighborhoods still filled with genuine Brooklynites feature local characters and compelling, complex issues, but are going under-reported in both the established media and the nebulous Brooklyn blogroll. And while most of our neighbors sink further into either apathy or Monday morning quarterback-style governance, our communities are going on without us. They’re leaving their flair and character behind and moving forward in erratic, worrisome ways.
Now it’s time we steal from the digital toolbox, and present our neighbors with useful, well-explained information and foster debate on the issues of our day.
Community meetings, development issues, local politics, interesting people, happenings and cool new places — these are just some of the topics the Bite will sink its teeth into. And what will set us apart from any other great blogs in the area is our humor and irreverence, blended in with the same passion and concern that comes from our colleagues.
Why Sheepshead Bites
The name of this blog is more ambiguous than most guess at first glance. Many think it’s negative. “Bites” as in stinks, sucks, is a bore, et cetera.
But there’s also bites as in news bites – small, easy to read blurbs that keep our neighbors informed. Or bites as in what fish do. Or bites, a variation of bight – another word for a bay. It could also be in reference to the wince-inducing act of biting – a biting joke or insult, or even the biting truth.
The idea of “Bites” for this site was most inspired by the mad-looking characteristics of the fish this bay was named for, the Sheepshead, with it’s jagged grin and giant, humanoid teeth.
But back to that negative intonation of “Bites”… we’d be lying if it didn’t play a role. “Bites”, as in, this place was once called Brooklyn’s Gold Coast, as in it was once rich and thriving, a resort community hosting the finest restaurants and entertainment. “Bites” as in we once had a fishing fleet of dozens, where now there is less than 12. “Bites” as in where we’re going, compared to from whence we’ve come.
“Bites” as in a warning.
Again, welcome to Sheepshead Bites. Angling for a better Bay.