When I arrived last night in Park Slope, Brooklyn, I found the Brooklyn Lyceum right away because there was a huge line around the block of people waiting to get in to the Fifth Annual Brooklyn Blogfest. Several hundred people attended the event, organized by Founding Director Louise Crawford.
The majority of attendees live in Brooklyn. Ms. Crawford stated that Brooklyn had the largest number of blogs in the world. As a matter of fact, many people at the conference reiterated that throughout the evening and I was interested in really knowing whether or not that was correct. I researched statistics on Yahoo, Yahoo Answers, Google, and Technorati the next day and couldn’t find anything. Since there are so many blogs, I couldn’t find an accurate count of the blogs that exist.
In any event, the conference was different than anything I’ve ever experienced. As I sat in the audience, I wondered what the folks beside me did for a living. To my left, was a young man in his 20s. I asked him what he did.
“I’m a new blogger,” said Milton Camilo, referring to his blog My Change. “I just started to blog about my life.”
On the other side of me sat a middle-aged woman. I asked her what she does. “I blog about 19th century recipes and cooking,” she told me.
“Was the food really different in the 19th century?” I asked her.
“Oh, yes,” she said. “Everything was done over an open fire and had a slightly different taste.” Her blog is called Historic Cookery.
What an interesting mix of people, I thought. The program began shortly after, when actors Aaron Costa Ganis, Charlotte Maier, and Natalie Paul enacted little tidbits from more than a dozen “Brooklyn” blogs. They gave a brilliant performance. You felt as if you were sitting there reading various blogs and feeling what the bloggers felt when they were writing their entries.
After that, the lights went off, the screen came down, and the audience saw a video tribute to Brooklyn photo bloggers. Many of the photos were of tenements, people, and protests. This went on for about five minutes. As soon as it was over, local actor Lemon Anderson rapped about Brooklyn blogs. He did a good job motivating the audience and getting them geared up for the next part of the program.
The crowd roared when they saw Spike Lee step up to the podium to talk about his life growing up in Brooklyn. He explained to the audience that his parents bought a house in Fort Greene in 1968 for $40,000. Everyone laughed (could you imagine buying a house today for $40K?).