bedford-and-bowery-061913Borough boundaries seem to matter less and less these days. Yesterday, hyperlocal blog Bedford + Bowery launched and will cover the East Village, Lower East Side, Williamsburg, Bushwick and Greenpoint. It’s a joint effort of New York Magazine and New York University; the editor is Daniel Maurer, who co-founded New York Mag’s Grub Street blog. Maybe they’ll add Ridgewood and the South Bronx soon?


Today the Shelby White and Leon Levy Information Commons opened at the main branch of the Brooklyn Public Library at Grand Army Plaza. It’s a 5,500-square-foot space full of technology available for public use. That means 25 workstations with desktop computers, seven private meeting rooms with electronic whiteboards, a recording studio, a wireless learning lab, and seating and outlets for 70 laptop users. This is the first “information commons” in any New York City public library, and the idea is to provide library users with technology-rich resources, accompanied by private areas for collaborative thinking. The library will also host workshops and classes in the learning lab; several are already planned for the next few weeks. BRIC Media will also offer classes in digital photography, podcasting and video. As Anthony Crowell, the chairman of the Brooklyn Public Library Board of Trustees, told the crowd this morning, “This is a hallmark project that will showcase the power of public libraries.” He called the design, which was handled by architect Toshiko Mori, “fun, challenging, and collaborative.” The library’s CEO Linda Johnson, Marty Markowitz, and donor Shelby White also spoke. White was responsible for the $3.25 million donation that made this space possible. She grew up in Brooklyn herself and attended this branch as a kid. “I hope this is a gathering place for those who want the latest technology and resources, and for those who just want to read a good book,” she said. We think the focus on media creation, in addition to research and information access, is interesting. Sign of the times. Click through for tons more pics of the space. (more…)


The city is putting $3 million into creating a centralized hub for the local media industry to collaborate and grow, and will locate it in Dumbo. Yesterday Mayor Bloomberg announced that the “Made in NY” media center, as it will be called, will move into 18,000 square feet in the landmarked former coffee warehouse at 20 Jay Street. Anticipated tenants will be developers, entrepreneurs and artists in the television, film, advertising, new media, marketing, gaming and branding industries. Two Trees will develop the site and the Independent Filmmaker Project, a nonprofit, will co-develop the building and operate it. Brooklyn-based architecture firm MESH Architectures will design the space. The incubator will help foster “media projects by offering low-cost work space and other support,” according to The New York Times. The Manhattan-based tech and new-media incubator General Assembly is also involved and will help put on educational programs and networking events for content creators and entrepreneurs. The site should open in spring of next year, said The Real Deal.
“Made in NY” Press Release [City of New York]
Planned New York Media Center Gets a Developer, Brooklyn Address [NY Times]
$3M Media Incubator Is Brewing [NY Post]
Two Trees Will Develop “Made in NY” Media Center [TRD]
Photo via PropertyShark

As an observer and participant in the evolution of local media, we were interested to see this tidbit near the end of yesterday’s New York Times article about AOL’s continuing struggle to remake itself as a journalistic powerhouse that investors can learn to love:

Other ideas include closing Patch, AOL’s local news initiative that has reporters in 850 towns. Eliminating the money-losing service would free $160 million and lift AOL into profitability.

If you live in one of the neighborhoods that has its own Patch (like Bed Stuy, Carroll Gardens or Park Slope), what do you make of it so far? Is it filling a need that wasn’t already being met? And speaking of local media, based on the last few weeks of archives, it looks like OTBKB (which we hadn’t looked at in months) has all but stopped publishing. What’s up with that?

Over on the Silicon Alley Insider today, Henry Blodgett makes the case that The New York Times needs to start charging a subscription fee for full access to the newspaper’s extremely popular website. Given what a lifeblood of content it is for this blog (and most others), the answer is a no-brainer ‘yes’ for us, but we’re curious to see where readers come down on the issue.