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March 6, 2009

Missing Robert Guskind

BobGuskind.gif This morning I'm going to get personal because Bob Guskind is gone and, if anything, Bob took Brooklyn personally.

If you browse the countless remembrances and announcements for the Gowanus Lounge creator, you might be struck by how many lives he touched. Adrian Kinloch of Brit in Brooklyn called him "Brooklyn's very own Blogfather," most called him friend. Whether or not Bob was a close friend, he was a good friend.

Yesterday, The Brooklyn Paper called him "friend" in a headline in the paper's daily email blast and then published some dirty laundry from Bob's last few months (link). Local bloggers, also known as the "Brooklyn Blogade," quickly railed against the treatment. Though Bob could be brutally honest and acerbic, he was a class act and would have never done the same to someone else, especially a friend.

Bob Guskind poured his heart and enormous intellect into Gowanus Lounge. As someone who struggles to track one complicated developer-driven neighborhood-be-damned boondoggle, I could never understand how Bob could simultaneously monitor the developments and details of several rezonings and neighborhood controversies. Unlike most of the media, he had a fairly good track record of keeping the facts straight.

Bob hated corruption and liars, which means he loathed Atlantic Yards. To him, Bruce Ratner's highly subsidized eminent-domain-abusing megaproject represented the best of the worst of non-democratic political backroom dealing.

Regular Gowanus Lounge readers noticed that an emotional and edgy tone (including fiery invective) would periodically creep into his writing during the past few months. [City Councilman David Yassky received the worst on-line asswhooping after a last minute reversal leading to his vote to extend term limits.] Even though he pushed the limits, his anger still captured the emotionally destabilizing stress felt by residents who live in Brooklyn's rapidly changing neighborhoods.

I already miss his enormous bear-hug greeting and his relentless celebration for the quirky small things, while railing against those who sweep the small things aside.

— Lumi

[Bob's photostream is still on view at flickr.]

Posted by lumi at March 6, 2009 5:10 AM