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i have been picked up

Post #305 • June 23, 2004, 7:23 AM • 12 Comments

I was quoted by Jen Karetnick in an article entitled "Has Success Spoiled Lincoln Road?" My mug appears, alongside a few thoughts:

Artist Franklin Einspruch has noticed that this branch of the eatery differs in some ways from its clones. “The Johnny Rockets in the Grove plays oldie hits loud enough to hear across the street at CocoWalk. When they opened on Lincoln Road, I was expecting a stereo war between them and Segafredo across the way. Imagine the din: European house music in one ear, ‘Leader of the Pack’ by the Shangri-Las in the other. But there hasn’t been a peep out of them—just the usual retro styling on the waitrons and the burger shtick. I wonder if they’re trying to fit in.”
The current direction of Lincoln Road was most likely set in pink cement during the second renovation, which paved the way smooth for baby joggers and other accoutrements of suburbia. Einspruch, though, doesn’t believe it’s entirely too late. “Lincoln Road is headed towards one of three states: a viable, interesting, pedestrian-driven contribution to the city, like Las Ramblas in Barcelona, a drunken strip like Ybor City, or a cookie-cutter shopping-mall hell like The Shops at Sunset Place. Hopefully South Beach will always be too gay and artsy for frat boys and conformity shoppers to feel comfortable here, but the Johnny Rockets is a step in the direction of Ybor City and a half-step towards Sunset Place.”

The saving grace, he thinks, may come from “the City’s new willingness to allow street performers to operate. Most of the acts are lousy, but the band shell at Euclid is ripe to become a Covent Garden-like permanent street venue once the scene picks up. A reliable supply of weirdness like that would prevent Lincoln Road from becoming boring.”

Also, I have become one of the Metrobloggers. Sayeth the website:

Event listings to general rants, photos to reviews - metblogs are a hyper-local look at what's going on in the city. A group of regional bloggers give each site a new perspective on daily life. Less calendar listing, more friendly advice.

Metroblogging will launch once they get ten bloggers or so (they seemed to launch San Francisco's with eight), so if you're interested in blogging about Miami, you should apply. Tip of the hat to Caryn Coleman.




June 23, 2004, 3:46 PM

Excuse me, aren't these people your competition? You have a real foothold and you are beginning to build up a really interesting, intense and wide-ranging blog here, why promote these franchise types? Seems like they are precisely the kind of thing we keep bemoaning here! I say bear down on the art scene, entice all those art-interested people who feel left out by the art media, build your readership and create the hottest blog in town.



June 23, 2004, 5:22 PM

Since they're linking to me, and because they are probably going to get a larger audience than I do, and because they will generate additional audience in any case, not only are they not the competition - these people are helping me out. Welcome to the world of New Media and the attention economy, Oldpro. In case anyone is wondering, work on will continue unabated. I've been kicking around ideas for a general interest blog about Miami, and Metroblogging will let me test out some of them.



June 23, 2004, 6:16 PM

Are they linking into art blog or are you being asked to start some kind of hyperactive "what's jumping in Miami" entertainment/comment rag? Aaarghh! We have too much of that already. Obviously it is your life to lead, and you should go for whatever does it for you, but I suspect that the latter effort will see artblog wither on the vine. I guess we will just wait and see what happens.



June 23, 2004, 7:24 PM

I tend to agree with Oldpro. The thing to do is concentrate and intensify, not branch out and dilute. There are plenty of entities trying to be too many things to too many people. If you're talking about starting a separate blog, fine, but this one should not be adulterated with extraneous concerns--especially not now, when it seems to be picking up steam.



June 23, 2004, 8:10 PM

Jack, I agree completely. No changes to in format or content will be made. I'll write new content for a different site; regular readers on this site will never know that the other one is happening.



June 23, 2004, 10:19 PM

But will "regular readers" of that site know that this one is happening?



June 24, 2004, 12:06 AM

They'll find out if they click on my bio.



June 24, 2004, 1:29 AM

Which will happen about once a month, right? And then why would anyone take the trouble to go check it out? It's grreat that you have the opportunity to go with this commerical outfit and be a national blogger on a slick site with ads and hype and talk about all the Miami whiz, but I got involved in this because it seemed like about the only way to stir things up in this town, so I feel as if i have invested something in it. You have paintings to paint and a living to earn and it just seems very unlikely that you will be able to take the time to handle the artblog with the increased activity is will be getting, if we keep up the pressure. As I said, it is your business, but it is disappointing.



June 24, 2004, 3:29 AM

I'll make a deal with you - things start slipping around here, you let me know. I wasn't planning on duplicating the energy I put into over at Metroblogging - just short, piquant notes. The Pledge of Excellence ("More interesting than not or your money back!") remains in effect.



June 24, 2004, 3:48 AM

Cold comfort from a free site. We'll see what happens.



June 24, 2004, 4:56 AM

Franklin, I second Oldpro's desire to make Artblog a significant and relevant force in Miami's art scene, and I think it has that potential, but it's going to take a serious, concerted and committed effort. Things are just starting to take off, but there's a long way to go. We can't tell you what to do, let alone make you do it, but I urge you to make the most of this opportunity and not let it dissipate. The competition, such as it is, is practically begging to be surpassed and even superseded; maybe that's the only way it will ever rise to the occasion. Things need to get more intense and rigorous here, more focused and goal-oriented. It's still your game, but it seems best to put playing aside and get down to business.



July 10, 2004, 7:10 PM

Jack: I'd say artblog is a force for serious art anywhere and everywhere it happens to exist, not just Miami.

artblog is achieving something no art mag ever has: real dialog about real issues that affect real art.

You are right on target, it's just that the target was much larger than you supposed.



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