Sunday, April 19, 2009

Post #1,000

As many of my fellow college seniors were fond of saying, "What a long, strange trip it's been." But that was ages ago, back in the mid-90's. Fast forward...

It was Tuesday, September 12, 2006, sometime late evening I think, that I first tipped my toe into the waters of the blogosphere by writing these words (corrected for spelling):

Welcome to the Charm City Snacker. This is just an informal, casual journal about some places I have eaten and whether or not I'd recommend them. Hopefully you'll be encouraged to try some new stuff, or be happy to see ones you have tried.

Hmmm, what next? Well, I'm fairly new to this blogging thing - I haven't even paid much attention to them, except that there seem to be very many on the web! So the next question to ask, therefore, is WHY throw my hat into the ring? Well, I thought about it for a while, and really didn't think there was a reason to start one. I finally decided one day, trying to decide on a place to eat for dinner, that I would write a food blog - hmmm, would this be a flog? No, that sounds stupid.

So that's what I'll be writing about. My name is John, and welcome to my culinary adventures in Charm City!
999 posts, one name change and countless "Hmmm's" later and I'm still going! I've scaled back for now, but that won't be forever - grad school is almost over so I'll have more time to do this in about 3 1/2 weeks. A few other statistics, since I'm on a roll:
  • 657 restaurants, markets and festivals visited (or passed by) and blogged about at least once, in eight states (California, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and, of course, Maryland) plus the District of Columbia, and four countries (the UK, the Netherlands, Iceland and, of course, the USA)
  • 62 recipes I have tried with varying degrees of success
  • 170 videos linked from various sources, most of them not yet removed due to access violations
  • 1,000 comments and counting
  • about 1,100 photos and other illustrations posted at least once, not counting those linked from other websites
  • My most favorite photo to repost over and over again? This one:

I've posted this one at least four times by my estimation. I'm not going to be catty today.

By some figures, close to 95% of all blogs fail, for various reasons - lack of passion, lack of time, or that it's just too damn monotonous. I admit: I got near to that point a few times, as I'm sure we all have. I don't remember if I did but I vaguely remember looking at another 1,000th post for ideas and inspiration - Adam Roberts (again, the Amateur Gourmet rears his bespectacled foodie head), who discussed the subject of how to start a food blog back in 2005. Adam pretty much has it all covered. I don't have any additional insights, but I will reiterate that you have to choose something you feel empassioned about to go back and write on the subject over and over.

Five of many things I am proud of in regards to this blog:
  • All the people I have met over the past few years via this blog, most of them listed in the link list to the right (or left, if I've gone and changed the layout since first writing this). Since I am a spazz and will leave someone out, I am not going to list all y'all. I'll just thank you - you know who you are.
  • The Beltway Snacking thing (again, link in the sidebar). A high school friend recently mentioned how impressed he was by all that work. I am damn proud of that.
  • Taking part in the Great Tastes Baltimore food blogger panel (thanks Dara) was a lovely way to share some ideas with others, and eat some damn good food. Just watch out for that absinthe.
  • The fact that it has motivated me to explore so many things that I might not have otherwise explored or done, from area festivals to recipes to miracle fruit (thanks for hosting that, Roopa) to brunching with fellow bloggers to live-blogging ridiculous reality cooking shows to meeting the alpha-food-blogger (?) Adam Roberts during a torrential downpour at the 2008 Baltimore Book Festival (I've made that spaghetti sauce at least four times, Adam. But I still say blue crab is tastier than Dungeness - as anyone raised by the Chesapeake would, no?).
  • This blog has improved both my writing (and proof-reading) and my photo taking skills. I am professionally trained in neither, but I wrote and took some pretty nice posts and photos, I think.
I'm going to finish this millenial post with a little slide show. It's a video featuring every photo I have posted on this blog since Day 1. It goes a lot faster than you'd think. The toughest part was organizing the photos, but finding music wasn't so easy. I originally wanted to use U2's "Window in the Skies" because it's such a cool song, but the lyrics and that whole copyright thing got in the way. Instead, I use "Trance Taboo" composed by Rick Clarke of RickVanMan Productions, who creates music that he deliberately makes royalty free for the use of YouTubers in their videos. So thanks to Rick for the use of his song. And thanks to all my readers and all of you who got some good food recommendations from the other end of my computer keyboard. I could not have done this without you. That and a whole lot of time at the gym.

And of course, some video acknowledgements -

All photos of television programs are photos of the television screen taken by me. Photos of "Paula's Home Cooking." "Paula's Party" and "Semi-Homemade with Sandra Lee" from the Food Network. Photos of "The Soup" from E! Entertainment Television. Photos of "Steakdar" commercial from Golden Corral. Graphic of "Write to Marry Day - No on Prop 8" from blog "Mombian: Sustenance for Lesbian Moms." Art photographed at Artscape 2007 attributed to the artists in the post "Artscape - in Haiku."

Song "Trance Taboo" created by Rick Clarke.
Free Music from:


Brad - said...


The "Beltway Snacking thing" is what originally brought me here. That was some impressive stuff and fun reading.

Keep up the good work! (and don't get too hooked on Twitter)

John said...

Thanks, Brad!

Nanc Twop said...

Congrats on your Kilo-post!

John said...

And thanks you, Nanc!

Cathy said...

You've done a great job (as you always do!). I especially loved the slideshow:) Cool music and clever pictorial arrangement! Keep up the great work!

John said...

Oh, it was just in chronological order. Thanks as always...

Pigtown*Design said...

Gawd! I am so impressed! I try to do 20+ a month, so I've got ages to go before I catch up with you.


John said...

Thanks, Meg! For some reason I had figured you'd made it to a thousand by now. Of course, among your three blogs you must surely have that much.

Malnurtured Snay said...

Congratulations, John!

theminx said...

Congrats, John, on hanging in there for 1000 posts! May you have thousands more :))

Dara Bunjon said...

Dear John:

If I could figure out how to blow horns and throw confetti here I would. It is an amazing accomplishment and I so enjoy reading your posts. Good luck with Grad School. To the next 1,000 posts

John said...

Dara, MS, Minx: Thanks to all of you for the encouragement! It is amazing that I've hung in there for so long.

Gry dla Dzieci said...

Congrats John! 1000 posts is a huge milestone. Hope you'll get to 2000 soon.

John said...