(a common sight at ILFA's house: Nick going on about something or other while the lady takes it easy)
ILFA is about to end (for real this time), and when the final posts go up tomorrow, they'll include several acknowledgments and thank yous. While this blog has been, in some respects, a solo effort, there's no way it would have gone on for this long or garnered as much interest as it did, once upon a time, without the comments, suggestions, ideas, and support of a great many people. Today, however, I'm passing the keyboard to ILFA's number-one supporter, the lady, ILFA's partner in life, love, and (sometimes with a well-deserved eye roll) blogging.
It was the lady who suggested that I start writing ILFA as an outlet for my various ramblings and rants back in 2008, and she's read every post since, offering copy edits, photography tutorials, devil's advocacy, wisdom, and even the occasional comment. She first appeared in the 16th post as "my girlfriend" (she was glad that I didn't bring home the clock table), and became "the lady" by March of 2009, in the blog's first year. Pursuing her career as an artist has kept her busy, but she's still made time for various fun along Franklin, including a participatory installation at the Candy Rush and volunteering at various community events, including the Kids Day, where we both got merrily soaked in 2012. Despite many a late night of typing, she's also stuck with me, and when we got married back in 2011, we did so with wedding favors from Lily & Fig and fresh tattoos from Brooklyn Inkspot. Our lives, as we've lived them, have become hopelessly tangled up with the blog and the neighborhood, and as it winds down, we've both been doing some reflecting (it's that time of year, after all). So, without further ado, here are the lady's favorites from a half-decade of living with ILFA:
1. The arrival of Franklin the Cat, ILFA's tormentor/tormentee.
2. ILFA ducking for cover.
3. Umm.... excuse me? Is my ILFA maybe hitting on a random dancing lady? [Editor's note: ABSOLUTELY NOT.]
4. Debating ILFA's hair in the comments... or just hitting on him in the comments. I see you!
5. The greatest comment EVER (FEB 25TH, 2013 1:27am).
Alternatively, I wanted to take this opportunity to call Nick out for hosting a poetry contest that he forced me to enter without telling me that he wasn't going to consider my entry for the prize. [Editor's note: I SWEAR I mentioned that beforehand. As it happens, the winner never claimed the prize.]
But, as ILFA winds up, I also want to acknowledge the thought and consideration that made this blog great, as well as some of my favorite moments on the avenue. So, in no particular order, my Top Five:
1. One of Nick's first long-form posts
I love ILFA most for writing about things that are hard. Nick doesn't hide behind cynicism or indifference. He does not skirt the issue of his role in the changes in the neighborhood. It is what I am most proud of about Nick and his blog. This is one of his first long posts dealing with it - the devil vs angel shoulder conversation is who Nick is through and through (though 90% of the time, he chooses to go to the community meeting).
2. Kids Day
My favorite day of the year on the Avenue! The work that the merchants, volunteers, and especially Kevin and Garnett put in was always paid off in full, as the money they raised helped to create the most amazing kid fairs I've ever seen. Kids Day was truly unique, as it felt like it was for everyone in Crown Heights. Everything was free (popcorn, games, face painting) and everyone had an unforgettable time. Kids Day was Franklin Avenue at its best.
My mind was blown...we'd been thinking about moving, but the shift made me think "we've gotta stay here and see what happens."
I know this just happened and I know you all probably read it already, but whatever, it's honest.
5. Weird Discoveries
Okay, these are technically two links, but I think they have the same heart so I am counting them as one. ILFA's need to know all the history and weird quirks of our fair borough has led to some amazing finds, my favorite being Softtee gas/soft serve stations. The idea of pumping up with gas and soft serve seems so efficient and so disgusting all at the same time.
ILFA's interest in the Star of David led to countless "I Spy" games on runs. Now, despite what I tell him, I find myself seeing the stars and attempt to tell my friends the complicated history. I eventually give up and tell my friend to go read ILFA (gah!)
This section could actually go on forever, but you get the idea.
[Editor's note: Thanks love. You're the best. Couldn't have done any of it without you.]