Longtime readers have observed that ILFA has been in decline for several months now. There's a very immediate reason for this: after two years of working a 9-to-5 and three years of coursework toward my doctorate, I've started work on my dissertation. I've always been busy, but dissertation writing has taken hold of my mind in a different way, and I find it much harder to come home after a day of research or writing and switch gears to blogging. As a result, I just haven't, and instead of posting much that's new or original, I've basically been posting event announcements and re-posting other news articles about Crown Heights and Franklin Avenue for months now. After about six months of trying to keep the blog going in spite of this, the dissertation has won out, and ILFA will go silent at the end of this month or shortly thereafter.
Even without the dissertation looming, though, I'm feeling like it's time to go. ILFA certainly doesn't break news anymore, and I no longer feel like I have much that's original to add to the endless deluge of "Crown Heights Is Changing"articles. Five years of blogging may be enough.
That said, I'm hoping to use this next month to wrap up with a little bit of style. The end of October brings with it the blog's fifth birthday, and also annual ILFA roundup, which is one of the most-read posts of the year and has actually generated a fact that other news sources throw around now (over 50 new businesses on Franklin since 2008, though my rough estimate would be that it's closer to 60 at this point). I'm looking forward to doing one more of those posts, and also to doing a little retrospective writing and such, perhaps including some top 5 lists on account of the five-year anniversary and my weakness for early 2000s rom-coms. I've also got a few final posts I want to get together, following up on a few ideas here and there and reporting a few final bits of new stuff.
I'm also reaching out to some friends and folks I admire around the worlds of blogging, reporting, and, of course, the Avenue itself, to get their perspectives on different aspects of the last five years and hopefully generate some interesting conversations along the way. If you're a reader and want to contribute something in writing (or photo, or video, or really whatever), I'd love to run it or link it. Email me directly (my email's at the bottom of the rightmost column of widgets) if you're interested.
All of this is to say that the sun is setting, but it won't be dark for a little while yet. Event related postings will likely dwindle (though I'm still happy to re-post/re-tweet things on facebook, which is mentally easier for some reason), but there'll still be some things to read until early November. I'll save the sign-off thoughts for then, but suffice to say, in short, that it's been great and I'm going to miss it.