Four years and a few months ago, as a college freshman, I walked into a record store near St. Mark's and asked for a good place to see concert listings. The guy at the store, which sadly isn't around anymore, recommended the Village Voice, which happily still is. Although I've never had the pleasure at working at the weekly, a number of friends have, and their offices were just a few doors away from N.Y.U.'s journalism department.
The Voice has gone through some changes in the last few years, but their consistently entertaining culture coverage and excellent long-form features have made the paper a mandatory read for me. And they've boosted their online presence, with Runnin' Scared, Sound of the City and Fork in the Road offering daily goodness. So, with its current blog focus and the rapid rise of social media in recent years, it was a good time for the paper to hold its first annual Web Awards on Tuesday night at Santos.
Astronomical Kid, a 14-year-old rapper with a song about his mother, kicked things off, and then it was on to the winners. Host Todd Barry kept a dry sense of humor throughout the night, and while the internet can be a pretty ridiculous thing, it's also got an undeniable grip on this town. From music heroes like Oh My Rockness and East Village Radio to Deadspin to Four Loko advocate Eddie Huang, the web is the record, as well as the playground, of the city.
Christopher Weingarten offered an abbreviated version of his rant on online music coverage halfway through the event, and then it was on to the big awards. Particularly pleasing was the recognition of the two (fake) sides of former Observer editor Peter Kaplan, a frequently hilarious and sometimes poignant chronicle of life in the city, and a fitting tribute to cats at the end. Until next year!
Rest of the photos, including Astronomical Kid, Todd Barry, Christopher Weingarten and most of the winners below. For a complete list, look here.
PS - We're on Twitter, Facebook and RSS, too!
McNally Jackson Bookstore - Best Use of Twitter to Promote a Business
Pat Kiernan - Best Use of Twitter to Promote a Personal Brand
All City - Best Locally Built iPhone App
Joe. My. God. - Best Politics Blog
Oh My Rockness - Best Music Site
Joe's NYC - Best Photo Blog
Awesome Slut - Best Sex Blogger
Eddie Huang - Best Local Internet Character (Real)
Maureen Johnson - Best Tweeter
"Justice in Brooklyn" by Jami Attenberg - Blog Post of the Year
The Gregory Brothers - "Bed Intruder Song" - Video of the Year