The overwhelming majority of what I read could be considered “current events,” which makes it hard to narrow this category down. I’ve decided to go with a more traditional definition, so the blogs below have to do with things you might find in the news that do not, on a regular basis, feature anything that could be construed as celebrity news.
So, as with my food blog picks, here are the current event blogs that would make the cut if I ever cleaned up my Feedly:
- Feministing is, 95% of the time, a bit too strident for me in that “I agree with your point but not your tone” way that always made me cringe in college and grad school. Still, it’s the best site I’ve found for getting a rundown of news that my other sources might not be covering, and from a different perspective than most other media.
- The Dish, obviously. It took me awhile to get into Andrew Sullivan, and I still find him a bit too much from time to time . . . but glancing at the Dish’s posts each day (and/or reading them in full) gives the best overview of online chatter about real things. My favorite threads are those that veer away from the absolutely current, like this one on miscarriage. I also love the experiment of an advertisement free, subscription based business/content model. This is how I think the Internet should work–a penny or two per post (or, in the Dish’s case, less than half a cent per post).
- Slog, the blog of the Stranger, Seattle’s alternative newspaper, is amazing even if (like me) you have never been to Seattle. Seattle-specific content only makes up about half of Slog, and the other half ranges from Dan Savage sex advice posts to lengthy national political coverage by Paul Constant. (Paul Constant is a bit of a crazy liberal, and I think I wouldn’t like him much in person, but he is my favorite reporter–by a very wide margin–during national election seasons.) Also, one of their reporters, Jen Graves, is from Albany. So there’s that, too.
Doesn’t seem like a lot, but they’re all prolific and they’re all great. And so, between them and the New York Times, I can avoid clicking on 99% of Slate’s click-baity headlines, which is one of my main Internet goals. Mission accomplished.
I have 155 blogs saved in my Feedly index, and so any one day about 200 new entries appear. Of those, I probably actually read about thirty, skim another thirty, and glance at the headlines of the rest. As a result, I a) am fairly well-informed about most things you can learn about from the Internet and b) am semi-frequently asked to recommend blogs to friends who are looking for more things to read during the day. Over the next few weeks, I’m going to go through my favorites by category, starting with food because it is very low hanging fruit.
If I were to clean up my Feedly, food would absolutely be the easiest category to edit down. There are only four blogs that I would actually miss content from:
- Smitten Kitchen. I’m honestly not even sure why anyone else is trying to have a food blog. Or buys regular, non-specific food category cookbooks. It’s all on Ms. Kitchen’s website for free, is easy, and turns out exactly the way she says it will.
- Naturally Ella, the best source on the web for vegetarians and CSA subscribers. Erin, the site’s author, most notably has an amazing section that focuses on seasonal vegetables (click on “Seasonal Fare” and then choose your season to select a type of produce). Most of my favorite fancy-but-not-too-hard CSA recipes come from her site–or, occasionally, from a link she’s put from her site to one of her favorite recipes for that vegetable. She also has a great bulk bins section where you can browse recipes by non-perishable grain/legume/etc.
- David Lebovitz‘s blog is a rare bird on my favorites list because it contains little-to-no practical information for me–just check out his suggested list of things to bring as a houseguest to see why. (I know I always travel with my own jar of tinned mackerel.) That said, he lives in Paris, travels to amazing places, eats amazing food, and writes about it beautifully. Sold.
- The newest entry on this list is the FUSSYlittleBLOG, whose author, Daniel B., covers the local (Capitol Region) food scene through a sane, high-standards lens. My only disappointment with this blog is that I didn’t subscribe to this when we still lived in NYC–I’m not someone who spends time going back through the archives of blogs, and I know that I’ve missed years of tips on places to go and dishes to try.
Honorable mention goes to Amateur Gourmet, which I almost listed as #5. However, I could take or leave the food coverage on this blog, and mainly just enjoy the author’s writing style.
Next week I’ll list my favorite “current events” blogs, but first I have to figure out what exactly constitutes a current event.