The Memorial Gathering Saturday at the Brooklyn Lyceum was a heartfelt opportunity for Bob Guskind’s friends (and family) to meet each other, share memories, and contribute to their understanding of a man who made a huge impression on Brooklyn in just a few years. Fellow bloggers and activists cited him as a mentor and an inspiration.
About 100 people attended; besides friends and family, speakers included State Senator Velmanette Montgomery and a representative of State Senator Daniel Squadron’s office. (Squadron did stop by.) Thanks to all who helped and made donations.
Photographers, notably Chris Kreussling (photo above and below) and Meg Groome (photo at bottom), have posted photos from the event Saturday on Flickr.
Pardon Me for Asking’s Katia Kelly wrote: “So many of his fellow bloggers attended. Some knew him personally, some had only corresponded with him. All feel his absence keenly… and Bob was the perfect host, posting tirelessly, finding Brooklyn’s beauty in the most decaying places and delighting in its many quirks.”
“Through all the wonderful tributes, a portrait of Bob emerged: that of a highly intelligent, talented and giving man, who may have had to battle his inner self just a bit more than the rest of us.”
Lost City’s Brooks of Sheffield wrote, “I have never experienced a more genuine outpouring of sincere feeling that what was expressed for three straight hours today—some of the sentiments expressed by people who had—amazingly, considering their words—never met Bob in person…. Everyone spoke eloquently and from the heart.”
OTBKB’s Louise Crawford wrote, “It’s amazing how one man managed to connect so many people, have an impact on so many neighborhoods and civic activists, and produce such a huge output of skilled urban reporting.”
Crawford also reported extensively on comments made by many of those speaking. “With his emphasis on Coney Island and the Gowanus, strange cats and stray pit bulls something connects all of it,” Brenda Becker said. “Bob could see beauty in that which was broken. And he could see what could be in it again. How a polluted canal could be Venice. A street couch could be absurdist theater. A broken, miserable Coney Island could be turned into something great and not a greed-driven non-entity.”
Mark Farre, Bob’s oldest friend at the gathering (they met at Georgetown University), echoed Becker’s words: “Bob liked to find what was broken in beauty and what was beautiful in ugliness. This was a tension that followed him all his life. In that way, he was a poet as much as he was journalist, a mystic, and an artist.”
He further said of Bob, “An abundant soul, no one had a larger heart, laugh, body, voice, appetite and huge hole which he sought to fill with huge experience.”
Chris Kreussling spoke about recovery, complex, and highly individual, and community, a source of both connection and betrayal. “I only knew Bob from Gowanus Lounge. But from what I could see through that lens, I believe that Bob was choosing life, that he didn’t want to do it alone,” he wrote. “I wish we’d had more time.”
GL contributor Vaduzuvunt wrote, “I was dreading the whole thing, because… well, no one wants to go to the final memorial of the life of someone they cared about. But, went I did and must say it was the most wonderful send off (for lack of a better term) one could have.”
A post today from Norman Oder (Atlantic Yards Report) was a homage to a GL Analysis. (Aaron Short wrote about the void in local news coverage.) Miss Heather dedicated a post on newyorkshitty to Bob, observing, “The sad reality is re-zoning, tax bennies, and easy credit have done little to benefit my neighborhood.”