Gowanus Lounge: Serving Brooklyn

At the Robert Guskind Memorial Gathering: Heartfelt Thanks and Fellowship

April 6th, 2009 · 18 Comments

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.

Here’s the extraordinary video produced by Steve Duke of Blue Barn Pictures, which opened up the event:

Robert Guskind 1958-2009 from Blue Barn Pictures, Inc. on Vimeo.

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.”


Tags: Uncategorized

18 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Aaron at ccgh // Apr 6, 2009 at 11:42 am

    I had not intended to speak, but after hearing such moving stories from Bob’s friends and fellow bloggers (especially Bob’s oldest friend Marc Farre), I felt I needed to say a few words of Bob’s support to local activists in Brooklyn, excellent coverage of “off the radar” important news-worthy stories, a share love for Green-Wood Cemetery and my perception that he helped me (indirectly) become a better correspondent to the groups I belong to and overall as a writer. While I had never met him, his writing impacted me daily since Gowanus Lounge’s inception.

    I was very happy I attended and got to put faces to the folks I have corresponded with over the past few years and the bloggers who contribute to my life through their posts.

    As it was printed on the final page of the program…”Bob, we miss you.”

  • 2 F Jasmin Adams // Apr 7, 2009 at 6:31 pm

    I was working on Saturday but pleased to see the love flow. I catch myself, when faced with something to post; an ugly building, an amazing street couch etc. “Bob would love this,” I think. Then, I am reminded.

  • 3 Invite Your Friends, All 200 Million of ’Em - City Room Blog - NYTimes.com // Apr 8, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    […] 100 people gathered at the Brooklyn Lyceum to memorialize Robert Guskind. [Gowanus […]

  • 4 Judy // Apr 9, 2009 at 4:08 pm

    I’m so bummed I was out of town for this. I imagine it was incredibly moving. I too always see things I want to send to Bob and then remember that, oh yeah, can’t do that anymore. He is missed.

  • 5 david // Apr 13, 2009 at 10:30 am

    I was sorry to have been out of town for this important event. He touched many people’s lives and did so much for Brooklyn. RIP.

  • 6 pj // Apr 16, 2009 at 7:55 am

    Permapoesis: meaning-making through active participation with one’s local community-ecology.

  • 7 vaduzuvunt // Apr 24, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    Sigh… I miss Bob and GL. None of the other sites are as interesting…

  • 8 Robin // May 18, 2009 at 6:03 pm

    I’ll second that.

    No offense, everybody.

    GL was the best, and the void has yet to be filled.

    Maybe I just don’t know the other good ones. How about a post that says “Looking for GL? Try these: >>>>>>> “?

  • 9 Oldscruffydawg // May 28, 2009 at 8:44 pm

    When Bob died I was having an intrapericardial pneumonectomy (Left lung) at Cornell Weill. GL was always the first place I went to when I signed on…It felt like home. What will become of this website? I sure miss him…and could not go to his memorial. Thank you all for the pics and writings about Bob.

  • 10 Think you know NY? // May 31, 2009 at 7:39 pm

    Great website, I particularly hate the Gowanus Bridge especially since lately they have been taken too long to come up.
    Also while I was crossing the bridge I overheard someone comment, “Id rather break all my bones than fall in that water [gowanus]”

  • 11 Jay // Jun 14, 2009 at 11:21 pm

    Is GL ever going to come back?

  • 12 Nikki // Jun 16, 2009 at 12:28 pm

    Sounds like Robert Guskind made a big impact around New York, and will be missed. It’s unfortunate that he died at the age of 51.

  • 13 Cellulite // Sep 2, 2009 at 4:54 am

    I just want to join it,great post

  • 14 Charley Brown // Sep 19, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    Looking back at GL’s archives, I must say that Bob will surely be missed, and that this memorial seemed as if it were very fitting for him. I do hope to see GL come back, though it will never be the same without Bob around.

    Audio Engineering Schools

    Latest hip hop music

  • 15 Acne Treatment // Sep 26, 2009 at 1:17 am

    This is a nice way to pay tribute to a legendary personality.Guskind would always be remembered.

  • 16 Teeth Whitening // Sep 30, 2009 at 7:26 am

    Great post thanks for sharing with us.

  • 17 Rukki Odds // Oct 31, 2009 at 5:10 am

    There is no wikipedia page about Robert Guskind?

  • 18 mani // Nov 27, 2009 at 10:55 am

    Great post……keep posting