Gridskipper, Where Art Thou?

by Joseph Russell · July 30, 2008

lockheart steel, ben levanthalWhile I lived in Paris, Gawker's urbane travel site Gridskipper was my bible, a somewhat snarky, vastly knowledgeable guide to all things unFrommered. When I left, my brain was crammed not with french, but with the French, and where they allez-y-ed for the most tolerable free bar meals, scenic public sexcapades, sludgiest chocolat chaud... tidbits that I'd eagerly pass on to future expats. When I came back to New York, Gridskipper again rose to the occasion, though I relied on it less. 

When I heard Denton had unloaded it onto Curbed, I was surprised, and then excited for my own sake to learn it'd be replacing last summer's Hamptons blog The Beach. I, and others waited for Gridskipper's grand reopening for quite some time, and then voila, there it was. And it was awful. Gone, for the most part, were the signature interactive maps, gone was the creativity, gone was anything original.

What we got were brief reiterations of stories from mainstream sites like the NYT, Reuters, NYP, and MSNBC. Angrily, we ambushed editor Ben Leventhal at the Eater BBQ, and he assured us the site would be back to its old self, only better, in no time. That was over a month and a half ago, and Gridskipper remains the same. Why? It has so much potential, and Leventhal's no idiot (though, what with managing Eater's staff of 30, he just may be too busy to fix his new toy).

I know this may come across as spiteful, Bismarkian blog bashing, but I swear it's not. I want Gridskipper to be awesome again, whether or not they cover similar territory (though they didn't and don't, except in the most literal sense). So please, Curbeders, will some of you get off the sidewalks and out of the kitchen and focus on your latest acquisition?