On Thanksgiving, We Give Thanks To…

When Sheepshead Bites first launched in May 2008, it started on a lark. After freelancing for the community papers after college, Ned Berke went into stale world of trade journalism. So he started this site on the side to continue doing what he loved most: reporting on the community he was born and raised in. He never expected an audience to listen.

But now – nearly a year and a half later – Sheepshead Bites has a lot to be thankful for. Because of our amazing readers, our tireless writers, and our (sometimes) supportive sources, we’re blazing a trail to build community ties and raise the profile of Sheepshead Bay.

Our stories have been picked up by borough and city press, including the New York Times, New York Post, Daily News, New York Observer, Real Deal, New York Magazine, Courier Life, News 12, Bay Currents, Brooklyn Paper, Curbed, Gothamist, Brownstoner… and on and on and on.

Although they don’t always attribute Sheepshead Bites, that’s not what matters. We don’t do it for them, and we certainly don’t do it for the fame and fortune. We do it to put Sheepshead Bay back on the map, and put a spotlight on both the good and the bad of our community. We do it to get things acknowledged, and we do it to get things fixed. So, to those outlets that have helped spread the word of Sheepshead Bay, we’re thankful.

But that’s just a small part of what we’re thankful for. Sheepshead Bites has exploded since its relaunch in July. From just a few thousand readers a month, we now see tens of thousands. The number of people commenting has skyrocketed, and new names appear every day. We get more tips than ever, and are seeing more recognition from sources. Sheepshead Bay’s stories have gone viral on Facebook and Twitter, and for once it seems like an online community supporting the geographical one is becoming a reality. For that, we’re very thankful.

But thankful to whom? The answer is predictable, but no less notable. We’re thankful to you, our readers, for continuing to support the site with your visits and your comments and your tips. We’re thankful you’ve told your friends and your neighbors. And we’re thankful that you’ve helped us prove that yes, there really is a community of people that care about this neighborhood and want to see it grow and thrive.

So, thank you. Sheepshead Bites’ success, and the increasing power of the community’s voice, is because of you. Thank you for reading, and thank you for giving a damn.

A few things the people behind Sheepshead Bites are thankful for:

Ray Johnson, Associate Editor: “With all of my negative noticings and talk about littering and pollution, I’m still thankful to be living in Sheepshead Bay. I’m also thankful that I still have some family who live nearby and who still invite me over for dinners, despite my newfound life as a blogger.”

Arthur Borko, Writer: “I’m thankful to actually have a job. There are so many people out there that can’t provide for themselves or their families anymore and I’m at least able to pay my bills, even if it’s by the skin of my teeth. Secondly, I’m thankful to Sheepshead Bites for bringing me on as a writer. I stumbled upon Sheepshead Bites this summer and I was elated to read it and comment but it feels that much better being a part of it. Lastly, I’m thankful for trying BrooklynQ’s chicken. Wow, that was some good chicken!”

Samantha LoSapio, Writer: “I am thankful that Arbuz is far enough away from my apartment so that I don’t gain 25lbs this holiday season. I’m thankful that I don’t ever have to take the B4 ever again. I’m thankful for the lovely apartment I found in this beautiful neighborhood, and of course family, friends, health, and all that jazz.”

Daniel Gershburg, Esq., Real Estate Columnist: “This year I am thankful that banks decided to give my clients money to purchase homes again. I am thankful for the opportunity to help clients in my community. I am also thankful for the fact that no new sushi places have been opened this year on Sheepshead Bay Road.”

Ned Berke, Editor-in-Chief: “I’m thankful for the great community that has popped up around Sheepshead Bites. We’re small, but we’re growing – as is our voice. I’m especially thankful to all the great writers who volunteer their time and effort every day to submit content. Their views, their styles, and their voices are bringing a whole new dynamic and fueling our growth. I’m thankful to the businesses who support us through advertising, and to the community leaders working to build a better neighborhood. As a special mention, I’m thankful to Ray Johnson, who has been with the site since the early days; who has given a lot of her time for very little back; and who’s endless patience with me is entirely flabbergasting.”

Now it’s your turn. What are you thankful for this year?