East Village ‘Blog Mafia’ vs. The New York Times

4963961070 64e7a8bd3b z 1 East Village Blog Mafia vs. The New York TimesIf a tree falls in a New York neighborhood and no one blogs about it, does it make a sound? Perish that thought.

The New York Times, with help from some N.Y.U. journalism students, will invade the East Village’s hallowed blogging ground next Friday. Until now, The Times has shied away from documenting the minutia of Manhattan life, sticking instead to Brooklyn’s Fort Greene and Clinton Hill, where a recent tree felling would have gone otherwise undocumented. It recently scrapped its New Jersey blog, citing a lack of free journalism school labor in the area.

Recruiting local 21-year-olds is hardly smoothing things over in the East Village, where the local “blog mafia” has declared war on the newcomer. “After helping ruin the East Village, NYU turns its attention to covering it,” reads the headline on one great local blog, EV Grieve.

Keeping it civil, here’s The Times’ comeback: “We intend to add new value — in all media formats — to the East Village’s already rich and vibrant online presence,” said Brooke Kroeger, director of N.Y.U. Carter Journalism Institute (endowed by and named for the founder of The Observer, incidentally).

The newbies may do well to heed the warning of veteran blogger Bob Arihood, who shuttered his East Village photog blog, Neither More Nor Less, finding there was, well, less.

“Today there’s not enough interesting material remaining for us to regularly, productively photograph and write about in the East Village,” Mr. Arihood said in his good-bye post. “We’re tired of spending so much of our time hunting, hoping and waiting with so little to show for having done so.”

lkusisto@observer.com