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Boston Phoenix to close...

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will miss mc slim jb's reviews

http://www.boston.com/culturedesk/201...

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  1. Me too. Go to his blog and see how many restaurants he reviewed for them. I only hope they can be archived somehow.

    1. I'm sorry to lose my little restaurant-reviewing gig there, but I really feel for the full-time staffers, and the loss of the arts and political coverage, the alternative voice. A very sad day.

      http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

      9 Replies
      1. re: MC Slim JB

        Wow! Not good news.
        CocoDan

        1. re: MC Slim JB

          Really sorry to hear this, MC. I have fond memories the Phoenix over the years, and will always remember Caroline Knapp's quirky, messy and lovable Alice K.

          Certainly, I remember many a Thursday morning rushing to read your trusted reviews as well as Nadeau's, and I will miss them.

          A very sad day indeed for all involved. Hopefully all involved with find a new home quickly.

          1. re: bear

            Wow. Alice K indeed.

            That and restaurant reviews; the Phoenix was the reviewer of record for restaurants in Boston for many years, while the quality of reviews in the Globe was not consistent (I do like Devra First, though) or particularly informed.

          2. re: MC Slim JB

            I can't start my day with Moonsigns. I've been reading this paper for a very long time. Very sad but Stephen really hung in there.

            1. re: MC Slim JB

              MC, I'm sorry to hear of your impending job loss. I presume you'll report if/when you move somewhere else?

              1. re: enhF94

                Thanks, everybody, for the kind words. I'll be sure to check in if I find another food-writing gig. It's always been a hobby job for me, so it would be folly to complain about losing that perch when so many people at The Phoenix made their living or a substantial part of it there, and have been abruptly thrown out of work without severance.

                It was never about the money for me; I barely broke even on it at best. It was fun, a terrific platform, and I got the services of talented photographers and editors to make my work look good. The weekly and biweekly deadlines got me out of my own kitchen to try new places at least a couple of nights every week -- not that I ever needed much pushing.

                It was a lucky bluebird of an opportunity for me. I was writing reviews on Chowhound when editors at Stuff at Night and The Dig offered me freelance work, and that led to more freelance work at Boston Magazine, Gayot, AskMen, Serious Eats, and then my regular columns at Stuff Magazine, the Boston Phoenix, and finally The Phoenix.

                I'll keep doing what I've done for a long time before I even started posting on Chowhound. Like a lot of folks here, I get out and eat because I'm a bit obsessed with it. The privilege of getting paid for that nerdy hobby by writing about it has always been gravy on the fried chicken, and a role I've long noted is going the way of the dodo and the landline phone.

                I'm saddened that this particular chapter in my accidental food-writing career is done, but my loss is utterly trivial compared to the greater loss of The Phoenix's voice in Boston media, what it signifies for the alt-weekly press in general, and its terrible impact on the real professionals there for whom it is much more than an avocation. That's what really crushes me about it.

                http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                1. re: MC Slim JB

                  "The privilege of getting paid for that nerdy hobby by writing about it has always been gravy on the fried chicken...."

                  Or gravy on the side of fried chicken ?

                  A massive blow to Boston media, for sure. Am I unrealistically optimistic to think that the content and the voices will survive, albeit in perhaps a different format/forum ? Shoot, I don't even know what media means there's so many forms of it these days.

              2. re: MC Slim JB

                You were the first person I thought of when I read the announcement. As I said elsewhere, I am in no way an "alternative" type, but I've always appreciated the Phoenix's candor in its reporting.

                1. re: MC Slim JB

                  Wow that is surprising and sad to hear. I always enjoyed MC's reviews. Hate to hear about jobs being lost.

                2. Fondly recall the Phoenix review of Vinny's at Night, describing it as a den of underworld cool in East Somerville with great food, which drew this budding chowhound and new Boston resident to find McGrath Hwy...

                  The Phoenix to me was always a little like the joke in Men In Black when J and K scanned the Weekly World News for the real info on aliens...a lot of people seemed to think the Phoenix represented something tawdry and on the fringe, but if you had the right mindset, there was a lot of incredibly rich information in its pages, regardless of one's political and moral leanings.

                  I still read it almost every week and my knowledge will be far worse off with its loss.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Bob Dobalina

                    I totally agree and find this very depressing. I'd hear about gallery exhibits and music and read random great articles (Damian Echols recently among others). I find it odd that there supposedly weren't enough ads since the new format seemed chock full of them. It'd be nice if the staff had had some notice, I bet some of those people would like to try to keep it afloat. Which may or may not ever be viable.

                  2. Anyone remember when Boston had two alternative newspapers: The Free Paper and The Phoenix? (I seem to recall that The Phoenix was not free in those days.) I think The Phoenix acquired The Free Paper and merged the two together. Where do we turn now?

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Blumie

                      I think you're thinking of The Real Paper, which was founded by the former staff of the Cambridge Phoenix after that paper was taken over by Stephen Mindich.

                      Mindich originally had a Boston weekly called Boston After Dark, started around 1966, and he bought the Cambridge Phoenix in 1972 and renamed his publication the Boston Phoenix, using "Boston After Dark" and later "B.A.D." as the name for the arts section of the paper.

                      The Real Paper lasted from 1972 until 1981.

                      1. re: Allstonian

                        I think the Real Paper had a free version called the Free Paper. But in any event, yes, that is what I was thinking of.

                        1. re: Blumie

                          Yep, you're right. Both the Real Paper and the Phoenix had free editions that were distributed on college campuses - The Free Paper for the Real Paper, and Boston After Dark for the Phoenix.

                        2. re: Allstonian

                          yep, what I remember from being a student in Cambridge from 1973 to 1977....even then, when the Boston food scene was so dismal (well it was dismal almost everywhere until I got to Palo Alto in 1978)....we got food reviews and restaurant coupons that expanded our horizons. I agree with the hope that the food and other content will endure in some form.

                          but the mods are going to end this soon....

                      2. I feel as tho my young adulthood (and the sixties) are now officially over.

                        1. I may be out of line here but Charlie Pierce wrote a wonderful article about The Phoenix on Grantland

                          http://www.grantland.com/blog/hollywo...

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: bluesjack

                            thank you for posting this. I hope the mods will understand how significant the phoenix was, and is for boston, and leave these posts.

                            1. re: bluesjack

                              Thank you, brilliant.

                            2. Sorry if I overlooked a previous mention of Robert Nadeau. His restaurant reviews in the Phoenix (and before that The Real Paper, a 1981 victim of newspaper economics) showed the way for much of today's food journalism by combining culinary knowledge with humor, and treating low-priced ethnic restaurants with the same respect as top-of-the-price-line eateries (helping to set the stage for the Michael and Jane Sterns of the world). With the demise of the Phoenix, our community is now losing not only the excellent MC Slim JB -- a spiritual son of Nadeau -- but a newspaper where future Nadeaus could get their start. They'll find niches on the web, no doubt, but how many readers will find them?

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: katzzz

                                Really, "our community is now losing the excellent MC Slim JB"? Is something preventing him from posting in this community moving forward? He seems to still be active here.

                                1. re: ChocolateMilkshake

                                  More accurately, I should have said our community is losing a platform for MC Slim -- and a launching pad for future Slims.