Monday, April 10, 2023
Mostly sunny. High 65 degrees.
Our calendar has lots of local events! Click on the link or the lady in the upper righthand corner to look.
For a list of Community Board 7 committee meetings this week, and links to join, click here.
Not Just Good News, Great News!
By Carol Tannenhauser
It was exhilarating for the Rag to be mentioned, rather extensively, in The New York Times on Friday, in Katherine Rosman’s article, “Shun Lee or Not Shun Lee? For Chinese Food Lovers, That Is the Question.”
First of all, it was The Times, which we are proud to call our hometown paper. Second, it was a great article — fun and illuminating. It talks about the connection between the Jews and the Chinese, dating back a century to a time when these were “the two largest non-Christian immigrant groups in New York;” and the Jews and Chinese restaurants, which “provided a place to dine on Sundays and Christmas;” and Chinese restaurants and the Upper West Side. Rosman spoke to Jennifer 8. Lee, a former New York Times reporter and author of “The Fortune Cookie Chronicles,” who said the practice of slipping menus under apartment doors originated with another Upper West Side Chinese restaurant (Empire Szechuan, then on 97th and Broadway), calling the neighborhood “a ground zero of American Chinese food innovation.”
By this point, I was craving an egg roll.
Times reporter Rosman noted that the Rag had uncovered the Shun Lee controversy in its weekly Openings and Closings column — without a doubt our most popular feature, typically garnering close to 20,000 views per column. Rosman dove into it with investigative zeal, which made me think about good journalism, and, of course, about the Rag.
In her first reference to us, Rosman called us The West Side Rag, as in The New York Times, capital T. It may seem like a small thing, but you’ll notice that the “The” is included in The Times’ masthead. It is not in ours, so we call ourselves, the West Side Rag. But The Times wrote, The West Side Rag.
“It looks good,” I thought, but, maybe, a little cocky for a local, neighborhood – wait…..what did she call us??
“On the Upper West Side,” Rosman wrote, “word of a new Shun Lee was reported in January 2022 in The West Side Rag, a popular blog that has been covering community news since 2011.”
A blog? Is that what we are, albeit a popular one? I looked it up. According to the Oxford Dictionary, a blog is “a regularly updated website or web page, typically one run by an individual or small group, that is written in an informal or conversational style.”
“Omg, we’re a blog,” was my first reaction, but then I reconsidered. Yes, we can get a little informal and conversational in our style, but we take the profession of journalism very seriously. It is our responsibility to get not just the facts, but the tenor of a story, and communicate both clearly and fairly to you. As one team member — an esteemed journalist and teacher — sometimes reminds us, paraphrasing the Associated Press, “It’s not just important to get it first, but to get it right.”
And to make you laugh once in a while.