Thursday, February 24, 2011

Every block...within sixteen U.S. cities

I've been back for a few days and just realized at some point the shine on my last post will wear off and I'll probably be expected to write another one. Unfortunately, nothing is really going on. Not anything worth committing to Internet anyway. I'm suffering from post-vacation ennui coupled with a mild cold. The latter is nothing a little NyQuil lulling me into a few 9-hour nights of sleep can't fix, but the former has left me unable to write much of anything. (This writer's block unfortunately extends to a book I'm contractually obligated to complete in a couple of weeks.)

Per the usual, when my life isn't giving me much material to work with, my first thought is to return to the roots of this blog and focus on the "Astoria" aspect of Living the Astorian Dream. I do a little google searching to find out what is fresh and exciting in my always fresh and exciting neighborhood. Unfortunately, this week, the better news is all happening in the other Astoria, the coastal town in northern Oregon. They have bald eagles being rehabilitated, all we have is a kid practicing for the winter Olympics by sledding in Astoria Park.

Not to be discouraged, I've decided to share a site that always has the up-to-the-minute info on Astoria. Better still, it has information on many other cities as well, as many (if not all) of my readers are not Astorians themselves. The site is EveryBlock and it provides information, as the name would suggest, for every block in a number of cities. You can locate your exact block and find information on crimes reported recently, businesses requesting permits, restaurant inspections (not to mention the number of violations they received), real estate listings, lost and found postings, business reviews, and ever photos people have posted. You can literally spend hours looking at every felony assault reported in your precinct and every local cafe that forgot to clean the slime from their ice machine. It's a surprisingly engrossing way to spend an afternoon (provided you're putting off writing a book about economic indicators).

This is the last photo posted on the page for Astoria. Not sure where it is, by I appreciate what the artist was going for here.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy studying minutia as I do, or else there was no point to my sharing this site. However, never let it be said that I use not having anything to write as an excuse for not writing anything.


  1. Apparently you live in a cooler place than I do, because my zip code brought up no news! Interesting pic of the tires. It looks kinda artsy.

  2. Alas - I also do not live anywhere cool!! :) But it is very cool site! (I sent it to my sis-in-law in DC!) Glad to hear that your trip went well!