18 April 2011

Columbia Street Newspaper War!


The Wall Street Journal and the New York Times may hate each other's guts. And The Daily News and the New York Post may one day fight to the death. But Manhattan's got nothing on the tiny (co-called) Columbia Heights Waterfront District, which now has two independent newspapers fighting to cover its small patch of real estate.

The Red Hook Star Revue, working out of a small storefront on Union Street near Columbia, began putting out a paper last July. It was a scrappy, good-hearted effort that rather resembled a high school newspaper, with its cut-and-paste look, amateur photography and local boosterish attitude. Local real estate agent Frank Galeano and Editor George Fiala were the co-publishers. It has been amazing how much news they've squeezed out of the tiny hood.

But the two men have had a parting of the ways, and now Galeano alone has launched Columbia Street News, which covers the same area, and seems to have ads from the same stores. What's more, Galeano's office is right across the street from the Star Revue.

It's all pretty kooky. But it's also pretty awesome. I want to see battles over who will scoop next week's music listings for the Jalopy Theatre, today's burrito special at Calexico, whether Nancy & Sonny Convenience Store has snagged their FIFTH lottery millionaire, when and if the Red Apple Chinese takeout will update that DOH "C" grade. And who will get to the bottom of why Fultummy's can't stick to their operating hours?

6 comments:

Pierrot said...

I am thrilled that you returned to the Lost City beat......

"Columbia Street Waterfront District" different than "Columbia Heights", I think.....

A trusty reader who rarely comments

Carol Gardens said...

Thank you for the backstory to this. I was wondering about the newcomer paper. This media feud should be entertaining. Let's see who has the bets coverage of the Urban Meadow Plant Sale!

George Fiala said...

In case anyone is interested to see a copy of the Red Hook Star-Revue and is not in our distribution area, we now have a website www.redhookstar.com

The official story as I posted on our Facebook page is that indeed there was a parting of the ways and now we each are putting out a paper true to our own vision. And the neighborhoods are enhanced by it.

I'd be curious to know if others think that we have a 'cut and paste' look, by the way...

George Fiala

Brooks of Sheffield said...

You have a lovely paper, Mr. Fiala. Its homey quality is part of its charm. No offense intended whatsoever. Good luck to you.

George Fiala said...

Actually, maybe you are right. I thought that cut and paste went out with pagemaker and in-design, but the fact is that I cut my teeth in the newspaper business when we typeset copy onto strips of photopaper, cut them up and pasted them onto the pages using wax, around the pasted in veloxes of the photos... so maybe you are on to something!

Anonymous said...

Both papers could use some serious editing. They're riddled with typos and grammatical errors.