Last year, I met Andrea Collins through a mutual friend. I believe that “meeting” was over a few free margaritas in Manhattan (right, Andrea?). Anyway, we’ve kept in touch and now Andrea has a blog called Lost in Harlem, which chronicles her life, friendships and adventures in (and sometimes outside of) New York City. “I’m a happy traveler who is currently lost in Harlem,” she writes.
What: Lost in Harlem Blog, Online Journal and NYC Resource by Andrea Collins
History: From my perspective, when blogging began the media and industry experts took to the stage voicing their opinions for everyone to hear. As the blogging space became more popular, the audience became more varied and the need for broader content became relevant. So, students, socialites and pretty much anyone who could write (or thought they could write) began posting on blogs. I was instantly drawn to bloggers who were willing to share their personal stories and life dreams. Not because I agreed with them or strived to achieve the same goals, but because the best stories are always the ones closest to the heart. Most individuals’ life stories, completely uncovered, are more interesting than any Hollywood blockbuster. So, when I hit my quarter-life crisis I decided to start my blog and share my stories.
Why: I have moved from coast-to-coast and country-to-country over the last 10 years. The most important “assets” in my life are my family and my friends. So, it’s disturbing to me when I lose touch with a good friend or a family member due to distance. Since it’s hard to keep up with everyone via phone and email I write up stories about my everyday life, my travels, books I’ve read or restaurants I’ve reviewed for everyone and anyone to read. I certainly don’t have the most exciting life but the places I’ve lived and traveled are filled with excitement and energy – which I try to share and recreate in my postings. I had hoped my blog would not only bring me closer to my friends afar but help me define who I am. I used my neighborhood in the title to help me identify with my current place in the city and my ability to learn and discover new territories. Although I’m no longer feeling “lost” I like the sound of the title – it keeps me searching.
When: I strive to update Lost in Harlem a couple times a week and set aside 2 hours every Sunday to take a “blog adventure,” snapping photos around my neighborhood or trying out a new recipe to post about.
Success?: So far, my blog has kept me in touch with important family and friends but hasn’t helped me make many new connections. Perhaps the more I write, particularly about broader topics, the more people I can draw in. But, my topic choices come to me on the subway trains and right before I go to sleep which makes writing each and every post so much fun. I’m not sure I’ll ever change that, unless of course I could blog for a living.