derryX Dines done

The last derryX Dines installment has been posted.

I mentioned that I was going to end this feature when I worked through the backlog and that post was the last post I’ve been working on.

The reason I’m done writing this feature is that I always wanted to put my energy into stuff I enjoy doing, and, frankly, finding the enjoyment has been difficult for me lately. I have dozens of other projects that I’d like to start working on or continue. Not only that, this form of writing has evolved. I would like to evolve as well. I see some of the concepts that are the same now as they were 6 or 7 years ago, and quite honestly, it looks sad.

I have had some time to reflect on what we’ve done with the derryX Dines feature.

Most importantly, I provided a medium to discuss the merits (and pitfalls) of dining experiences. Food is one of those things that brings people together, and I feel like there was a good number of people anticipating the next destination ready to talk about it. I’ve always been counter-yelp-culture in that I never sought out to eat for free or only highlight the places that invited me in. I mean, I went from gas stations to fine dining establishments. And you heard about all the good and all the bad.

One of my more popular posts was the first abysmal trip to Dinosaur BBQ in Troy. It led to a lengthy bit of commenting, mainly about my criticism on the parking situation, that ultimately led to a man puking in the corner when he saw me in person. It was grotesque!

Another organically popular post was for Carmine’s Brazilian Grill, a short-lived restaurant in downtown Albany that popped up around 2011/2012. In 2012, I organized a meetup event for the site, and a good dozen or so people joined to check the place out. At the time, this was a unique concept in the area. Since Carmine’s closed, the only similar restaurant we have locally is Texas de Brazil (a chain) in Crossgates Mall.

Around the same time, I started enlisting MetalFrog in some graphics help (he also was helping me from the beginning on the back end work). He created some pretty fancy graphics including this and the overall design of the page you’re visiting now.

One series of posts that have been popular internationally on a recurring basis are those about The Cambridge Hotel. I had a chance to eat at The Cambridge Hotel during filming for Gordon Ramsay’s “Hotel Hell” television show. After the renovation, I booked a room at the hotel and revisited the restaurant. I used this space to detail the changes, but, more importantly, I proposed to my wife during this trip. While I appreciate the traffic these posts get every time the episode airs, there’s a lot of sentimental value there for us.

To circle back around, it’s the people and relationships that made this space special to me. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of duds out there. I’ve had beyond my fair share of threats, hacks, and insults. The perceived accessibility to public figures via social media really blurs the lines between acceptable and unacceptable behaviors. But it’s not all bad. Most of the people I’ve met through writing derryX Dines have been fantastic.

With that, I want to publicly express my gratitude toward a few people for helping me reach a wider audience, namely Kristi Barlette and Steve Barnes from the Albany Times Union as well as Greg and Mary from All Over Albany. I’ve even had the opportunity to participate in some events with All Over Albany, and I’m really grateful for that.

I’d like to thank those of you who have been reading since 2010 as well as those who started last week. Thank you for the time you invested.

I will be using the derryX “brand” in my upcoming projects and throughout social media, so I’m not going anywhere. And I’ll leave everything the way it is for now (at least for the time being) to preserve the historical record for those who do want to go back and read the old derryX Dines posts.

Thanks.


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