2012 Year In Review: 5 Reasons We Love Our Readers!

Our hometown, New York City, is buzzing with holiday spirit. Travelers and locals alike are snapping pics of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, ice skating in Central Park and shopping at open-air markets. It’s a wonderful time to be in Lower Manhattan.

We’re thankful for all of the support we’ve received this year from our loyal readers, who have helped double our site traffic (to record levels in October!) and provided inspiration and story ideas.

5 Reasons We Love Our Readers

Storm water rushing thru Alphabet City / #EastVillage! Ave C bet. 9th + 11th St. #NYC #sandy

Storm water rushing through Alphabet City during Hurricane Sandy

#1. You stuck with us when our power and cell service went out for four days during Hurricane Sandy and sent thoughtful messages of support. Fortunately our East Village apartment was not flooded (like Alphabet City, pictured above) and Leslie was able to trek to midtown after the storm to post photos of life in Lower Manhattan during the blackout.

Boudin and cracklin: Classic Cajun cuisine!

Jake sampling boudin (sausage) and cracklin (pig skin) in Cajun Country

#2. When we traveled to Louisiana’s Cajun Country, you told us where to find the best cracklins (fried pig skin) and pralines (ridiculously sugary treats). In fact, throughout the year you shared many suggestions on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter that helped us find (and feature) offbeat destinations in the US and beyond.

Curacao Caribbean Street Art 03

Leslie examining the public art in Willemstad, Curacao

#3. When we posted photos of street art in Curacao, you helped us track down the community program responsible for the public art, allowing us to dig deeper into its meaning. We learned that one of the most fascinating sculptures, which depicted a rocket, was the work of students at the Instituto Buena Bista, a contemporary art institute based in Curacao.

A performer at Blackout Haunted House in New York City

#4.  Thanks to new and old readers, our review of Blackout quickly became our best read story to date! Your questions  about New York City’s scariest Halloween attraction inspired us to interview the creator of Blackout Haunted House. If you haven’t walked through this pitch-black house– alone, with only a SARS mask to protect you– then make sure to check it out next year.

Guest writer Billie Frank shared her experience growing up in Manhattan

#5. As editors of Downtown Traveler, we’ve seen some stories take off in popularity right away while others  gradually pick up readers who find the posts through Google searches. “Growing Up in the East Village in the 1950s” was a classic example of a slow-build post. This guest post by the Santa Fe Traveler, Billie Frank, about her childhood in Lower Manhattan was published in June 2011 but continues to receive impassioned comments from other native New Yorkers. Readers have posted over 50 comments on the story; some thank Billie for sharing her memories and others post questions about specific restaurants or people they knew in the neighborhood. It’s great to see how a post can transform into a lively community forum!

Readers share memories of their Manhattan childhoods in the comments field

It was a very good year…

So, dear reader, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. No matter where you are spending the holidays, we hope you have a fun and successful New Year!

Leslie & Jake


About Leslie Koch

I'm a New Yorker with a passion for travel and art. I founded DowntownTraveler.com after returning from a year-long backpacking trip around the world. Find me on Twitter at @leslietravel.