Google, Why Have You Abandoned Me?

I do not “app.”  I do not play Words with Birds.  My phone is not smart.  I am out of place among the hundreds of fellow commuters who use expensive electronic devices to play Solitaire.  The only tablet I use is my daily dosage of baby aspirin.  As for pads, I leave that to your imagination.

(Really, these things are so small they should be called tablet-ettes).

My only electronic devices are a work-issued Blackberry phone and a Windows computer.  And, that is the reason that Google thinks I don’t exist.

Over the years, I’ve relied…maybe that’s too weak a word…my life has depended on two Google products.  First, Google Desktop, which magically keeps a searchable record of every Web page I visit, every document I create, and every email I send or receive.  This is a Godsend for those of us who are memory-challenged.

And, second, iGoogle, a vaguely smutty-sounding Google home page that gathers together all of my RSS feeds and bookmarks.

(Clearly, this is not MY iGoogle page.  After at least ten lessons, I still can’t follow the game of cricket).

Google, however, has decided that Google Desktop and iGoogle are no longer needed in this age of apps.  Google Desktop has been phased out, and iGoogle will be gone next year. Can dinosaurs cry?

So, before they are lost forever, here are the blogs, feeds, and bookmarks that are on my iGoogle page, and why I love ‘em.

ARCHITECTURAL HISTORY:  I love walking tours.  These blogs are like taking a walking tour with a friend who can take you to the coolest places and explain just why they’re so cool.

Nathan Kensinger Photography:  This brilliant madman sneaks into the decaying hidden corners of New York City, brings back photos, and uncovers the history of the location and how it came to fall on hard times.

Forgotten New York: For thirteen years, Kevin Walsh has explored the forgotten alleys, cemeteries, neighborhoods, and odd historical vestiges of New York.

Scouting New York: Nick Carr works as a movie location scout, and for that reason has his head up when most folks keep theirs down.  He creates elaborate, lovingly-researched articles…for example, where all of the exterior shots in “Annie Hall” of “Taxi Driver” were taken and what is at that location now, or the magical mystery of First Avenue and First Street (and what that ship captain’s house is doing up on roof of a building there).

THE TRAVEL BLOGS:

The Everywhereist:  When Geraldine was laid off from her desk job, she decided to begin tagging along on her husband’s constant business travel….and to turn her experiences into a gut-bustingly funny, charming, and life-affirming blog.  She is my blogging hero.

Candice Does The World:  What is a single, fun-loving gal to do when she loses her day job?  Make a deal with the under-35 party-travel company Contiki, go where the fun is, and blog about it!

THE FRIENDS:

Roger Ebert’s Journal: I call Roger Ebert a friend, because he interacts with all of the readers who post comments on his thoughtful and sometimes controversial blog.  Until I read his memoir, I had no idea that the more laid-back half of Siskel & Ebert had led such a rich life of intellect, travel, and deep friendships with directors and actors.  Now, of course, he does not speak or eat, and much of his passion, curiosity, and wit goes into his blog.

Doing Lines:  The exploits of the print designer turned interaction designer Barbara de Wilde, who I call a friend because if I don’t she’ll bop me in the head while we are sleeping.

AND MORE:

The Underground New York Public Library:   Ever taken a bus or train and tried to sneak a peek at what book another rider is reading?  This blog takes surreptitious photos of New York subway riders reading books, figures out what the book is, and then gives links to libraries and book sellers who offer that book.

Theater Extras:  Or, as we like to call it, butts-in-the-seats-dot-com.  Theater producers have extra seats.  You have a butt.  For $99, join this service that offers free seats to theater and music events that are looking to fill the house.

Abbey Road Cam: Pure mindless fun.  Watch in real time as tourists cross the zebra-stripe crossing outside Abbey Road Studios where the Beatles album cover was shot.

Even more fun than the Pier 39 Sea Lion Cam.

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