City Pages, "Before The New York Times, David Carr Learned the Journalism Craft on Minneapolis Streets" David Carr, The New York Times media critic who died two weeks ago, got his start as a journalist in Minneapolis, working for the now-defunct alt-weekly Twin Cities Reader. City Pages talked to many of his friends and co-workers from his days in Minneapolis to get a portrait of the man before he went to work for Washington City Paper and then The Grey Lady. There are some frank descriptions of his drug problem—"There were times where all of us kind of lost track of him, had no idea where he was or what he was doing," reporter Brian Lambert says. ". . . we all thought, in the not so distant future, he would be found dead on some hellhole floor somewhere." It's an honest, but moving, portrait of a man who proved to be influential to many journalists around the country. There's also a song that Carr's friend Paul Metsa recorded about him.
Fast Forward Weekly, "The End of FFWD" Pour one out for a fellow alt: Fast Forward Weekly in Calgary, Canada, announced last week that, after 19 years in print, it will publish its last issue on March 5. "I still think there is a great need for alternative media, particularly in a city like Calgary, where oil and gas rules and conservatives keep winning bloody elections," editor and publisher Drew Anderson writes. "Our readership never dipped, proving that Calgarians are hungry for the kind of journalism and cultural coverage that Fast Forward provides, but the ad dollars just weren't there to support it." He writes that he isn't sure what will happen to Fast Forward's website, so read through its archives while you still can. Start with this interesting perspective on the meaning of gated communities, written by a city planner.