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  FRIENDS OF THE BLACK TABLE TO VISIT WHEN YOU'RE DONE HERE.  
   
   
 

Of course, you should be reading the Black Table every day. But, believe it or not, we're not the only good site out there. Here are some sites by Official Black Table Friends worth lathering up and taking a luxurious bubble bath in.

Before we get to the friends, we'd be remiss if we didn't remind you about Jim Cooke, the creative director of the Black Table, the man responsible for the design of the site and the entire aesthetic we have going here. He has a Web site at:

www.jimcookeillustration.com
How good is Jim Cooke? Just dive right in and check out his paintings. Our personal faves include the old timey baseball scenes, the Shakespeare in Love picture and the portrait of the cowboy in front of the barn. What else can we say? He does weddings and Bar Mitzvahs. The guy rules.

And while we're at it:

www.bodyatomic.com
Devin Clark does most of the art you see. Those little throwaway icons you never once stop to consider someone spent years and years slaving in Photoshop for? That's him. A pity we're wasting this dude's abilities. Holmes is flat out talented. From radio, to the video, to Arsensio Mr. Clark's website is the bomb sack.

Okay, on to the rest!

www.gawker.com
Home to the wit and wisdom of Choire Sicha, this New York-based media blog is the kind of thing you check seventeen times a day to see what the latest is on Paris Hilton's pubic region and Kurt Andersen's slow fade back into the world of serious journalism. Sharp celebrity gossip and media whispers? Sign us up.

www.arrivistepress.com
These aren’t just the fine folks who published managing editor Will Leitch’s book; they also have a thriving site of their own, updated regularly with some of the Web’s best writers. Fun Fact: If you meet an Arriviste Press staffer, they are contractually obligated to shotgun a beer with you.

www.bazima.com
The bestpectacled, bloggerati hottie Blaise K. shows us an healthy view of her life, her bedroom and her musical tastes.

www.facsimilation.com
All kinds of wacky stuff here, from comic book reviews to serious discussions of the limitations and inherent faults of independent publishing. These guys are smart and literary, which means half the time we can’t understand what they’re talking about. We’re too busy watching Spice.

www.jenniesmash.com
Boston’s own lovely diarist, the infamous Jennie Smash is less a confessionist than a lively wit. She sees things differently than most people, sometimes weird, sometimes scary, always smart and really, really funny. Plus, she keeps it real, man. But careful: Don’t make her angry or she turns green and her clothes rip off. Actually, that’s not too bad, if you can deal with the green part.

www.lockhartsteele.com
The Lower East Side guy. Everything you’d ever want to know about the area surrounding The Black Table headquarters at Camp Bowery. We’d love to see Lockhart do a blog about Kansas sometimes.

www.wfnx.com/1/jocksshows/specialtyshow.asp?id=27
Michael Swasey is the host of “The Swasey Show” on Boston’s WFNX radio. His regular guests include celebrities, a plumber who reads Bukowski poems and certain dopey columnists from The Black Table. He also once killed a man for blowing his nose into his shirt, which we agree with wholeheartedly.

www.yankeepotroast.org
What else can we say about these guys? They’re McSweeney’s before it got fat and bloated, The Onion before they moved to New York (except, um, in New York, of course) and, best of all, they’re just working class dudes who happen to be pants-down funny. Of course, to us, everything is pants-down funny.

thekicker.nymetro.com
Elizabeth Spiers is a full blown phenomenon at this point, skewering the world of celebrity with her observations, then char-broiling them with her wit. She's like a celebrity shish kabab machine and this is why The Black Table loves her so deeply. Formerly the voice of Gawker, Ms. Spiers is now under the New York Magazine umbrella, which keeps her rent paid and her clothing dry.

www.ikeepadiary.com
Brian keeps a diary of his fantastic exploits in the city, but this little spot isn't some self-referential nightmare of in-jokes and self-absorption. No, no. Brian's funny and when he takes pictures of his friends -- many of which are in popular rock bands, write for popular magazines and seem like popular people -- these pictures feature nekkidness.

www.lindsayism.com
Lindsay Robertson writes for The Black Table, but she's also gone mercenary with a crack mercenary outfit of her own, spinning an entire colorful patchwork universe out of the cool crap you overlook. Very sharp writing and certainly worth the look-see when you're not here.

www.flakmag.com
Jim Norton and the folks at Flak have been doing their thing so well for so long, it's easy to take them for granted. Don't. Fun, irreverent stuff that is always solidly based in logic, smarts and a likable mix of journalism and quality copy. We wish they'd change the font, though.

www.dailygusto.com
OK, we don’t know where the hell these guys came from, but they’re really quite cool. Smart, balanced commentary (with occasional journalism), and they seem like nice folks. When you’re done reading the BT each day, this is your next logical destination.

www.haypenny.com
We find these guys so cute. How cute are they? On their "Contact Us" page, they say, "We love feedback; that's why we always play facing our amps." That just keeps making us giggle. This crew are like McSweeney's smacked with the silly stick. We like that.

www.knotmag.com
Two cute Midwestern ladies, Jennie Dorris and Mary Gustafson, take the personal essay site to charming, earnest new levels. And they're cute. We don't mean to objectify them - they certainly have their act more together than we do, and the site is the rare one that gets better every week -- but they are cute.

www.paidcontent.org
Rafat Ali, former editor of the Silicon Alley Reporter, knows everything about paid content sites (apparently, there are some). His website, updated daily, is an absolute must for anyone in the media biz, or anyone who just wants to know why Salon is going out of business.

www.pigironmalt.com
The first place to recognize the brilliance of Johan More, but certainly not the last.

www.pindeldyboz.com
Intelligent people writing dense, packed stuff that is sometimes over our head, but that's because we're not very smart. Editor Whitney Pastorek has some real talented folks writing for her, and they're updated weekly, which isn't as good as daily, but it's close.

www.professorbarnhardtsjournal.com
Bob Sassone. The man. The legend. He now has a blog and original content from Bruce Campbell, Joe Bob Briggs and Mike Nelson. Sassone is the TV man. He was once even on an episode of Wings.

www.radiovolta.org
Eclectic, madly inventive music site. This is what radio is supposed to be like. Make sure to check out Jim Bear's "The Nexus."

www.thesimon.com
Sharp, L.A.-based criticism site with an unfortunate Andy Rooney impersonator weighing them down. Editors Russell Brown and Tim Grierson aren't gay lovers, but they probably should be.

www.whatever-whenever.net
Jami Attenberg is a writer based in the East Village who used to rock out at Ironminds and now has a book available at SoNewMedia.com. We're fairly certain she could kick all our asses, so we don't want any trouble.

www.zulkey.com
We don't know what they're putting in the water over there in Chicago, but something's making the young and abundantly chested Claire Zulkey come up with a consistently hilarious diary ever damned day. We HEART Claire Zulkey. Make sure to check out her ongoing George Foreman fiction.