They had us at hyperlocal. While plenty of sites break down New York events and updates by borough, Trevor Sumner and the co-founders of NearSay went one further, making their news site neighborhood-based. Want to know what's happening right now on your actual block? Trevor's got your back, no matter what corner of the city your back calls home. As we're always curious to meet our local-obsessed brethren, we caught up with this native New Yorker to talk some shop (and to press him for all his neighborhood secrets):
SCOUT: How did you get started with NearSay?
TREVOR: My co-founder David Pachter came to me with an interest in this space and pointed out how underserved we are about news and lifestyle information on a local and personal level. I could completely relate. Despite having all my friends ask me for restaurant recommendations, I couldn’t seem to keep up with restaurant openings in the East Village. And that’s true for everything: nights out, live music, art exhibits, family events, local news, etc. So I came back to him with some ideas on how we could do it, the potential size of the business and he convinced me we should go build NearSay. So, we quit our jobs and we did.
SCOUT: What sets you apart from other New York news sites?
TREVOR: First off, our focus on the neighborhood. When we ask our friends, “where do you get your (insert-your-neighborhood) news?” -- 90% said they don’t. There are good guides to the city. Good content. But it’s overwhelming! Have you tried to parse TimeOut NYs calendar? Impossible. NearSay curates the best of major NY media. We also have over 250 contributors we call N-Siders telling you about those hidden spots only N-Siders know.
SCOUT: Will you give us your favorite off-the-radar spots? If we ask nicely?
TREVOR: One of my favorite restaurants in the city is the Punjabi Deli on Houston and First Ave; best vegetarian Indian food and it costs $5. Look for the cabbies parked out front. Try the fois gras steamed buns at WallE ... they just opened. Amazing. Or Korzo Haus on 7th and B! Their burgers are tremendous and the chef is super cool.
SCOUT: Are there local voices you've discovered through the site that you now trust and turn to for updates?
TREVOR: I love Vivienne Gucwa's photo essays on NearSay. They really capture the spirit of the East Village. Pearl Duncan'shistorical looks at downtown Manhattan are also fabulous. Sean Sweeney of the SoHo Alliance gives me the inside scoop of local politics in SoHo; Jason Lanyard seems like one of the smartest real estate brokers you might meet.
SCOUT: What's a day look like for you when you're not burning midnight start-up oil? Any favorite ways to spend a day off
TREVOR: So many things I love to do ... I love the MOMA. I love slow brunches with good friends. There is an amazing amount of live music in the city ... there are also an extraordinary number of talks from interesting people that are open to the public. Universities and even organizations like the Hudson Union Society are fantastic. I also have a lot of interesting friends who throw quirky, interesting events. And of course eating great food.
SCOUT: Anything exciting on the horizon for NearSay?
TREVOR: So many things. We have a new marketplace for businesses that is taking off. It’s the best marketing platform on the market for local businesses at price point that’s a no brainer. We will be heading to Brooklyn this summer, so get ready!