Puddling around

for The Brooklyn Paper
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DUMBO’s most celebrated puddle has gone dry — and now its chroniclers appear to have done the same.

The three 20-something Web developers who started Puddleblog, their homage to a particularly persistent pool of dirty rainwater at Plymouth and Jay streets, haven’t posted any new images to the blog since April 13, when the puddle disappeared.

“I guess we’ll just wait until it rains again,” said Dan Phiffer, who started the blog with Cory Forsyth and Christian Niles.

It’s a fitting sentiment for a Web site that was launched, with substantial fanfare given its subject matter, on Feb. 1.

“What is Puddleblog, you ask?” the premiere post stated. “Puddleblog chronicles the epic journey of one puddle, bracing for an uncertain future.”

And what an epic journey it was: 25 pictures of the puddle tracked its girth (from football-sized to intersection-wide, complete with a paper boat, the S.S. Puddleblog) and form, including slush-filled, raindrop-pocked, garbage-strewn or just plain murky.

The images, added a few times per week, even included two videos of DUMBO-ites interacting with the famous swamp.

Nowadays, there are blogs about everything (and even blogs about how there are blogs about everything nowadays), but this puddle appears to be the lone catch basin in New York that has its own Web site.

And with good reason! Since Feb. 1, this puddle was present about 80 percent of the time — an amazing run.

Phiffer blamed the low-lying neighborhood’s drainage for the problem, citing a drain that sometimes adds to the puddle rather than detracts from it (naturally, there’s video coverage on the blog).

Then again, the blog was not created to shame city officials into fixing the puddle, but to commiserate with other puddle-afflicted DUMBO-ites.

“Blogging is the lowest-common-denominator medium” for social interaction, Phiffer said.

“That puddle is sort of this shared environmental obstacle that you see twice a day or more. Every day of our lives we have to navigate the puddle, and we’re just recording that.”

Now that it — and the blog, apparently — has gone dry, all that remains is the April 13 post that featured a chalk outline where the amoeba-like spill once sprawled across Plymouth Street.

It’s a sad reminder to those heady days back in February, when the trio of bloggers wrote, “Maybe if this thing catches on we can think about including other qualified puddles.”

Alas, DUMBO puddle, we hardly knew ye.

Visit for updates. We hope.

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