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Farewell—for now

Curbed EIC Kelsey Keith shares her final Editor’s Notes

A group of nine men and women gather in front of a gray building and pose for a picture.
Curbed team past, present, and incomplete—on a field trip to the Judd Foundation in 2018.

Hello—and welcome to a dispatch I didn’t expect to be writing when I returned from maternity leave in March. I’m sure I’m not the first to inform you that pretty much everything has changed since a month or two ago. In my case, after May 1, I’ll no longer be editor-in-chief of Curbed.

A woman stands in front of a full-length mirror and takes a photo of herself on her phone.
Yours truly, at home in DC.

Here’s the thing: I woke up pinching myself every day for more than five years because I got to work with my dream team—not something that most people could ever hope to do. I’ve heard many times over that the Curbed I built has changed the landscape for media coverage of cities and homes. Well, I feel changed, too. I’m not exactly an idealist, but I challenge anyone surrounded by such passion, diligence, and intelligence on a daily basis to let cynicism win out in their worldview.

As I depart, I want to credit our furloughed colleagues, particularly those who have put in such hard work to chronicle what’s happening on the ground in their cities (Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Detroit). For those who are sticking around at Curbed, there is plenty more to cover, especially at a time when everyone is forced to consider and reconsider their notions of home: the apartment they’re currently quarantined in, the house they were planning to buy, or the neighbors they’re looking out for during the pandemic. Curbed may look different—as most things will in the weeks, months, and years ahead—but our unique viewpoint on the places where we live survives.

Indulge me in reminiscing about some personal favorites from the Curbed archive these past five years? Here we go:

A large wood kitchen island fills the space of the kitchen, which has one large window that overlooks a neighbor’s house. The kitchen has green cabinets, white tile, and three wooden stools next to the island.
Architect Ross Smith’s home in Asheville, North Carolina. Photo: Sadie Culberson

→ Giving voice to people in the places they live and love
Desus and Mero gave us a video tour of the Bronx, our Personal Space column is like the “Modern Love” of homes, Alissa Walker spun a graphic tale of lead paint, Jami Attenberg wrote a moving essay about moving to New Orleans, our House Calls series is as much about the people as the houses

Seven windmills in a row amidst a grassy field.
When people say “green energy” in Texas, maybe they mean “green” as in “money”? Photo: Casey Dunn

→ Diving deep into the topics we can’t stop thinking about
Paint colors (c/o Taffy Brodesser-Akner), tiny house TV shows (c/o Roxane Gay), chasing Googies in Los Angeles, multi-city investigation (with Eater) into food and development, the 10 streets that define America, hating Frank Lloyd Wright as a person but intrigued by his legacy nonetheless, the robot cradle, California vs. Texas royal rumble

An illustration of a man standing in front of his shadow in a dark room.
Illustration: Caleb Boyles

→ Doing the unexpected
Making campers viral, an advice column for in-law issues and living-alone angst, introducing the world to archemoji, our esteemed architecture critic writing about TV and malls, building (with the Verge) an actual Home of the Future, the time Karrie Jacobs walked to LaGuardia Airport, the time Patrick Sisson got a production designer blacklisted from ever working with Beyoncé again because of this story

A selection of merchandise, including a black tote bag, a small sticker, a chair pin, and a small brown notebook.
Nice Try! merch, designed by our art director, Alyssa Nassner

→ Expanding the senses
Curbed Appeal podcast (a deep cut from 2016), the runaway hit narrative podcast Nice Try!, the snackable video series “Hands On, our Instagram stories, Curbed merch: totes, pins, onesies

KIT, HAGS, and TTYL

My website lists recent and long-ago work, with some easter eggs hidden throughout. Here’s my Instagram—I favor the stories format. And if you enjoyed this newsletter, consider subscribing to version 2.0 via Substack.

One last thing to know before I go: I’ll be back as executive producer for Season 2 of Nice Try!, which will air in fall 2020. You heard it here first!

Miss you already,
Kelsey