The Mighty Reach of DadWagon

June 14th, 2011  |  by  |  Published in Uncategorized  |  2 Comments

Ken Salazar gives DadWagon two thumbs up

It can be hard to judge the reach of this humble blog. Yes, we know we have some readers (we love you madly, by the way). But are we, to use that shiteating buzzword of the day, influencers?

Well, yes.

At least, that’s what I’m going to assume, given this news from today:

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said Monday that the National Park Service will develop the nation’s largest urban campground at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, a former airport used by Amelia Earhart and Howard Hughes.

“We want to make New York the leading example of what we can do around the country with urban parks,” Salazar said.

Casual DadWagon observers will remember that long before the idea even flickered across the great screen of the Secretary’s subconscious, we camped at Floyd Bennett field. And we blogged about it, last May. It was a hugely successful little trip. The strange serendipity of camping en plein air next to a decommissioned airstrip far outweighed the rancid bathrooms or even the NYPD helicopter landing zone not far away.

More intent observers of this space would probably remind me at this point that the reason we went camping there was because Matt wrote about it for his blog at the New York Times (he was, back then, known as the Frugal Traveler). Though I’ve never actually posted a picture of my children on DadWagon, there is a picture of my son on the Frugal Traveler post. And a picture of my hands, holding a terrified frog. It’s a good little piece, worth a read if you want to get excited about the coming camp overhaul.

You might think it more likely that the masterminds who chose Floyd Bennett for refurbishment under the America’s Great Outdoors campaign did so of their own accord. And that if they read about the place at all, it was there at

But I don’t think that’s true. I think Ken Salazar has DadWagon bookmarked. I think he is fascinated by baby yoga, Icelandic baby cafes, and babies in bars. I think he wants to know where we’ve been camping with our children and how he can use stimulus funds to make that a more enjoyable experience next time.

So you’re welcome, Ken, and you’re welcome, America. We’ll see you all under the stars at Floyd Bennett field soon.

And also, Mr. Secretary, if you are hiring any laborers to help build the new campground, please email us at We could use some work: we’re totally broke because nobody ever reads this godforsaken blog.


  1. john cave osborne says:

    June 14th, 2011at 12:42 pm(#)

    KS clearly has y’all bookmarked. maybe he’ll clean up the damn bathrooms.

    i love camping. taking my 9yo girl camping next week, but it’ll be far from an urban experience such as the one y’all enjoyed. (read Matt’s piece on NYT: that was seriously cool. perusing a hanger while camping? top notch! related story: i know Matt’s neighbor. a lovely, smart woman named Mira.)

    we’ll be canoeing a quarter mile to a boat only access site while we wait for my BIL and nephew to join us in their john boat. really looking fwd to it.

    but back to the topic at hand, regardless of the fact that KS is pirating your ideas, that’s truly fantastic that the site will be refurbished.

    as always, it was a pleasure stopping by. always such great content here…

  2. Nathan says:

    June 14th, 2011at 3:12 pm(#)

    Thanks, JCO. Good to see you around these parts. As for Floyd Bennett, yes it’s surprising. But not nearly as good as what you’re up to, from the looks of it. Canoeing and camping sounds just about right…

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