Better Know A Blogger: Caroline On Crack
Caroline On Crack is the go-to blog for everything on Los Angeles nightlife. If you're looking for the best cocktail in town or which bars to check out if you want to spot a ghost, then this is the website you need to read. Caroline Pardilla, the woman behind COC, has climbed the blogosphere ladder, where she has won two of LA Weekly's Los Angeles Web Awards, including Best Blog Post of the Year and Best Drinking Blog. She was also a weekend event announcer on Carson Daly's AMP Mornings radio show. Pardilla has lived in L.A. for over a decade and has acquired quite some experience when it comes to having a good time in the city of angels.
How did the name "Caroline on Crack" come about? What do your parents think of the name?
Caroline Pardilla: Back in the mid-'90s I created an e-zine — remember those? — with my brother and sister. Pressed for a name for my own little review section my sister had suggested I name it Caroline on Crack. The logic being that if anyone ever got offended by my reviews I could just say I was on crack. So jump ahead to when I had to come up with a name for my blog and it was a natural fit. As for my parents, I don't think they even know what the term means. [Laughs]
Why did you get started in the blogosphere?
Before CoC I had several secret blogs — most of them bemoaning relationships — and even a fan blog for Kids in the Hall. I just liked the idea of being able to share personal thoughts and opinions with my friends as well as this anonymous audience. Plus, I love writing.
What do readers get from your site they can't get on other sites?
There are a lot of blogs out there now since from the time I started. Fortunately we all have our own distinct voices and styles. I'd like to think that I have a unique way of writing or at least that I'm providing a back story for everything I cover that goes beyond a press release, whether it's the inspiration behind a cocktail menu or a roundup of haunted bars.
Which of your posts are you most proud of and why?
Is it cheesy to say that I'm proud of all of them? I put a lot of effort and thought into each one that's why I tweet and Facebook them like crazy. But the one I'm proud of the most is my 100 Things To Try in LA Before You Die. I came up with an L.A. bucket list and even mapped it out. For that post I had to remember how it was when I first moved to L.A. in 1991, so it essentially reminded me of all the things I first loved about the city.
What's the best part of being Caroline on Crack?
Besides getting to check into events as "First name: Caroline, last name: on Crack"? The opportunities that my blog and writing have afforded me, getting the chance to meet and befriend some really great people, and, oh yeah, the constant stream of cocktail tasting invites.
What do you do when you are not busy blogging?
I'm out gathering material for my next post, trying a new cocktail menu or taking macro shots of my dinner.
Do you ever envision a time that you will stop blogging?
No. I take it one day at a time. It's my creative outlet. If I somehow get offered an incredible writing opportunity that takes up all of my time, I suspect that I'll still try and fit in blogging on the side.
Do you ever feel bad giving bad reviews?
When I first started blogging, I gave bad reviews all the time. I even got banned from a bar and some events for my reviews. I just want to be honest in my writing, tell it like it is. Definitely not Yelp-y though. But now since I have more readers, even though my goal is still honesty I try to be a little more responsible about what I say.
What has been your most rewarding experience as a blogger?
Learning that people find value in what I write. They actually even e-mail me asking for suggestions on where to go for a special night out on the town, where to find certain cocktails, where to go dancing. Makes me happy to show people how to enjoy our city more.
Images by Matthew Kang (top)/Jennifer Low (bottom)