SOME FOLKS DREAM of working at home, but not me. They find the idea of spending the whole day in their pajamas appealing; I find it appalling. I speak from experience: About 10 years ago, when the magazine where I worked folded, I found myself self-employed as a freelance writer.
I made the best of it, but after a year, I was burned out. And I also had an epiphany: As much as I liked writing, what I liked even more was collaborating. I craved the input of other human beings, and I also missed the variety of tasks involved in working at a magazine. When I was offered a staff position, I eagerly accepted and never looked back.
I found myself reminded of this while we were finishing up our annual Best of Milwaukee issue. In many ways, this issue is our most collaborative effort. In our initial brainstorming session, everybody, art department included, offers up their personal favorites, and a lively hashing-out period ensues.
As the text starts rolling in, I’m as excited as any reader to find out what Ann Christenson thinks is the best fish fry or pizza. I’m also constantly dazzled by the creativity of the staff. Our culture editor, Lindsey Anderson, is new to this city, but in less than a year’s time, she’s familiarized herself with what’s going on. I consider her contribution to the package an awesome list of awesomeness. Matt Hrodey’s keen eye for quirk makes his entries a treat. And Tom Tolan brings a fan’s early season optimism (and mid-season nervousness) to his blurbs about the Brewers.
Once the words are all in order, the art department takes over. Senior designer Rachel Stinebring is responsible for the fun and amazing design of this story. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the wildly talented Brock Kaplan, who created the layout for our feature about the Bucks (page 58), and art director Paul Higgins, the all-around ringleader of the art department gang and designer of the cover. And kudos to Karisa Langlo, who brings the magazine to life online.
The Best-of issue is our annual valentine to Milwaukee (well, to be honest, every issue is at least in part a valentine to Milwaukee!), so it seemed fitting to use my editor’s letter as a valentine to the people who created it. I feel fortunate to work with all of them, and to be part of this wonderful team.
David “Fly Flower Man” Williams was one of my “Best of”