Milwaukee Magazine - - Content - ca­role@mil­wau­keemag.com @CaroleNicksin Ca­role Nicksin

Dream team.

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”


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