In this, number 52, the last official issue of the year, we chase 2009 out the door with a collection of revisits and reminiscences and a couple of glances at the looming New Year. I see sprinkled throughout my story roster the phrase "year-ender."
The big year-ender is Bill Lueders' annual rite of revulsion, "Cheap Shots." Lueders seems a little disappointed with this year, headlining his piece "Is That All There Was?" Yet he manages to find sufficient dysfunction in and around our local scene upon which to vent his dyspepsia.
The foodies revel in "The Best Thing I Ate All Year," a roundup of critics (Erin Hanusa, Kyle Nabilcy, Adam Powell, Raphael Kadushin and editor Linda Falkenstein) recalling their gustatory highlights of 2009. The arts critics (Susan Kepecs, Katie Reiser, Amelia Cook, Jennifer A. Smith, John W. Barker, Bruce G. Bradley) see the bright spots in the year in which, as arts editor Kenneth Burns says, "the bottom fell out."
Others on the end-of-the-year bandwagon? Local government reporter Joe Tarr gives us a retrospective of local political happenings. And in the opinion department, TheDailyPage.com blogger David Blaska, spearhead of the conservative resurgence, appears in print to blame 2009 on the liberals. And getting into the literal end of the year is a food writer mentioned above - Adam Powell. He delivers a rundown on what some of our more popular dinner spots are promising for New Year's Eve dining and reveling.
Though this is the last official issue of 2009, one more will appear before the expiration of this year. Issue number 1 of 2010 will be on the streets next Wednesday, Dec. 30. In the meantime, have a Merry Christmas. And if you're in the market for a last-minute or belated Christmas gift, consider tickets to the Isthmus Beer and Cheese Fest, scheduled for Jan. 30 at the Alliant Energy Center. Call the Isthmus office at 251-5627 to find out where to get tickets or check here on TheDailyPage.com.