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Welcome to the 18th 'Best of Austin' Issue

By Nick Barbaro, Fri., Oct. 12, 2007

"Page Two" "ate something and is down for the count," is the official word, but we trust it'll be back, up and swinging, next week.

Meanwhile, I can only try to guess what it might have said if it were here, on this, the occasion of the 18th "Best of Austin" issue. No doubt it would have wished you fond welcome to the treats to be found in this special issue (starting here), with a gentle reminder that this is not, and does not pretend to be, a definitive list. It's not the 351 best things in Austin, but it is 351 things that each represent some of the best the city has to offer – a sampling of the people and places that make Austin what it is.

And a reminder, too, that the "BoA" comes in two distinct halves: a Readers Poll, which is a straightforward popularity contest, in defined categories (195 of them this year, a new record), and the somewhat more idiosyncratic Critics Picks (156 of them this time out), which are basically our staff's answer to the question, "Hey, what are some cool things that have been going on around town that deserve a little recognition?" (And, to head off a few of the letters that are going to arrive next week anyway – yes, we did just make up that category to fit the winner.)

Lastly, I have to remark that 18 years is a hell of a long time to do anything in this life. "Have to" because it provides the neat segue into plugging our newly spiffed-up "BoA" online (austinchronicle.com/bestofaustin), where you can search or browse through all 18 years of "Best of Austin" awards and get a pretty good dose of plus ça change ...
Looking back at that first 1990 "BoA" for instance, some things seem forever ago (Most Dreaded Future Resident: Clayton Williams); others seem like they haven't changed at all – from the very first crop of Food & Drink winners, for example, 22 of the 27 winners are still around, 17 years later.

And then, really lastly, to the staff who produced this issue, and the people and organizations included in it, a hearty thanks for the work you do and the community you make. Hope you enjoy it.


"Page Two" will return next week.

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