Sometimes, I just get lost in the Austin of it all, you know? No matter how congested the traffic gets or how ridiculously over-priced the real estate market, after almost a decade of watching this town's unprecedented and unnerving growth explosion, I still catch myself in dreams, head-over-heels love with this town. Austin's just *got it*, you know? And no, I couldn't tell you what "it" is.
But I bet the aliens could.
Our city basks in the glow of the violet crown -- and whether you are of the school that says that comes from a strange phenomenon of light emanating from the ring of hills lining our metropolis, or the one that says it has to do with the glow from our glorious moontowers, or even the one that insists it has something to do with the head chakra, you've gotta admit: It's heavenly.
Ask the aliens.
Aliens. We've been asked about the aliens. The ones who graced our original poll ballot. The ones strewn throughout this issue. Yeah, we know. That whole Roswell, Area 51, X-Files-y thing ... so Nineties. Yeah, well ... this isn't about that. It's about influence. It's about mystery. It's about culture -- where it came from, where it's going, how it changes.
How the world began? Don't ask us (ask the masons). But how Austin changes? Now that's right up our alley. Ask us about our favorite things in this ever-changing Austin, and we'll run on for pages.
The Best of Austin is that. It's our love for this town. The aliens didn't tell us what to pick. They didn't tell you how to vote. But they are watching -- inserting their being in the soft earthy mounds of humanity every chance they get (just look at that sign on Red River, see??).
Austin, we love you. You are out of this world. - Kate X Messer
There are plenty of folks to thank for this issue. First there's master database blaster Lindsey Simon and our other-worldly proofreaders, interns, and advertising assistants (see staff box). Then there's art director Taylor Holland (who first received the signals from beyond), poster artist Billy Bishop, and the rest of production. Additional thanks go out to interns Elizabeth Skadden, Kevin Wood, Eli Kooris, and Soo Lee for mercurial assistance. Writers Lorne Opler and Wayne Alan Brenner lent extra rocket fuel, and marketing director Tommi Ferguson, office manager Deborah Wilson, receptionists Reno Sanford, Kate Watkins, and Michael Sanders kept us in orbit. Thanks, space monkeys!
Kerri Atwood, Erica C. Barnett, Marge Baumgarten, Greg Beets, Wayne Alan Brenner, Robert Bryce, Ada Calhoun, Michael Chamy, Barbara Chisholm, Mike Clark- Madison, Lou DuBose, Erina Duganne, Robert Faires, Rachel Feit, Kevin Fullerton, Anna Hanks, Charles Harp, Sarah Hepola, Raoul Hernandez, Taylor Holland, Denise Hutto, Barry Johnson, Eli Kooris, Soo Lee, Anne S. Lewis, Ken Lieck, Wes Marshall, Gerald McLeod, Kim Mellen, Kate X Messer, Angela Miller, Margaret Moser, Stephen MacMillan Moser, Lee Nichols, Lorne Opler, Robi Polgar, Jerry Renshaw, Marc Savlov, Lindsey Simon, Mary Sledd, Jay Trachtenberg, Elizabeth Skadden, Amy Smith, Clay Smith, Amanda Ward, Cynthia K. Widner, Kevin Wood, and Virginia B. Wood.