Archive for December 5th, 2011

Editor’s Letter – December 2011

I’ve been putting off writing this note for a week now.  It’s not that I don’t like holidays – I love the holiday season – but frankly, I’m burnt.

Black Friday. Online Monday. Who-Gives-a-Shit Thursday.  Pepper spraying at a Walmart sale?  Really? Where does it all end?  What does all this shopping have to do with the spirit of the season?

I know.  I know that we need this – as a country we need this, and as a community we need this. People going out and spending money is a good thing, especially right now as the economy continues to struggle. A trip through Midtown reveals plenty of empty spaces where little businesses used to be (RIP Newsbeat!), and a little consumer frenzying is great news for the shops and restaurants we all want to see survive – and thrive.

But still, there’s something insidious about the whole thing.  Remember Buy Nothing Day? It wasn’t that long ago that fighting the gross commercialization of the holidays was considered a good thing.  Now it seems almost un-American.

I guess the key is being a ‘thoughtful’ consumer, and in that spirit we offer up our annual MidMo Holiday Gift Guide. 

Each year for the past five years we’ve been picking the brains of our contributors, asking them to share their favorite places to shop for the holidays.  This time out we got some great tips from Becky Grunewald (who also writes about some of her favorite ethnic markets on page 16), Bill Burg, Liv Moe, Sarah Singleton, Matt K Shrugg and Dennis Yudt.  If you are looking for that special gift, or need something for that hard-to-shop-for person, I think you’ll find some great ideas starting on page 24.

And, speaking of unique gift-shopping spots, Michele Hébert brings us her regular Wine Picks column this month, and also profiles Scout Living, the Midtown antique store that specializes in Mid-Century Modern and other high-style home furnishings.  If you haven’t had a chance to stop by, you should – they’ve got lots of eyecandy.

Many of us will be picking up visiting friends and family, or taking a trip ourselves for the holidays. Usually a trip to the airport is no fun, but there’s good news this year: the new terminal is open, the art is installed, and it is spectacular. There’s been plenty of press about artist Lawrence Argent’s big red bunny (which is a nice, fun piece, btw) but there is so much more to see.  Between local favorites like Suzanne Adan and internationally-known artists like the Living Lenses team, you’ll need to be careful that you don’t miss your flight just looking at all the art! Check out Jim Cameron’s rundown of art and artists on page 40.

There’s plenty more to read (like our semi-annual Peaches and Herb CD review section) but I’ll stop here and let you get to the rest of the book.  From everyone here at Midtown Monthly, have a happy holiday season and as always, thanks for picking us up.


MidMo Holiday Gift Guide

Compiled by William Burg, Becky Grunewald, Liv Moe, Matt K Shrugg, Sarah Singleton and Dennis Yudt     Photos by Scott Duncan

So here it is December and you still have some of those hard-to-shop-for folks on your list. What to get for a picky old aunt, or that lil gen y’er (who already has everything) or that weird cousin who has worked at Hotdog on a Stick for the past 27 years? Don’t worry, MidMo is here to help. Each year we ask our contributors to share their best gift ideas, and here’s what they came up with for 2011…

Gift Guide: Cookbook Roundup
Gift Guide: Crocker Gift Shop
Gift Guide: Christmas Brew
Gift Guide: Mixed Bag
Gift Guide: Gifted Gardener
Gift Guide: Viking Hobby
Gift Guide: Vinyl Tap
Gift Guide: Beers Books
Gift Guide: Paul Brown Massage