Archive for February 13th, 2012

Editor’s Letter, February 2012

Five years is a long time.

It was five years ago this month that we made the decision to ditch the unwieldy Midtown-Downtown moniker that had been slapped on the pub by the previous publisher in favor of a slightly catchier – if even less accurate – name. By February 2007 we’d already come a long way from Midtown-Downtown’s original incarnation – a newsprint direct mail piece that was as much ad flier as newspaper. Though we’d stopped running advertising on the front cover (!) we still hadn’t quite found the voice of the magazine yet.  You could say that we knew what we weren’t, but we hadn’t figured out what we were.

Art Director Tracy Heller spent February 2007 freshening up the layout, coming up with the colored ‘skybox’ design that would top each cover for the next four years.  With the March 2007 issue we were officially Midtown Monthly; local music wunderkind Chris Woodhouse promptly tagged us with the nickname ‘MidMo,’ and with that we were well on the track to be whatever it is that we’ve become.

Five years later, some things don’t seem that much different.  Becky Grunewald still leads our herd of food writers, ‘Incoming!’ still features the hot shows for the coming month and I’m still writing about the regional art scene.  Even Maakies and Underworld are in the same spot on the last page.

But some things have changed. We shrunk from a tabloid to regular magazine size – and at the same time we boosted the page count by 25%.  Our original Editor Liv Moe left to head the Verge Center for the Arts. Scott Duncan replaced Jesse Vasquez who replaced Sean Custer as our house photographer. We’ve cycled through four Art Directors, with Judd Hertzler manning that helm for the past year and a half. I can’t even count the number of ad salespeople we’ve had.

Looking back at the folks who have contributed to making MidMo what it has been for the past five years, there is a lot of credit to go around.  The writers, photographers and designers are the obvious ones – without them, there simply would not be a magazine.  But, there are people who are less obvious who deserve credit as well.  There are two people in particular whose names have been in every single issue of Midtown for the past five years, and without whom we would not be here today.

Paloma Begin and Bob Lystrup began running an ad with us back in the Midtown-Downtown days.  Back then they usually ran a full page on the back cover.  With the economic chaos of the past few years they’ve scaled back some, but they’ve always been there with us, month after month, every month.  I’m not exaggerating when I say that there were times where their ad made the difference between shutting the doors and keeping the magazine going.  They’re still here (check out their ad on page 6); without their unflagging support – and the support of our other advertisers – Midtown Monthly would not be looking at a fifth anniversary.

Five years on, I’ve learned a lot of things, and one of the most important is to never forget who helped you get to where you are.  It’s easy to say ‘support our advertisers because they support us.’  It’s easy because it’s true.


Ruhstaller Redux

By  Ed Carroll  photos by Scott Duncan

“There’s something about Sacramento” can have any number of connotations – some good, some not so good. Whether it’s pining for that old Delta breeze, drinking on the porch, enduring the pain of another stolen bike, ridiculously hot summer days or other such pleasantries, no one can say our breezy little burg lacks charm. Being a native it is always a nice surprise to meet a transplant who appreciates, and even embraces the subtle allure of our fair city.  Ruhstaller founder J.E. Paino definitely falls into that category. Read more »

Pub Grub

Story and photos by Sarah Singleton

While Midtown and the greater Sacramento area has no shortage of pubs and watering holes in general, it’s always a plus to be able to sit down and enjoy a bite to eat while getting your drink on. Read more »