Editor’s Letter: Reader’s Choice Issue

Posted on August 5, 2011 – 11:17 PM | by Admin
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The surveys are in, the answers are tallied and the Winners are listed – Midtown Monthly’s first-ever Reader’s Choice Issue is here!

I’ve mentioned before that I was initially skeptical about this idea.  There are so many ‘Best ofs’ being done these days that I wasn’t sure that we could really add anything new to the concept.  Then, I stewed on it for a bit and rethought it as a real look at Midtown itself – Midtown only.  We talked about that concept, and as far as we could remember, no one had ever done anything like our survey just in Midtown proper.  That’s when I started to get excited.

I got even more excited when the entries started to come in.  At first I was a little worried that something really dumb might happen (I well remember the Taco Bell ‘Best Taco’ debacle in an early SNR ‘Best of’), but from the start, the survey responses were thoughtful, informed and, well, Midtownish.  I hope I’m not breaking any confidences here by saying that Taco Bell got exactly zero votes in our survey.  Neither did McDonalds or Burger King.

“But wait,” you say.  “The survey was only supposed to include Midtown… 15th Street to Alhambra, B Street to X.  There’s no Taco Bell in that area.”

Well, yes.  But that didn’t stop some folks from either ignoring, forgetting or misunderstanding the concept of ‘Midtown-only.’ Pangaea Café (corner of 3rd Ave and Franklin Blvd) got some votes.  So did the Crest (10th and K).  So did Lalo’s in Hollywood Park.  All in all, about 20% of surveys included at least one thing outside Midtown in their answers. Nothing outside our geographic boundaries came close to winning a category, but some, like Pangaea, did rack up a considerable amount of votes.

Another concern I had was gaming the system.  There definitely seem to have been a couple of attempts to stuff the box, but they just didn’t include enough entries to make that much of a difference. We’ll never know if it happened or not, but in reviewing the entries – and eventual winners – I can say that everything makes sense in context.

The hardest categories to tally were the completely open-ended ones like Best Place to People Watch and Best Place For a First Date. These types of categories invite all sorts of answers, and it was really interesting to see what people were thinking. The eventual People Watch winner was pretty obvious; the First Date winner wasn’t obvious at all. That’s what impressed me so much about our reader’s responses; both answers were perfect.

The single biggest surprise in the survey was the overwhelming response by Bows and Arrows fans.  I knew they’d do well, I just didn’t know how well they would do!  Part of it was probably lucky timing on their part –  our survey hit the street just before the opening of the new Bows, with all of the attendant publicity and excitement that generated.  They were already getting significant love from voters in the Best Boutique category before the reopening.  Once the new space opened, Ka-Boom.  They simply annihilated the competition.

When I said earlier that the answers seemed ‘Midtownish,’ this is what I mean:

The closest competition in the whole survey was in the Best Live Music Venue category.  Top vote getter went back and forth between Harlows, an upscale nightclub, and the Hub (RIP), an illegal punk venue that has now been shut down. In the end, Harlows won by A SINGLE VOTE. That right there is Midtown in a nutshell.

Thanks for sending in your surveys and I hope you enjoy the issue.

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