Sunday, November 18, 2007

The joys of Living Here

If you need a reason to remember why living here is sweet, all you had to do this morning was step outside. You were greeted by another cool, clear, bright sunshiny day in Manatee County. Simply put, grand.

That’s what my friend reminded me as we mulled the Sunday paper. There’s a bonus magazine section inside today’s Bradenton/Lakewood Ranch Herald. Today’s blog is a shameless plug for Living Here -– capitalized because it’s the title of our second annual magazine, and capitalized because it deserves to be.

At least for an hour or so today, put aside all the gritty challenges of living here, lower-cased. You know the list: crime, corruption, the high costs for gasoline, insurance and keeping the roof over your head.

There are countless joys for the young and young at heart found throughout Manatee County. That’s the theme of this year’s Living Here. As Managing Editor Jim Smith, who oversaw production of the magazine, writes in his opening column: “Old and young alike embrace the benefits of our tropical climate. Sometimes, together.”

That was the assignment as Herald reporters and photographers set out to capture the highlights of their beats for Living Here. From culture to care-giving, from outdoor sports to indoor dining delicacies, I’ll bet you’ll be pleasantly surprised by all that’s captured here.

And all that capturing came together in 80 attractive pages thanks to Presentation Editor Jennifer Conklin. This is probably the most challenging project she tackled this year, folded in with all her other duties. And, we hope you agree, she has come up with a winning package.

We plan to have all the pieces of Living Here online soon for you to enjoy and share. For that tabletop keeper, however, grab an extra copy of today's Sunday Herald. Seriously. Some good friends of mine in Chicago are trying to decide where to spend their holidays. I plan to mail them the answer.


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