On Friday night, Isthmus had its annual block party, moved on account of rain, at the Orpheum next door. This is the party where they unveil the winners of the Madison Favorites voting, results of which are also published in the Annual Manual (coming out on the 26th). And we cross our fingers (and beg for votes), hoping that we will be ranked among your favorites.
A few weeks ago, a guy rushed in a few minutes before closing and snapped an assortment of pictures. Truthfully, it happens a lot - and not because the press is beating down our door, but mostly because customers/bloggers/tourists like what they see and want to take a memento home with them. Still, there was some element of professionalism about the whirlwind approach which prompted me to ask the occasion for the photographs. He said, "It's for the Annual Manual. That's all I know." Well, I'm not the type to press for details so I left it at that and then we started speculating and hoping, but in a subtle and quiet way so as not to jinx things. (I'll borrow a line from Jamie Heiden who writes, "I'm not superstitious, just a little stitious.").
And.... Yay! We made it! For some unknown reason, this year, the categories have been rearranged a bit. There is a substantial expansion of the restaurant/food categories, and seems like a reduction in the choices for the retail world. There used to be "Gift Shop" as a category, though I don't know if "crafts/supplies/cards shop" was ever an option. Personally, I think they could use a little revamping of their categories to make it somehow more entertaining. Don't ask me now. When I used to work at Little Luxuries, they won one year in the category of "place to buy things that everyone wants but nobody needs." Now that's a category I'd enjoy reading about. I know, maybe Anthology is a little hard to peg anyway, but we won for Under-The-Radar shop, which seems like a slightly odd category. On the one hand, I feel like you are standing in a corner, shouting and waving your hands, look at me! look at me! And, of course, we know we are not under-the-radar for SOME people. And can you be under-the-radar if you've been mentioned in the New York Times (sorry, I can't help it, but you'd brag too). And it kind of leaves me wondering about next year -- doesn't seem like you can win that category more than once. Still, just as I was second-guessing myself for voting in that category, I had two people in a row come up to me and ask me how long we've been here (a question usually followed by, "huh, I guess I missed you before.") And then there's the "I walk by here all the time but I've never been in." So, Under-the-Radar isn't wholly inaccurate. Hopefully this award will help. We are also happy to see that The Century House won for Home Decor.
You can check out the entire Annual Manual in this week's Isthmus, which will be out on Friday. Also, note the picture of Naomi's bracelets on the front cover.
Thanks to everyone who voted for us! And thanks to everyone who has us on their radar already!