Crisp summer greens and the sour crunch of pickles. Teeth sinking through the chutney tucked between the lumps and bumps of pakora, reaching the rich, warm center of the dough. The sweet tang of cranberry sauce simmering on the stove. Food ushers us from season to season, with our taste buds tuned to find comfort in familiar dishes. Food pulses through this issue.
Our themes each issue have turned out to be somewhat accidental. They begin with the best of intentions, and with the heady ambition that follows the relief and adrenaline of sending another issue off to the presses. Despite outreach to writers, businesses and advertisers to solicit content for the theme, their submissions necessarily complement the much greater share of the 28 pages that is submitted each month, as usual, by readers and residents. But somehow, as I read the final pages two months later, articles that at least touch on the topic of our nascent theme pop through the paper like scattered kernels.
And this issue’s theme? Food. You’ll find it neatly carved on the front page, in an announcement of a new BBQ business opening at the Northside TownCenter, a move down the street from its original home at FEED Kitchens. It’s smeared all across pages 5, 6 and 7, tempting even the pickiest reader to indulge to their taste: vocational training program? The future of food on the Northside? The current state of food on the Northside? (And we see you, Habanero’s and Banzo on page 9). It’s the hunger of a fond farewell on the page facing this one. It’s dinner with the River, or the promise of Thanksgiving to warm the chills of weather’s wintering (whether you have plans or are looking for plans, find a Northside destination for the holiday on page 11). It’s on pages 12, 13, 21 — 23! And it’s folded into the close of the paper, with an announcement of the FEED Fall Harvest Bazaar on page 27. I thank our advertising team, Colin Murray and Lauri Lee, for their work to ensure that the flavors of the theme bubble to the top of each new issue.
Themed issues have been one of our strategies to keep content engaging while highlighting the many strengths of the Northside community. The Northside News is unique for its sustainability and resilience in an age where many newspapers are struggling to find creative solutions to connect with readers and advertisers that are increasingly moving online. Although the Northside News is not entirely insulated from this trend, as a community newspaper written by and for its neighborhood residents, we have maintained a reliable buffer from the devastating impact of lost advertising revenue on local papers.
Our bimonthly publication often complements, rather than competes with, local online coverage. Our content-sharing partnership with Madison365 continues. You’ll be able to find a list of some of the Madison365 articles we’ve re-published online in the Northside News section of each of our print issues; in this edition, they are listed on page 2. The Northside News Facebook page (facebook.com/thenorthsidenews) has allowed us to continue building relationships with local readers, organizations and businesses, as the articles that we and other media outlets print about the Northside are shared from page to page online.
As a bimonthly publication, I like to think the Northside News is like the hearty meal that marks the passage of the seasons. We strive to publish content to savor — that will remain relevant and a resource over the course of its two months. On page 10, we have shared information to carry you through November: a voting guide. During the process of editing the guide, we realized how truly complex the voter registration and photo ID guidelines are. While there are a thousand reasons not to vote, there are a thousand more to overcome the obstacles and make your voice heard. If you would like to add more resources to the voter guide, we will make them available online at northsidenews.org.
Cheers — cheers to autumn, cheers to another issue and to another season off to the presses.