Striving to be ‘The Best …’

Letter from the Editor

I’ve long admired the annual “Best of Detroit” issue from afar. Now I get to play behind the scenes. But the real fun begins after the magazine hits subscriber mailboxes and newsstands.

If you’ve never attended a “Best of Detroit” party, it’s a gathering of the top vote getters, as decided by you. The food, entertainment, and venue are top-notch, and this year, we support the American Heart Association and Go Red for Women.

We had a blast developing this year’s party theme/photo shoot (page 78, online here). Let’s just say it’ll be super “heroic.”

The fun continues after the party, too. You’ve likely seen “Best of Hour” plaques displayed in establishments justifiably proud to be recognized for their efforts.

Hour Detroit has also won awards (see Peer Pressure, below). But like the folks honored on these pages, we don’t rest on our laurels. We continually try to improve.

That said, we’re not always successful. Consider when we recently moved and condensed our Arts & Entertainment coverage. Boy, did we hear about it! Not all the feedback was positive.

Many readers are as passionate about Hour Detroit magazine as we are — and we’re glad when you take time to let us know how you feel. We’ll continue to “fine-tune” our approach (and please visit for an expanded version of our event listings each month) as we strive to be “The Best of Detroit” in our own way.

P.S. Peer Pressure

It’s nice to be recognized by your peers. So it’s gratifying to note that Hour Detroit received 10 awards from the Society of Professional Journalists’ annual Excellence in Journalism program in April. I wasn’t on staff when these outstanding pieces were produced (all in 2012), so the least I can do is acknowledge my colleagues’ accomplishments:

Senior Editor Mark Kurlyandchik was one of three finalists for Young Journalist of the Year. He won first place in Best Personality Profile for his coverage of Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel (“Macomb Makes Its Mark,” March 2012). He also received an honorable mention for Best Explanatory Story for his piece on Michigan’s garbage (“Waste Matters,” December 2012).

Associate Editor Monica Mercer placed second in General News Reporting for her story on ovarian cancer (“Stealthy Specter,” September 2012). She also took second place for Best Explanatory Story for her piece on the little-known Charles Bonnet Syndrome (“Sight Seeing,” November 2012).

Art Director Cassidy Zobl swept the Cover Design category, winning first, second, and third places for the June, March, and April covers, respectively. She also won first place in Magazine Spread Design for a piece identifying downtown buildings from a seat in Comerica Park (“The Name Game,” August 2012).

Freelance Writer Ilene Wolff won first place in General News Reporting for her story about doctors acting unethically (“Broken Trust,” July 2012).

Freelance Photographer Roy Ritchie won first place in Feature Photography for his winter fashion feature (“Scene Stealers,” December 2012).