Editor's Letter: June 2007

By James Burnett | Boston Magazine |

Last month, for reasons I’ll get into momentarily, I spent a long weekend in Denver. I don’t want to offend the universally, almost freakishly friendly citizens of the Mile-High City, but I think I had the wrong idea about their town. Because Denver has a progressive, scooter-driving geologist turned brewpub owner as its mayor, and because one of the surrounding counties was not long ago the nation’s fastest growing, and because (though I’m way too old for it) I still sometimes watch The Real World, I had imagined Denver as a city where stuff is really happening, where you can sense the possibility hanging in the thin mountain air. And perhaps that’s true for some. Me, I found Denver kind of, well, slow. It may be filled with outdoor adventurers, but at street level the whole city seems to move at a lope.

There’s a tendency to take the place you live for granted, a tendency exacerbated here by our habit of mixing considerable local pride with impressive bouts of collective self-flagellation. While this magazine can flagellate with the best of them—and would be derelict in its duty were it to let underperformance or inept leadership go unexamined—the issue you’re holding in your hands, like all our issues, is in many ways a celebration of the things that keep Boston so resolutely exhilarating. These can be diversions, such as the 14 pages of dining strategies that compose our cover story [“So Much to Eat, So Little Summer”]. They can be fantastical products of our future-is-now tech sector, like Watertown’s A123 Systems’ deceptively simple-looking, potentially planet-saving batteries [“Supercharged”]. They can be deadly-serious power struggles, like the one that staff writer Joe Keohane lays bare in his reconstruction of the city’s newly urgent efforts to curtail the surge in shootings in Dorchester and Roxbury [“How the Guardian Angels Saved Boston”]. What they never are, even when our town is playing to type, is predictable. Which is why we have so much fun covering it.

One exciting thing did happen in Denver, by the way. A few of us were out there for the City and Regional Magazine Association’s annual conference and awards ceremony, at which Boston magazine picked up four honors—bringing our total to more than 50 over the past decade. In the most basic terms, we earn that recognition by producing interesting stories, and we get those interesting stories from you. So: Thanks. And as always, if there’s a particular story you think we ought to know about, drop me a line at editor@bostonmagazine.com.