Once upon a time, there was a city.
It was not the largest city or the smallest. It was not the richest or the poorest. But this city had a reputation, nonetheless. It was known throughout the land as dry and inhospitable — heated to unimaginable temperatures for several months of the year, ruled by a witch of a governor and a cruel sheriff, a cultural wasteland.
The people of this city knew the truth. Yes, upper management could be rough, and at first, the landscape wasn't easy on the eyes, but past the strip malls and the cookie-cutter subdivisions, a wonderful metropolis burgeoned: Bartenders poured the craftiest of cocktails, world-class chefs cooked, there were teams to cheer for, boutiques to shop at, and clubs where you could dance the night away.
Once a year, the kindhearted souls at the city's alternative newsweekly gathered the finest of what the place had to offer, presenting it in the hallowed pages of a book called the "Best of Phoenix."
Enjoy this year's 36th edition of Best of Phoenix. Enjoy your city. And may you all live happily ever after.
Visit our special feature page, featuring essays by some of Phoenix's best writers.