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July/August 2011 Editor's Letter

This is an issue of firsts for Buffalo Spree. The cover of the magazine you are holding in your hands is one of two designs we are using for July/August—featuring either a retro illustration by Spree artist Josh Flanigan or a more traditional design based on the Shea’s marquee by artist J.P. Thimot. The two covers were chosen from among a number of designs presented by all our artists, including great options by Jennifer LaBella, Jared Mobarak, and Andrea Rowley. It’s the first time we’ve ever used two covers for the same issue, and we’re wondering why we never did it before. Expect more surprises like this in the future!

We’re also happy to present our first-ever crossword puzzle. Created by Spree Home editor Donna Hoke, who has been supplying professional crosswords to such publications as the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Games Magazine, and Simon and Schuster for over ten years, the puzzle is based on our 2011 Best Ofs. Be warned—it’s not an easy puzzle, even with the page number clues Hoke has generously provided. Expect to see more issue-theme-based puzzles in the future; it’s all part of the service.

Finally, this is the first “best of” issue that includes detailed descriptions explaining exactly why our expert panelists (and, in most cases, our readers) have chosen these people, places, and businesses as among WNY’s best.

We hope you enjoy the issue, the covers, and the puzzle—and most of all we hope that we can continue to surprise you.

Have a wonderful summer!

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