Some “Best of” highlights, via Spree illustration magic.
Illustrations by Josh Flanigan. Cover design by Chastity Taber.

It’s once, twice, three times a Spree “Best of” issue, and this is our best year yet, if we do say so ourselves. You’ll see all the categories you’ve come to expect—art exhibition, place to take an out-of-towner, best beef on weck. Plus, we’ve added some unique newbies: place that uses locally produced food, neighborhood for yard sales (the victor might surprise you), and alternative to Wal-Mart (the quote might surprise you). Throughout, our writers offer up some “none of the above” picks and talk turkey with local experts.
Finally, William C. Altreuter and Catherine Berlin take you on a magical twelve-month mystery tour of if-you-miss-’em-you’ll-be-sorry events. It’s simply the best, according to you and us.
By Spree writers and panelists Bruce Adams, William C. Altreuter, Mike Andrzejewski, Alan Bedenko, Catherine Berlin, Mark Criden, Bruce Eaton, Jana Eisenberg, Jessica Keltz, Elizabeth Licata, Vicki G. Marshall, Darwin McPherson, Gerald Mead, Barry A. Muskat, Nancy J. Parisi, Terri Parsell Hilmey, Kevin Purdy, Christopher Schobert, Margaret M. Toohey, and Jennifer Wutz-Lopes; Spree writers Ron Ehmke, Donna Evans-Deyermond, Ronald S. Montesano, Maria Scrivani, Joe Sweeney, and Susan Tanner; participants in the readers poll; and outside panelists Jade Chen, Rick Criden, Ellen Mogavero, Jane Mogavero, and Bob Syracuse.

Best of WNY, one month at a time
By William C. Altreuter
and Catherine Berlin

Best new way to showcase local music: WBFO´s XPOnential
By Susan Tanner
Ask the expert: Advice from Margaret: WNY’s best-toned 61-year-old!
By Donna Evans-Deyermond
Ask the expert: kc kratt:
The professional photographer in the DIY world

By Terri Hilmey
Ask the expert:
Alen Bedenko: The Buffalo Pundit on blogging, politics, and Twittering

By Christopher Schobert
Ask the expert:
Expert in All Things Edible:
A Conversation with Janice Okun

By Maria Scrivani

Q&A: Larry Quinn, Buffalo Sabres managing partner
By Christopher Schobert
Slice of WNY: Erie Basin Marina
By Lisa Kane; photos by kc kratt
Cool stuff: French and French-ability
By Meg Walker; photos by kc kratt
Hot 5: An opinionated to-do list
By Christopher Schobert
Spree insider: (Girl) Scouts’ Honor
By Mary Georger
Reviews of Infusion in East Aurora and Wasabi on Elmwood; Sandra Firmin explores Vietnamese cuisine in St. Catherines; the interesting history of tomatoes; the Foodies bring their wing search to a close; a special wedding pub crawl, times two; and the month in galas and charity events.
By Lisa Brown, Ron Ehmke, Sandra Firmin, Joe George, Jessica Keltz,
Vicki G. Marshall, Terri Parsell Hilmey, Kevin Purdy, Jill Shanley Morlock,
and Margaret M. Toohey.

Take One: Wasabi comes to Elmwood
By Jessica Keltz; photos by kc kratt
La dolce vita
By Terri Parsell Hilmey

Fashion: In the zone
By Catherine Berlin
Style: Finishing touches
By Catherine Berlin
Style: Meet the Bra Guru
By Margaret M. Toohey and Vicki G. Marshall
Golf: Autumn on the links
By Ronald S. Montesano
Gadget Planet
By William C. Altreuter and Catherine Berlin
Stayin’ Alive: Time for service
By Bruce Adams
Vanity Wars
By “Ambrose” and “Faith”
Education: Education for the twenty-first century
By Maria Scrivani
Education: Lifelong learning is on the air
By Donna Evans-Deyermond
Education: Affording private school
By Maria Scrivani
Education: The teachable moments of suspension
By Donna Evans-Deyermond
Education: From the outside in
By Donna Evans-Deyermond

Art preview:
A chance of heat this fall
By Bruce Adams
Visual Art:
The art (and porch) of Steve Kurtz

By Nancy J. Parisi
Theater Preview:
Anticipation for ’08 builds
By Darwin McPherson
Theater Review:
A little Sondheim music
By Ron Ehmke
Theater Profiles:
Folklore as theater
By Heather J. Violanti
Music Preview:
The Black Crowes lead the way
By Christopher Schobert
Music Preview:
Falletta and the BPO, ready to go
By Jeffrey S. Levine
Plus: Chris Gallant brings home an Emmy.

Editor’s letter, deadlines
Dining guide
Shopping Spree
Cultural listings
Index of advertisers
Who was there
Bflo Days:
It is the Shock of the Familiar
By Elizabeth Licata