Illustration by
Rob Lynch and Jonathan Hughes.

Serious editorial theme or just a good excuse for a party? Does it matter? The most important thing to remember about Spree’s annual Best Of issue is that while we really care about finding the right choices for every category, we also want to keep things fun. That’s why we change up the categories every year, why we use a combination of expert panelists (some of whom change from year to year) and a public poll to determine the winners, and why we always include a few wild card/tongue-in-cheek sidebars. We hope you’ll discover a few gems you’ve never heard of before and that you’ll enjoy seeing your perennial favorites make the list once again. Got any categories you’d like to see included next time? Let us know!
The panelists and writers: Bruce Adams, William C. Altreuter, Alan Bedenko, Catherine Berlin, Michelle Blackley, Jade Chen, Rick Criden, Bruce Eaton, Jana Eisenberg, Ron Ehmke, Cynnie Gaasch, Jessica Keltz, Meg Knowles, Elizabeth Licata, Vicki G. Marshall, Darwin McPherson, Gerald Mead, Jane Mogavero, Barry A. Muskat, Nancy J. Parisi, Christopher Schobert, Joe Sweeney, Susan Tanner, Margaret M. Toohey, Jennifer Wettlaufer, and Jennifer Wutz-Lopes

Development: Renovations underway at the Gateway
By Barry A. Muskat
Buffalo Books: Halpern and Cochrane’s kid-lit successes
By Christopher Schobert
Spree Insider: If it’s August, it must be time for Elmwood Fest
By Naomi Spencer
The Hot 5: An opinionated to-do list
By Christopher Schobert
Picture This: Our readers show off as shutterbugs
By Spree readers

Visual Art: Hatchett: the first one-person show at the new BPAC
By Bruce Adams
Theater: Shaw’s first five reviewed
By Heather Violanti
Music: A soaring young voice
By Maria Scrivani
Plus: Ten by Noel Coward at Shaw

Style: Garden party fashion
By Catherine Berlin; photos by kc kratt
Gardening: Kicking it up a notch
By Sally Cunningham
Golf: A fantasy course
By Ronald Montesano
Gadget Planet: Gardening vs. yard work
By William C. Altreuter and Catherine Berlin
Getaway: Watkins Glen: wineries and much more
By Elizabeth Licata
Getaway: Sailing with Disney
By Catherine Berlin

A special summer grilling section, including the latest gadgets, how to make your own smoker, and more; City Grill 2 in review; small plates; summer cocktails; the month in charity events; and our dining listings.
By Bruce Adams, William C. Altreuter, Catherine Berlin, Mark Criden, Joe George, Jessica Keltz, Elizabeth Licata, Jay Pawlowski, Terri Parsell Hilmey, and Jennifer Wutz-Lopes

Grilling: A smokin' DIY project
By Jay Pawlowski
Drink: Grow it and drink it: Botanical cocktails
By Elizabeth Licata

Editor’s letter, Deadlines
Dining guide
Shopping Spree
Cultural listings
Index of advertisers
Who was there
Bflo Days:
Government reps on arts boards?
Not necessary.
By Elizabeth Licata