Hello and welcome to the 2019 Best of the CRANDIC issue! A couple months back, we asked you to tell us your favorite places in the Iowa City/Cedar Rapids area — the best desserts, the best bar for dancing, the hottest band — and we, through a grueling March Madness-style process that may or may not have involved dark magic, determined the most popular. They’re reproduced here, for your viewing enjoyment. I know you’re dying to see if you or Emily were right about which sushi restaurant is best (it doesn’t matter, just call her and tell her you’re sorry) but allow me to wax philosophical for just a minute.
As every year draws to a close, we’re inundated with “best of” lists. You can hardly scroll down your Facebook timeline without seeing a million of them — best memes, best movies, best dogs wearing sweaters — and even Spotify makes you a playlist of your most-played songs this year. In my case, it should be called “songs you cried to in public this year” and it is sorely unwelcome, but I digress. The point is, we all get kind of sick of the end-of-year rankings, but there’s something really cool about the Best of the CRANDIC.
Especially this time of year, it’s easy to not like Iowa City. It’s cold and slippery and even though I’m not even in college anymore, college students keep giving me colds. When the holiday sads hit, it’s easy to think everything would be better if we were all sitting on a white sand beach, but the truth is, there’s a lot to love here. Next time you start to doubt it, flip through your copy of this issue and think about all the cool stuff we have right here at home. Yes, yes, your friends and family and the beautiful memories that you made together, but more importantly, good Szechuan.
This issue is Little Village’s last of this year. Sad, I know. I’ll miss you guys over winter break. Have fun, and don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.
This article was originally published in Little Village issue 275.