Everyone has his or her favorite parts of a job—and one of mine is when we publish our “25 Things We Love about Delray” article. That’s when a hand-picked group of people in the know gather at an undisclosed location, I bring in lunch and then the fun begins. We start talking about the good, the bad and the ugly in Delray over the past year. No one has an agenda; there are myriad points of view; nothing leaves the room; everything is fair game.
I have been doing these kinds of group meetings from the day I started in the magazine business 30 some years ago. You could call them editorial focus groups, but I have never used that term. It’s just people who care and are engaged, who don’t mind speaking out and coming together to help present a snapshot of where we are now, this year, as a city.
When I did these in Jacksonville, people were always trying to determine what Jacksonville was, and there was a lot of self-deprecation. When I do them in Boca, there is a lot of frustration with the lack of common ground in the community. But here, in Delray, all you hear is pride, passion and more than a little disbelief at how far the town has come in the last 20 years.
Oh sure, Delray is small town, and there are nasty little factions constantly squaring off against each other. There is jealousy and backbiting and silly behind-the-scenes maneuvering. But there is mostly a sense of ownership in the city that I find rare in my experience. People care, they brag about Delray, they point to its triumphs and plans and bright ideas, from new businesses to happy hours to redevelopment.
Our article comes out in the May-June issue of Delray Beach magazine and we are still collecting data. What’s on your mind? What are the best new things that happened in Delray this year? What’s your favorite new restaurant? Event? Political figure? What trends do you love or hate? Weigh in and be part of the story.
I’d love to hear from you.