From the Editors: January 2, 2019
The force of habit
In hatha yoga, the Salamba Sirsasana, or supported headstand, is often referred to as the "king of asanas" because of the premiums it places on the subject's upper body strength and balance — which have presumably been built up through practice of the other asanas, or postures. Executed properly, the crown of the head will be lightly grazing the floor, with the forearms providing a base. Do it improperly and there will be at least a minor kink in your neck — if you do not topple over first.
In life as in yoga, it's not easy pulling a 180. To flip things on their head — literally or figuratively — takes rigorous devotion and discipline, but the payoff of an unfamiliar perspective can be significant. Of course, sometimes it requires others looking at things same way. Take it from City Councilwoman Liz Allen, who brought with her to office a journalist's discerning eye for inconsistency and mistruth. Her no-nonsense approach would seem just the antidote for Erie's latest budget crisis, but as she's learned, it's no simple task shaking up an establishment. Political organisms, like individuals, are creatures of habit.
That is not to say that some old habits aren't worth keeping around. One of our time-honored traditions at the Reader is our annual "Best of Erie" awards, a celebration of the most superlative people, places, and businesses the Gem City has to offer. Within our list of 2018 winners, you'll find both trusted and beloved institutions that we can't imagine life without, as well as newcomers who feel like they should've been here all along. In this case, democracy worked exactly how it was supposed to. Nearly 350,000 votes were cast across 111 categories — figures that indicate readers were not merely posturing, but truly cared about their opinions being heard. There were many hotly contested races that went down to the wire — a testament to the quality of the nominees and the pride they take in being assets to the community.
Like Albert Ruger (the Prussian immigrant, Civil War veteran, and cartographer who produced a bird's-eye-view map of our city in 1870), we are proud to offer you a panoramic view of the premier places to go, people to see, and things to do in Erie, Pa. — not only in this issue, but throughout the year. With apologies to all the resolution-makers out there, we don't resolve to change our ways anytime soon.