From the Editors: Tightening Our Threads from Within
The important thing is putting ourselves out there enough for opportunities to readily present themselves.
Can I help you with anything? "Oh no, just looking." Such is the formality of the average retail worker; and the boilerplate reply of the average shopper that would rather not admit that they have no idea what they're looking for. It's that time of year, though, that just about everyone is looking, whether it be aimlessly or purposefully — for the ideal holiday gift, the ideal temporary to permanent mate ("cuffing season"), or even the ideal college prospect, as professional scouts prepare to disperse to NCAA football's innumerable bowl games. How good would the star performer from the hotly anticipated Maruchan Instant Ramen Bowl look in your team's jersey?
Of course, many of the best finds are mere happenstance — the weirdly endearing collector's item at a garage sale or flea market; the fireball you meet at your evening Intro to Flambé cooking class; the unheralded linebacker from the Northwestern South Dakota Polytechnical Fightin' Mudflaps' clash with a Big Money University. Who knows — maybe the film reveals a future defensive player of the year and Sports Illustrated cover athlete? No less miraculously, this issue's "Shop Local" cover was serendipitously discovered on Etsy during an Erie Reader editors' meeting. In addition to our readers, this Thanksgiving we are thankful to Wilson Textiles for the beautiful stitchwork that adorns this publication.
Truth is, a lot of us don't know what we want until after the fact. The important thing is putting ourselves out there enough for opportunities to readily present themselves. If you're in the market for unique, locally-made gifts for family and friends, such opportunities are abounding. Many of them are packed into Small Business Saturday (Nov. 30), spotlighted in this issue. Beyond that, check our in-print and online event calendars for a smattering of pop-up holiday marketplaces and bazaars throughout the region. Can't make those? Nick Warren clues us in on some of the locally-owned shops you can visit throughout the season, while our annual Made in Erie Gift Guide delivers inspiration on specific locally-made items.
Surveying Erie County for its bounties should prove much less fraught than when Andrew Ellicott first did it in the 1790s (see Jonathan Burdick's fascinating piece on Erie's origins), and certainly not as stressful as canvassing the cosmos for habitable planets (which Harvard astrophysicist and recent Global Summit speaker Avi Loeb, whom Matt Swanseger profiles, highly recommends we do this century). Until we better understand how to weave through the fabric of time and space, let's tighten the threads of our community by supporting our immediate neighbors, family, and friends and custom embroider a future that we can proudly display in our home.