Best of Seattle: The Little Things That Make a Big Difference

As we were putting together this year’s edition of Best of Seattle®, Microsoft went and laid off 18,000 workers. My first response was a deep, sustained groan. Our theme for this year’s parade of greatness was going to be Micro-City, after all; and for a moment, “micro” seemed like a disagreeable prefix. Perhaps sensing an approaching fit, my staff quickly reminded me of the reasons behind our theme. Slowly my blood pressure began to subside.

They reminded me that it’s not just Microsoft and other industry giants that make Seattle great. Sure, they deserve a lot of credit, but it’s the small touches that make this an enviable spot to live right now. That’s what micro means to us.

This year’s Best of Seattle still includes a lot of big categories, but it also sheds light on the city’s many micro components—that adventurous start-up, this charming neighborhood, that band, this sandwich, that one defining moment.

We’re also telling the stories of lesser-known heroes, micro-celebrities who are a big deal to smaller communities. It’s the spirit of these leaders, doers, thinkers, and makers that shapes the city’s soul.

And it’s all these small things that keep the city going, through greatness and the occasional groan.

MARK BAUMGARTEN, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

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ILLUSTRATIONS BY KELLY THOMPSON

 
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