This is the time of year that finds Madison on the brink of its 2009-10 season. We begin to contemplate school, football and a host of autumn activities that deliver us to the new year on the calendar. This is also the time of year when many new people, often associated with the university, but not always, find themselves ensconced in the upper Midwest without a clue.
Isthmus Publishing endeavors to clue all those folks, and you too, in on how to navigate the Madison area geographically, culturally and otherwise.
One of the primary ways we do this is with the Annual Manual, which, not coincidentally, is within your Isthmus this week. The 29th edition of this perennial publication delivers the answers to our annual Madison's Favorites Poll, conducted in June. The results are delivered in entertaining essays written by various staff members.
The Manual also contains maps, a comprehensive restaurant guide, a resource directory and other helpful features. It includes a lead story, "The Lay of the Land," outlining Madison's neighborhoods. This abets an ongoing long-range web project on TheDailyPage.com, Neighborhoods. This Thursday, Aug. 20, our latest neighborhood page, Middleton, goes live at noon (middleton.thedailypage.com). You'll hear more about this activity another day.
A heightened sense of place strikes the regular paper this week too. Our cover story, "Off Limits," is a departure for us - a photo essay, with words and pictures by Christopher Guess. Guess, a 2008 UW graduate, former Wisconsin State Journal intern and Daily Cardinal photo editor, accepted our assignment to photograph some of the places in the area that people don't usually get to see. A freelance web designer and photographer in Madison and Milwaukee, Guess takes us places you, we hope, have never been before.