Some of you may have noticed (I flatter myself that people are paying attention) that I’ve been contributing pretty frequently to Chicagoist over the last month or so. They offered me a great opportunity to freelance, and since I like everyone there, how could I say no?
After Melissa McEwen, my awesome successor as Food and Drink Editor who took over when I went to Tasting Table (RIP) in 2013, decided to step down to focus on other projects (which are going to be crazy awesome, follow her here), the overlords at Gothamist broached the idea of coming back to Chicagoist. I’ve decided to accept their offer. As of this week, I’m the F&D editor of Chicagoist. Again.
In the grand tradition of blogging, to which I am happily returning, here’s a listicle of the top four reasons why I’m really, really excited to be back at Chicagoist.
1) Turns out I really, really missed the pace.
I didn’t even realize it until I started up again, but writing at this pace is an adrenaline rush. Gathering stories is fun, and while I love polishing and polishing longform pieces, it’s also a real challenge to be able to push coherent (even sometimes entertaining) stuff out on a short deadline.
2) Being able to write (and commission!) whatever I want is fabulous.
Any editor will tell you this – being able to curate a publication to look the way you want it (at least in part) is freaking amazing, and I’m delighted at the chance to do it. As many people know, I’m a ridiculous geek about a ton of things. And guess what? Now I can write about them (within limits, of course). I can also help others write about the things they care about. More about that in #3.
3) Chicagoist is changing a lot, and it’s awesome.
When I started at Chicagoist in 2007, it was a ragtag group of pretty amazing volunteers, led by one fearless leader (hi Margaret!) and a couple of very, very part time fearless sub-leaders. These days? There is a full time editor, a full time associate editor, and multiple paid section editors.
Even better? The site is paying its contributors for high-quality, original content. At a time when the food media is getting smaller and smaller and paying jobs are harder and harder to find, I actually get to work for a publication that is increasing the number of opportunities for paid food writing and photography in Chicago. That rocks. PS: if you have great ideas, pitch me at Anthony@chicagoist.com. Oh, and if you take amazing photos or make cool videos, pitch me those too.
4) It fits my schedule.
As some of you may know, by day I’m a lawyer. And when I say “by day” I mean by day, evening, night and sometimes early morning. That’s the lawyer life, and I’m loving it. But I’m lucky enough to work for a firm that doesn’t work me completely into the ground, and this writing gig provides me an opportunity to set my own schedule, work from anywhere and vary my output from day to day. It’s pretty great.
I couldn’t be more excited or happier to start such a fun job. Thanks to all who’ve supported me over the years, and here’s to lots more oysters, martinis, interviews and stories.