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Editor's Letter

The Paper Formerly Known as SF Live

By Zack Stentz

Allow me to introduce The Metropolitan, a monthly San Francisco publication devoted to art, society and food. The Metropolitan intends to give its readers an entertaining window into the delights and irritations of life here and provide an informed guide to local arts and dining.

And those readers who kept up with this publication in its previous incarnation as SFLive will recognize that the new name is merely the latest and most obvious manifestation of a head-to-toe makeover.

Though changes have been proceeding at a steady pace for a number of months now, we've tried thus far to stay low-key about it, preferring to build the new on the foundation of the old. Thus came the addition of new writers, an expanded dining section, and an overall broader focus, spotlighting the city's performing and visual arts groups and the culture that surrounds them.

But tinkering around the margins could only take us so far. At some point, a more radical break with the past was required. Hence, The Metropolitan. New name. New logo, classed up with the gracious help of well-known designer Jim Parkinson. A new Web page, part of the Bay Area-wide MetroActive service. And most definitely a new attitude.

Simply put, we're not trying to be another alternative guide to politics and pop culture. The weeklies already do that job, and do it very well. You won't see investigative stories on City Hall shenanigans or profiles of grunge rock bands in The Metropolitan. Instead, we'll continue SFLive's tradition of covering the fine arts and food, while also providing a clear-eyed look at the cultural life of San Francisco. The Metropolitan is for people who want to live life to the fullest and experience the best of what the city has to offer (and we promise never, ever to refer to San Francisco as "The City.")

As for the contents of this month's issue, we'd like to think they represent the best qualities of both the old and the new. On page 9 we continue the SFLive tradition of annually saluting the 50 figures in the arts who most contribute to making San Francisco a vibrant center for artistic excellence. And on page 6 we go after the people, places and things about San Francisco that we find vexing and irksome and that make us feel, in the words of Weekly World News columnist Ed Anger, "pig-biting mad."

Certainly, working on both lists made The Metropolitan staff feel a little divided, but it gave us all a greater appreciation of all there is in San Francisco to salute and tweak.

Look for more of the same in the issues ahead. I hope you'll join us on this the exciting journey, share in our successes and be patient with our growing pains.

And don't worry--we have no plans to change our name to an unpronounceable symbol.

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From the January 1997 issue of the Metropolitan

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