It's easy to say something along the lines of "Wow, I can't believe how fast 2015 went by," and if you do, no one would fault you for it. The years (unlike so many days) go by in what often feels like the blink of an eye. You struggle with writing the new year on everything, crossing out 2014 for 2015, to begin the year, and then just about the time writing the correct date begins to feel natural -- BAM! -- a new one has arrived.
A new year is something to celebrate for multiple reasons. First, we can all take that deep, collective breath and give ourselves some hope that either this new year will be different from the struggles of the one before, or perhaps that we have continued successes that carry over to the new calendar.
It's also a good time to reflect. In the news and publishing industry, it's a chance for us to take a look back over the year at the stories that received the most attention from our readers. Here in Upper Peninsula Second Wave, I have to admit that I was a bit surprised when I ran the numbers. It came to show just how much the U.P. and our readers love their local businesses, communities and artists.
Our top story of the year was about The Marq preparing to open
. And the year has gone well for the restaurant, which has some outstanding dishes to offer up to customers. They've continued to receive top reviews throughout the year on multiple platforms. Yoopers do enjoy a good bite to eat, and the success of the story on The Marq showed just how excited diners were to have it opening.
The popularity of restaurant stories carried over to later in the year, too, as one of our top five stories of 2015 was the Das Steinhaus Market
, which replaced the Union Grill in South Marquette. Again, tasty dishes win the day (seriously, have their German fries… so good) and the support for an expanding local business was impressive (and still is -- absolutely packed there on New Year's Day).
But it wasn't just food that piqued our readers' interest. How former school buildings are being used
again was a well-read story, as was the opening of a small, new general store with a unique name
And, of course, a feature about the outstanding photography of former U.P. Second Wave managing photographer and current small-business owner Shawn Malone drew plenty of interest
. And that's easy to see why, considering she produces some of the most magnificent aurora borealis photos any of us have ever seen.
So, yes, 2015 has come and gone. But the stories in Upper Peninsula Second Wave? They are here to stay, and they'll keep coming through 2016 and beyond. We appreciate the fact that our readers have helped us grow every year since we started, and we hope 2016 will be no different.
Sam Eggleston is the managing editor of Upper Peninsula Second Wave. He was born and raised in the U.P. and is happy any time he successfully makes another trip around the sun.