1. Plenty of people and things vie for your precious time. With that in mind, we did what we do best: cut through the clutter and deliver the essentials about Richmond. So, when you have five minutes to take a break, dip in and out of the Sourcebook. Meet innovative residents who are garnering national attention, learn about past scoundrels and start a list of new spots to visit.
2. Managing Editor Tina Eshleman coordinated coverage in this annual issue, working with our staffers, freelancers and art directors to come up with memorable top five lists. Some of her favorite stories include Janet Giampietro's "5 Things Never to Say to a Richmonder" (p. 40), "Sushi Masters" (p. 316), Harry Kollatz Jr.'s lineup of RVA's stage stars (p. 80) and Anne Dreyfuss' roundup of cheap eats (p. 324). Online Content Editor Jessica Ronky Haddad teamed up with art director Justin Vaughan to provide complementary slideshows and videos throughout the issue. Jessica even took one for the team when she let a hedgehog climb all over her for our piece on people with exotic pets (p. 96).
3. The Richmond region has plenty to brag about of late: a 2014 top travel destination pick by Frommer's, a 2012 best town distinction in Outside magazine and recognition as one of the best small towns for dining by The Daily Meal ( dailymeal.com ) in 2013. But with those accolades come some harsh realities, too, especially within the city limits. Whether you live in Hanover County or on Hanover Avenue, city school performance scores and city poverty rates all deserve our attention. We have some talented souls working in our schools and in the community (see "Grade-A Leaders," p. 210, and "Sources of Inspiration," p. 60), but we need more.
4. This is the 35th anniversary of the Sourcebook, with Richmond magazine being a spinoff of that very first one in 1979. Thirty-five years ago, downtown was dying, and the city's James River Park System seemingly had only one vocal advocate, naturalist Ralph White. Today, downtown is booming, with residential re-use projects under way in former banks, warehouses and manufacturing sites. The national food press continues to feature our dining scene, and the city's outdoor resources have attracted the 2015 UCI World Road Cycling Championships. While some of you are hunkered down in Short Pump or Midlothian, our region's core is the city of Richmond. It's where the most significant historical sites, cultural attractions and natural resources rest. Visit and support it, often.
5. Creative Director Steve Hedberg loves a good game, whether he's at the Siegel Center watching the VCU Rams or playing Connect Four with his kids. He even incorporated a contest into this year's Sourcebook (p. 352). Identify all six clocks on our section-divider pages, and you'll be entered in a drawing for the ultimate way to take five — a March or April weekend getaway to the Gaylord National. Send your contest answers to email@example.com by Feb. 28, 2014. Use CLOCKS as your subject line. (Certain restrictions apply.)