I remember my first byline in the Alibi. It was attached to an article on Albuquerque's brand-new rapid transit bus system, called the Rapid Ride. I sought out that precious byline at the paper's little blue box outside the Co-op in Nob Hill. White Christmas lights had already been draped around nearby trees. It was a Wednesday around 6 p.m., the time my editor had told me papers would start showing up in that part of town. The issue was the Holiday Film Guide. When I flipped through it, I found my story on page 14. I jumped a little.
It was November of 2004. George W. Bush had just won re-election. And I had just landed an internship at the Alibi after leaving a masters of architecture program that didn't quite fit.
Since that cold and gleeful night outside the Co-op, the Alibi has become my second home. It has seen me through victories and calamities; it has introduced me to lifelong friends as well as my fair share of vitriolic phone calls from vehement readers; it has seen me grow as I have seen it grow. And it has given me a place in our community.
By the time this issue hits stands, I will no longer be at the paper—or, that depends on how you define it. I am leaving my post as editor-in-chief to try to work as an independent journalist. So although I will no longer be stationed in the Alibi offices, you will see me again in the paper's pages.
In my stead, Laura Marrich, known to you with a triple-title role—managing editor, music editor and food editor—will take the helm. She will continue to oversee the food section, but Jessica Cassyle Carr will take over the music section. Marisa Demarco, the Alibi's news editor, is now also the paper's managing editor. I leave with not a whit of concern, because the people I am leaving you with—the ones mentioned above, along with Arts Editor Erin Adair-Hodges and Film Editor Devin D. O'Leary—are some of the most talented, dedicated, tireless and all-around finest people I've had the pleasure to know.
Realizing that I'll still be involved with the paper in one way or another doesn't make me any less nostalgic in these final days. Tomorrow (last Friday to all of you) I am tasked with cleaning out my office, and it's a chore I'm dreading more for emotional reasons than any other. All of this cleansing and purging floods my brain with memories and makes me think of all that I'll miss.
I'll miss the feeling of Wednesday mornings, when the paper is on its way to stands and countertops, and there is a moment of calm before the chase and the grind and the sweat starts all over again. I'll miss the letters. I'll miss the way Paul Sessa smiles when the editorial department actually makes its deadlines. I'll miss Jeff Drew's face. I'll miss the way Tom Nayder looks at me when I ask him to do something he doesn't want to. I'll miss the endless meetings that seem to multiply like rabbits—because although they are distracting, the people who contribute to them always have such interesting things to say. I'll miss 20-minute-long discussions over comma placement, and everything else, with Laura. I'll miss Jessica's music, Erin's offhand witticisms, and Marisa's fervent work ethic and grace. I'll miss the way Devin pretends not to hear a conversation you're having right behind him and then swivels around in his chair the moment you're at a loss in order to give you the precise answer to whatever random bit of information you're seeking. I'll miss Carl Petersen's yeti updates. I will miss my columnists and my freelancers and every intern I've had. I will miss every single other person at the paper, because they are all admirable and kind. I will miss saying that I'm the editor of the Weekly Alibi, because it’s a paper I’m proud to have belonged to.
Thanks for staying with me through this drawn-out farewell, which is admittedly more for me than it is for anyone else. And thanks for the last five years.