Here’s a sneak peek at the cover of our magazine’s winter issue, which we’ll begin distributing next week. Its theme: “A Sense of Place.” An excerpt from the introduction:
“Our region’s small towns [such as Nevada City, Grass Valley, Auburn, Truckee, Plymouth and Sutter Creek] are worth celebrating as other municipalities build out at breakneck speed, in some cases jeopardizing the open spaces and wildlife corridors that have defined the American West. … The growth debate has created some friction within the region. In the foothills we often hear the refrain ‘Don’t Roseville Nevada County.’ In Tahoe, some locals have complained about the ‘Coloradoization’ of ski resorts, renaming it ‘Tahoe-rado.’
“Besides preserving their heritage, towns with strong identities have become little ‘economic engines,’ drawing recreational enthusiasts such as skiers, mountain bikers and fishermen to escape from the ‘big city,’ as well as people looking for shopping experiences besides malls. Our vineyards and craft breweries are a popular draw, and our farmer markets, with fresh, local food, are going year-round. Performing arts groups, such as The Center for the Arts in Grass Valley, also foster an arts and culture scene that draws people from all over. Some decide to stay, or start a business.”
The cover photo — “Shenandoah Snow,” an American Vitaculture Region in Amador County that we write about — is by Larry Angier, whose photography studio is in Jackson. Larry travels rural America, photographing people, places and the cultural landscape. “This is the real America, where the cell phone shows ‘no bars’ and the term ‘more bars’ means beer and the salt-of- the-earth characters who make travel special,” says Larry. His work has appeared in National Geographic, and in the collections of the National Steinbeck Center, among other places.