By Julie Lawrence Special to Published Aug 21, 2009 at 10:38 AM

One of the most interesting, and beneficial, aspects of my job at is how in tune I feel with my city, whether it's access to inside tips on new attractions (which we, of course, share with all of you), or just being hyper-conscious of the trends as they cycle through over the years.

I often wonder if I'd be so in tune to the constant transition around me if I weren't paid to do so? I'd like to think so, but as I mentioned in a blog earlier this summer, tracking turnover can be a full-time job.

The city is in perpetual change and one of my favorite things to do is look back on the landscape and gauge how far we've come.

A recent reader Talkback to Maureen Post's review of Stack'd got me again thinking about trends. The Stack'd comment slammed the new burger bar as being more of the same in a city that already had enough beef patty players.

It reminded me of a blog I penned almost exactly one year ago expressing my thoughts about the sudden influx of pizza places, specifically south of Downtown on or near Water / 1st Street.

Unlike this Talkbacker, I wasn't specifically complaining that there were too many pizza options -- in his comment he compared Milwaukee to Hollywood saying there were "no good ideas left." My blog just explained that while I adored all the new additions, I was curious to see what the community thought about gaining five pizza restaurants in a year?

I then asked what other types of eateries everyone wished to see.

A few mentioned Asian, others mentioned sit-down Greek, even Russian.

Well, it's been a year since then. What's changed? And, are we happy with it?

All those pizza restaurants -- Rustico, Transfer, Olive Pit, Classic Slice and Times Square Pizza -- are still going strong. Plus, Brick 3 was welcomed to the mix, albeit in a different neighborhood.

Someone's call for Asian was answered with the opening of Lucky Liu's (watch for a review from Amy Schubert on Monday.) And Farwell Avenue's La Dolce Vita brought Moroccan to the scene.

What else do we have? Centro Café does Italian in Riverwest now, and from the sounds of it, does it well. Honeypie replaced Annona Bistro in Bay View and the old North Point snack bar on the beach was revitalized by the Bartolottas.

In the ‘burbs, we got Flat Top Grill, Silver Spur and Le Reve, among others.

We also have more street cart options than ever before.

I'd say Milwaukee fared well in the last year, despite a recession. What do you think?

Julie Lawrence Special to staff writer Julie Lawrence grew up in Wauwatosa and has lived her whole life in the Milwaukee area.

As any “word nerd” can attest, you never know when inspiration will strike, so from a very early age Julie has rarely been seen sans pen and little notebook. At the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee it seemed only natural that she major in journalism. When offered her an avenue to combine her writing and the city she knows and loves in late 2004, she knew it was meant to be. Around the office, she answers to a plethora of nicknames, including “Lar,” (short for “Larry,” which is short for “Lawrence”) as well as the mysteriously-sourced “Bill Murray.”