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It had its challenges, but 2017 was definitely one of the "good years" for me. I hope it was for you, too. Here are some of my favorites from the past 12 months.
I didn’t know it at the time, but when I saw Tom Petty at Summerfest on July 7, it would be my last. I pick this show as my favorite not just because he passed away three months later on Oct. 2, but because it was a notably heartfelt experience. In the review I wrote, "There was a particular sweetness to him tonight, maybe out of appreciation for four decades of super-supportive fans or maybe through the wisdom of age, but he was definitely more accessible and appreciative then ever." RIP, TP.
New Milwaukee business
There are so many I cherish, but the Fuel on 5th has the most impact on me. I like to meet people there, chow down there and write there. As Walker’s Point continues to grow, it’s important to me that newcomers are local, authentic and edgy. The Fuel gets a black star for all three. And the Korean bowl with steak is delicious.
I am reading right now what I think is my favorite book of the year. "Witches of America," written by Alex Mar, chronicles her five-year trip into Paganism/Wicca, as both a journalist and someone searching for her own faith. The accuracy of historical accounts and personal reflections on the craft are both done with intelligence, respect and the desire to be a part of something she is fascinated by – but can’t quite commit to. Damn, I get that.
Also, my partner gave me two copies of this book for the holidays, one for me and one for him, so we could both read it and have a quasi, one-off book club experience. I love that.
"Get Out" was my favorite film of the year. As part horror film and part commentary on race, I have never seen a film even remotely like this one. It was gruesome, thought-provoking, comedic, depressing and spot on. It also made me a Jordan Peele fan for life and probably a hater of Fruit Loops for life.
I watched all four seasons of "Black Sails," a pirate-themed series, in about two months. It’s the prequel to the famous Robert Louis Stevenson book, "Treasure Island," and although it’s a treasure trove of eye candy from incredible storms at sea to bloody swords to cleavage-heavy costumes, the story goes way, way beyond the usual Johnny Depp-like take on pirates’ daily life. The richly-woven plot and solid writing explore extremely-relevant-today themes like greed, gender equality and acceptance of queer love.
I also committed to "This Is Us" via Hulu this year and bawled my way through both seasons. As an adoptive mother with a son of a different race and as a person who continues to struggle with the death of my father, this one hits a little too close to home. Also: I’ve enjoyed arguing this year with my coworker, Matt Mueller, about whether or not Toby rules or sucks. (#TeamToby over here!)
Winning the celebrity cream puff eating contest at the State Fair and hosting Talk Like A Milwaukee Pirate Day were definitely ridiculously fun high points in my professional life this year, but the crowd-sourced creation of a new Milwaukee toast – which was endorsed by the mayor – encapsulated what I love to do most: bring a quirky idea to fruition and, in doing so, unite and infuse humor and warmth into our community.
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.