Write on: A fresh start

A note from 225’s new editor

You know what they say: A new year means new beginnings.

It’s kind of a cheesy expression, but it’s never hit as close to home for me as it does at this moment.

As I write this, it is my second week living in Baton Rouge and my eighth day as the new editor of 225 magazine.
I moved here in early December from South Florida, where I was the managing editor for 10 luxury lifestyle and interior design magazines. My job entailed finding and working with the best local photographers and writers and staying in tune with the region’s restaurant, fashion, philanthropy, travel and cultural scenes.

I’ve always said that working for a magazine is the best way to learn about a place, and I can already tell the same will be true at 225.

A short list of the things I’ve learned so far: Baton Rouge has a growing art scene that may soon be on par with some of the biggest cities in the country. There’s a live music industry that’s far more advanced than anything I experienced in Fort Lauderdale or Palm Beach. And as national filmmakers flood the area, more eyes are on Louisiana than ever.

I’ve also learned that people here have passion, and they work hard to achieve their goals. I was so impressed with our 2015 class of “People to Watch” and the ground-breaking work they’re doing in the arts, education, health, culinary and public safety fields. These folks dedicate their days to making Baton Rouge a city we can all be proud to live in.

And I am already proud to live here, too.

But the crazy thing is that, up until a few months ago, my knowledge of Baton Rouge was colored by one thing: the LSU Tigers football team. Let me get a confession out of the way: I’m a graduate of the University of Florida and a born-and-raised Gator.

The four Saturdays the Gators played LSU during my time as a student were some of the most nerve-wracking days of my entire life—scarier than final exam week, living in a dorm with “random roommates,” or my first frat party.

The LSU-UF game was always on-the-edge-of-your-seat intense. Besides our innate SEC rivalry, the Gators and Tigers were both good while I was a student—really good.
I still remember what it felt like to beat a big-deal team like LSU—and to lose.

I am sure loyal Tigers fans can relate: As college football fans, we feel wins and losses profoundly. A loss would completely destroy my weekend, to the point where I almost didn’t want to get out of bed the following Sunday.

Still, I was always fascinated watching our team play at Tiger Stadium. Death Valley is as notoriously hard to play in as the Gators’ Swamp. Despite my distaste for the Tigers, I was secretly curious about what it would be like to watch a game in Baton Rouge and feel the stadium’s incredible energy, hear the roar of tens of thousands of fired-up fans.

And if you had told me then that someday I’d end up living in Baton Rouge? Somehow, I don’t think I would’ve been that surprised.

As I make my long Baton Rouge to-do list, watching a game at Tiger Stadium might make the list.

Just don’t tell any of my fellow Gator grads.