Looking back on the past 12 months, since community transmission of COVID-19 was first identified in the United States, it’s hard to believe that so much happened during a year when people were hesitant, for the longest time, to venture beyond their own backyard. We’ve been so homebound, and so sick of staring at our four walls, that City Furniture hired 500 new employees during its fourth quarter just to keep up with our refurbishing demands.
But even as our quarantine binges were adding to the profit margins of streaming services like Netflix, life—in all of its uncomfortable, unfathomable, complex, and often tragic 2020 and early 2021 incarnations—went on.
And it often seemed to move at warp speed, daily headlines with social, political, health and financial implications that raised concerns and temperatures from coast to coast. And not just any headlines. We lived through seismic episodes, one after another, that changed the national narrative so rapidly we didn’t even have time to process the ground moving beneath our feet.
With so much occurring above the fold, in newspaper jargon, smaller stories have a tendency to drift through the cracks. Lifestyle hopes to fill some of those gaps in the upcoming year.
For all of the division we’ve recently experienced, there remains, as so many wise men and women have suggested, far more that binds us. Stories that are worth the read, no matter the climate. Everyday people whose ideas and unique skills add to our day-to-day existence in ways we don’t always realize or appreciate. Philanthropists and volunteers whose benevolent efforts give others hope and opportunity. Chefs who change the way we look at fine dining. Entrepreneurs who change the way we look at business. Entertainers and artists whose prodigious talent enlightens our worlds.
You’ll be meeting some of these individuals in the upcoming year, tri-county residents who add to the fabric of our communities, and people with South Florida roots who continue to make us proud.
People like our cover subject, opera star Nadine Sierra, who grew up in Broward County, went to high school at Dreyfoos School of the Arts in West Palm Beach, and, in the span of a little more than a decade, emerged as an internationally renowned soprano. Her journey, from a middle schooler who was mocked for following her dream to bringing audiences to their feet at Teatro alla Scala, the famed opera house known as La Scala in Milan, is a story we feel is worth the read. And there are more to come.
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Pictured: The Group Editor interviewing author Dave Barry in 2019