YOU KNOW THAT FEELING you get when something’s different about someone and you can’t figure out what? Are those new glasses? Was your hair always that color? As you page through this issue of Seattle Met, you may have a similar experience.

That’s because, lucky us, we have a new art director on board named Benjamen Purvis, and already the look of our magazine has noticeably changed. If there’s a blessing for employers in these unsettling days, it’s that job openings attract unusually well-qualified candidates, like Benjamen. A multithreat talent—He designs! He draws! He shoots photos! He writes! He makes movies!—Ben abandoned the baking sunshine of Las Vegas to join our staff and embrace Seattle’s infinite variety of clouds and rain.

Our cover feature, “The Smart Drinker’s Guide to Seattle,” required staff editors Jessica Voelker, James Ross Gardner, and Christopher Werner to belly up to bars all over town into order to bring you the lowdown on all the local drinking lore, classic cocktails, and new-deal happy hours that fit right in with recessionary times. For the cover image, Benjamen flirted with bottle caps, 99 bottles of booze on the wall, a straightforward photo of a cocktail, in Ben’s words, “a hero shot of a signature drink perspiring and creating that lip-smacking factor.” In the end we went with “a retro-style illustration of a server that recalls classic bar imagery: matchbooks, handmade logos, big, foamy beer mugs, mascots, etc., to go along with the feature’s emphasis on the classics.”

Besides finding great job candidates, if there’s good to be found in these angsty times, it’s in the way they inspire us to set meaningful priorities. That could be why relationship expert John Gottman can fill Town Hall with couples looking for the secret of lasting marriage, as Kathryn Robinson recounts in her column this month. And when I read this morning that counselors and psychiatrists were seeing unexpected numbers of people suffering panic attacks and depression from worrying about the economy—even fortunate folks with jobs and health insurance and wherewithal to make their mortgage payments—I knew where to turn. To take the edge off crippling anxiety or just plain invest in relief and relaxation, style editor Laura Cassidy brings you our “Feel Great Now!” guide because, after all, when you look good, you feel good, and when you feel good, you look good—you can bank on it.

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