|  July 1, 2010

This month Citylife celebrates our 19th anniversary – hence the Milestone Issue. Though I am the first to admit that we have certainly had happier birthdays (in spite of my personal feelings about our ex prime minister, he did shower Chiang Mai with love during his time in office, and many businesses would be hard pressed to deny benefit from such largess…those giddy halcyon days), we have certainly had far worse (remember 1998? Months of door-to-door sales, or more correctly, door-to-door slams).

I was still a spotty faced, gangly (yes, I swear) teenager when this magazine was founded, a small black and white newsletter aimed at the few thousand expatriates in Chiang Mai thirsting for any form of English language information. Today, our readership has expanded beyond expatriates – though they number in the mid- to high-tens of thousands – to encompass swathes of resident Thai readers, and millions more annual readers online from across the globe.

Though our reach of readership has expanded, our focus remains the same: to provide a quality, pertinent, entertaining and informative magazine about Chiang Mai and the north of Thailand. It has been a hard year for us, indeed for most businesses, and while we may have had to sacrifice a few pages of print, cut back on a couple of events, be more circumspect with sponsorships, I do believe that we have maintained our standards, quality content and, importantly, integrity of intent.

Now that – touch wood – the worst is behind us, it is time to focus on the future.

Over the next year, leading up to our big 20th birthday, Citylife will hold a series of events, from parties to charity fundraisers, culminating in a large anniversary extravaganza this time next year. Our writers have also been brainstorming to bring you more insightful features, interviews with fascinating personalities, travel to exotic destinations, and general updates on goings on in Chiang Mai. Our marketing team is forging partnerships with local businesses to offer you more value, special deals and other unique activities. Our successful CityCard campaign, which now numbers tens of thousands of card holders, and over one hundred partner businesses, will continue until the end of March next year, and we are already planning more outdoor movie nights and garden fairs once the rains end. Our commitment to the environment stands, and we invite you all to join us with our carbon neutral initiatives.

Not to focus too much on our own milestone, we have dedicated this issue to numerous other milestones and achievements. I do hope that you enjoy our feature articles this July and I very much look forward to celebrating our 20th anniversary with you on these pages next year!

To the next milestone!

Citylife this month:

James Austin Farrell has been beaming since he received word that he had been given an interview with Apichatpong ‘Joei’ Weerasethakul, winner of this year’s Palme d’Or at Cannes Film Festival – a certain milestone for Thai cinema. Though Farrell and our photo editor were squeezed in for a short one hour interview at his office in Bangkok, I believe you will find the interview fascinating. Another incredible milestone I believe is that of Major Roy Hudson, who, now in his 90th year, first arrived Thailand 60 years ago and has been living in Chiang Mai for 50 years. Our intern from Canada, Brook Lew, has brought her fashion background to the fore with our first fashion feature in many years, showcasing the new talent in Chiang Mai’s bourgeoning fashion industry.

I would also like to congratulate the US Consulate General on the 60th anniversary of its presence in Chiang Mai, a story of great partnership, also written by Lew.