I’ve only been pulled over for driving overworked once. It was my third week as Arts & Entertainment editor at City Pulse, and I was headed home from my first ever 16-hour workday. I started that day taking photos of hospital “Emergency” signs around Lansing, then finished editing and layout work for the A&E section before wrapping that week’s cover story on local Emergency Room waiting rooms. Then I hung around for the late, opening night Wharton Center review to come in, so I could edit it and put it on the page. I understand why a cop might have thought I was drunk, as I crept down Saginaw Street half awake around 1 a.m.
At that time, I was young and dumb and amused, and working my guts out for the sake of it was kind of fun. After all, the guy who owns the paper sat in a chair less than 20 feet from mine and had at least three or four jobs himself; that is, the guy who signed my checks was right there working his ass off, too. When it stopped being as fun, that fact didn’t change.
Despite the long hours, City Pulse is somehow a magnet for good people. Maybe it’s something about Berl, maybe it’s something about the type of person who wants to do this work, whether on staff or freelance. On the best days, it felt like being part of some kind of gang that could slug through whatever was thrown at us. That we never missed a press deadline is still a wonder to me. I made lifelong friends working there, the kind you can talk to only a couple of times a year and still be right there.
While at City Pulse, I created a feature called “News Haikus,” funny poems about the news written in the 5-7-5 syllable format. If I were still writing “News Haikus,” I’d write one about City Pulse that went like this:
City Pulse weekly
Stories about buildings and
But given the occasion, I think this one works better:
City Pulse turns 10
Buy it from Berl so he can
Buy us all a round
Eric Gallippo was City Pulse’s Arts & Entertainment/Culture editor for all of 2007, 2008 and 2009 … nearly a third of the paper’s existence.