Year-end lists may seem frustratingly reductive, a simplistic exercise in apples-and-oranges thinking, but they’re also an effective lingua franca that provide a rich snapshot of the arts landscape. Over the last year certain moments captured our critics’ imaginations and held on tight, right up to when we asked them to pick out the high points in film, music, theater, dance, art, architecture, and food. Taken as a whole the lists in this issue are a great illustration of editorial pluralism–and it doesn’t stop with the printed page. The Web is an effective enabler of listmakers everywhere and Reader critics are no exception. See the blogs at for still more lists of the best–and worst–of 2006. continued on page 4

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Imagine Tap!, Soundsuit by Nick Cave, featherless chicken by Adi Nes/photos by Lois Greenfield (Imagine Tap!); James Prinz (soundsuit); The New York Times magazine and Dvir Gallery, Tel Aviv (chicken).