Here they are! The results of the first annual CHATTER MATTERS. Many people expressed their opinions in person and online—we were pleasantly surprised with the number of ballots completed this first year.

Some categories showed landslide consensus, while others were much more contentious. Apparently, the majority of Madisonians choose fried cheese curds as their late-night munchies and think Nigel Hayes of the UW Men's Basketball team is a pretty cool dude. (He should think about running for office.) You all love the Mad Rollin' Dolls Roller Derby team, and the Driftless Area is your favorite local getaway.

We look forward to next year’s CHATTER MATTERS. There will be new voting categories and some other surprises too. Keep speaking up Madison!

THANK YOU!

CHATTER MATTERS 2017 Winners

(Listed in order based on number of votes)

ESSENTIAL PEOPLE:

  • Mark Pocan
  • Nigel Hayes (UW Men’s Basketball player)
  • Tammy Baldwin

ESSENTIAL FEEL GOOD:

  • Madison Public Market (coming soon)
  • Strong public movement to bring back funding for the arts
  • Dane County Humane Society’s efforts

ESSENTIAL GIVE BACK:

  • WORT-FM
  • Schools of Hope
  • Madison Reading Project

ESSENTIAL FAMILY:

  • Henry Vilas Zoo
  • Madison Children’s Museum
  • Memorial Union Terrace

ESSENTIAL GAMES:

  • Madison Mallards Baseball
  • Mad Rollin’ Dolls Roller Derby
  • UW Women’s Hockey

ESSENTIAL WOW:

  • Nigel Hayes news stories
  • The Women’s March
  • Local elections

ESSENTIAL BIZ:

  • So many new businesses starting up!
  • Growlers To Go-Go
  • Float Madison

ESSENTIAL ARTS:

  • Stoughton Opera House concerts
  • The Chazen Art Museum
  • Madison Ballet’s The Nutcracker

ESSENTIAL MAD CITY TRIVIA:

  • Highest concentration of Native American effigy mounds
  • Official city bird is the Plastic Pink Flamingo
  • Best foodie city in the country!

ESSENTIAL DRIVE:

  • The Driftless Area
  • Lake Michigan shoreline
  • Horicon Marsh

ESSENTIAL GUILTY PLEASURE:

  • Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream scoop
  • A Plaza Burger
  • Going to a movie at Sundance Cinema alone

ESSENTIAL QUIET:

  • Picnic Point
  • The Arboretum
  • Madison public libraries

ESSENTIAL OUT OF TOWN:

  • Viroqua Farmers' Market
  • Biking in The Driftless Area
  • Visiting area farms

ESSENTIAL LAZY SUNDAY:

  • Brunch with Bloody Marys!
  • Thrift store shopping
  • Going to see local live music

ESSENTIAL FARMERS' MARKET:

  • Stella’s Spicy Cheese Bread
  • Cinnamon rolls
  • Farmer Johns' Cheese

ESSENTIAL BADGER:

  • UW Women’s Hockey
  • UW Men’s Basketball
  • UW Women’s Volleyball

ESSENTIAL WILDERNESS:

  • Devil’s Lake
  • Arboretum
  • Biking the Sugar River Trail

ESSENTIAL BREW PRIDE:

  • Best use of hops
  • Most unique names/labels
  • Most variety of beer types

ESSENTIAL ETHNICITY:

  • Greek Fest
  • Bandung Restaurant
  • Africa Fest

ESSENTIAL MUNCHIES:

  • Fried cheese curds
  • Anything at The Weary Traveler
  • Paul’s Pelmeni

ESSENTIAL ARCHITECTURE:

  • Bascom Hall
  • Machinery Row building
  • First Unitarian Church-Shorewood

ESSENTIAL IMPACT:

  • Negative politics
  • The Madison food scene
  • Madison’s rich arts scene

ESSENTIAL WISHES:

  • Less development and less traffic
  • More responsive police administration
  • More diversity

ESSENTIAL RETRO:

  • The White Horse Inn
  • Brat und Brau
  • O’Cayz Corral

ESSENTIAL THANK YOU:

  • Madison as a center for liberal and progressive thought
  • The lakes
  • Fun festivals