The Zócalo Dozen Soothe, Agitate, and Enlighten

12 Favorite Essays Size Up 2016 and Anticipate the Year Ahead

In 2016, writers of Zócalo essays took us inside a dry cleaning business in South L.A., admired the ingenious mosaics created by a Chicago artist to fill the city’s potholes, sampled Minnesota soul food, and introduced us to the black man from Missouri who became America’s first “Indian” TV star.

Picking favorites among the hundreds of essays we publish each year is hard—and dangerous, because you don’t want to leave anything delicious out. But after quite a bit of thought and re-reading, the 12 essays below stood out because they felt …