The conversation snippets that stood out most in a year of a billion interviews

“When I worked on the South Side, I would go a different way on my bike to work. I’d be like, ’I don’t know what that road is.' ... The first time I biked by [Golden Donuts & Diner], I was like, ’Oh, I’m going there tomorrow.’ It’s in a part of town where it has survived outside of the [growth] of Columbus. This is there. It was there, and it still is. Those donuts are pre-sacred. Before anything was sacred, it just was. ... And it’s a good donut.” - Ryan Eilbeck of Natural Sway

“I was trying to find a morning coffee routine on my way to work, and I remembered Yeah, Me Too and stopped in. I kept coming in. This dude with the most beautiful hair and wildest eyes became part of my regular morning routine. … I began to understand that this man had this beautiful power and network of people drawn to his beauty. This dude is magic!” - Sharon Udoh, who performs as Counterfeit Madison, speaking about Jovan Karcic

“When you collect license plates, you’re supposed to collect them from every state in the union and Canada the year you were born. This [Louisiana plate] was really hard to get. Louisiana makes you turn in your old plates before they’ll give you new plates, and they’re literally not out there. That was very expensive, unfortunately. But you can’t have all but one! What would people say?” - Steve Wagner of the Wagner-Jaybird Auto Collection

“Let’s take the Asian rap money and go get tattoos.” - Joe Camerlengo of Blanket Boys

“When you’re just so down to the point where you have nothing, no one, and that is all that is offered to you, you take it. You deal with it. People have said, ‘You could have put your rent in escrow. You could have sued. You could have fought this.’ No. When you’re at a point in life where you’re just so down, you’re not thinking about things like that. You’re thinking about survival. You’re living from paycheck to paycheck. ... I knew the whole time that I deserved better. It was just a matter of, how am I going to get out of this? Who’s going to help me get out of this? Who will want to help me get out of this? And then here comes Move to Prosper.” - Kateresa Lee

Alive's top fictional jam-band names from 2019: Leftover Tuna, Neon Wildersquash, Hot Bologna, The Pimento Birds, The Green Banana Slam-Jackets, Mango Sunrise, Electric Pomegranate. Sign up for our daily newsletter

“In the mid-’90s, there was this ongoing thing about keeping it real. People really liked to glamorize living in the hood. We would see people come from areas like Gahanna, and it blew our mind how these kids from out that way would want to come live in our neighborhood. We were just shaking our heads, like, ‘What the hell?’ They got fascinated with the lifestyle. But we were going to funerals, so we knew.” - Don “DonCee” Coulter

“It’s obviously something to come kind of completely out of left field in the context of a rock performance to suddenly be like, ‘OK, for this next song, I’ll show you some drawings and tell you the history of North Korea.’” - Jeffrey Lewis

“For one of the tracks we’re working on now, we tracked some auxiliary percussion with a screwdriver, a pair of scissors, a can of LaCroix and a bottle of tequila that had some ribbed edges on it.” - Carly Fratianne of wyd

“It’s basically like, ‘There’s this crazy dude who’d like to go out to the forest with you and just sit and listen.’ It’s really difficult to convince people to do this.” - Brian Harnetty

“When you hear that new construction is $30 or $40 a square foot, what fledgling art gallery is going to take a chance on that? So what are we going to wind up with in the new construction? Bonobos and Lululemon. ... I’ve heard rumblings that some of the new construction can go as high as $50 a square foot. Think of that! I don’t think even Lululemon can sell that many pairs of yoga pants.” - Duff Lindsay

“You know that feeling where you instantly have to pee your pants?” - Amy James, who wrote a letter to Paul McCartney about Joe Peppercorn's Beatles marathon

"I will never forget that roar. I’ve had some responses from the work that I’ve done in the past, but from a city that didn’t know I existed, to respond in that way to something that I really believed in and felt great about was... oh, my gosh. There’s no way to even put it into words.” - Arthur Marks