Stone and tile are obviously among the top choice of materials for many designs in both the commercial and residential sectors. With so many varieties, sizes and shapes available, there is a product to meet everyone's design aesthetic. As an editor for three publications that cater to these industries, I have the pleasure of writing about many projects that use these materials. And while they are all interesting because they all have their own story to tell, I have to admit that I always take particular interest when a project hits close to home, such as the "Spotlight on Broadway" map  in Manhattan's Time Square -- one of the Project Spotlights in this issue of theStone & Tile Design Insider.

Living just across the Hudson River in Northern New Jersey, I often travel into New York City -- both for work and fun. I can't even count the times that I have walked among the hussle and bustle of Times Square. So when this story about the new granite and steel public artwork in the permanent pedestrian area of Times Square came across by desk, I was excited to learn more. I now have an excuse to make another trip to Manhattan to take a look for myself.

And when you read the feature, you will learn that the project also has special meaning to its fabricator, Jim Belilove of Creative Edge Mastershop in Fairfield, IA. Belilove had read about the New York City reconstruction project and followed its progress during visits to his sister, a long-time resident of Manhattan, and his daughter, a student at Parsons The New School for Design. When the second stage of the renovation project began, he was surprised and happy to get the call requesting that his waterjet-cutting and design firm fabricate the piece that includes the names of the 40 theaters on Broadway.

"When the phone call came from Dale Travis Associates asking us to fabricate the stylized map of the 40 Broadway theaters in Times Square, I couldn't help but feel a bit of a thrill," he said.

Not only was this a project I was interested in sharing because of its meaning to me, I thought that it was a personalized story of the fabricator that was worth sharing. I know that he is not the only one who has worked on projects that hold a special place. If you have one to share, please don't hesitate to let me know about it at I'd love to hear from you.