The copy of Portland Monthly you now hold in your hands will introduce many of you to something new: another magazine. Welcome to the first of what will be a quarterly combined issue of Portland Monthly and Portland Spaces.

Born nearly two years ago, Portland Spaces, which focuses on home design, is Portland Monthly’s younger sister. Though the magazines are published by the same company, only about a quarter of readers subscribe to both. Now, everyone gets a twofer.

Not surprisingly, the decision to combine forces was driven by the economy—money can be saved by sharing production, printing, paper, and staff. And as fate would have it, the talented Jason Blackheart, who rose through the ranks of Portland Monthly and then branched off to lead Portland Spaces’ design, will now serve as art director for both magazines.

From the start, we conceived of Spaces as more than ink on paper. So we are continuing the popular monthly Bright Lights city design discussion. And as part of the local American Institute of Architecture’s October Architecture Month, we’ll present a version of Spaces’ Root Awards by recognizing a trio of “Masters” for lifetime achievement in design and craftsmanship.

In short, we’re keeping our commitment to Portland’s great designers and builders with the belief that, when the recession ebbs, they—and _Spaces_—will rebound with even greater strength.

Meantime, enjoy both magazines. What better pairing could there be than a look at the top current-release Oregon wines by wine columnist Condé Cox and a home design section devoted to the many ways to improve your abode? Or, if you’re happy with your house, turn to our primer (or refresher) on the basics of canning the coming fall bounty. It’s easier than you think. Alternatively, you can savor some highlights from the schedule of local fall arts events, beginning with Bill Donahue’s insightful profile of Oregon Symphony conductor Carlos Kalmar.

Me? I’m going to try a little of everything, starting with the vino. My calendar is already marked for PICA’s Time-Based Art Festival and, for some historical ballast, The Trojan Women at Portland’s Classic Greek Theatre. And there are the still-undrawn plans for my combination sunroom/back deck. But the big task? Pickling the lemon cucumbers from the plant that ate my garden.