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Sep 22nd
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Cover Stories

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Top Chef

Top Chef

Soquel’s own culinary whiz kid takes us behind the scenes of competitive cooking

In the United States, most people associate the act of turning 21 with one thing: the ability to legally purchase and consume alcohol. But for Soquel native Reilly Meehan, who just reached the milestone in November, being 21 has an even better perk: He can now study the art of wine pairing.

It’s a passion that’s out of the norm for people his age, but for Reilly, a burgeoning chef who just earned the title of American Culinary Federation Western Region Student Chef of the Year, in March, wine pairing is the next conquest in a long line of skills he hopes to master in the kitchen.

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Summering

Summering

Deep thoughts, bons mots and other misadventures in the art of ‘summering’

There is a holy trinity of summers that dwell within my psyche,  not unlike Charles Dickens’ well-worn Ghost of Christmas past, present and yet-to-come. Mine don’t anthropomorphize, shake chains or walk through walls, and my specters are not intentioned on providing a learning moment, as they were for dear Ebenezer Scrooge. Mine serve more as reminders; mine are more taunt than haunt. (For you Dickens fans, I vow to deal with the allegorical implications and comparisons later.)

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Green Pages

Green Pages

Bike to the future
Three’s A Charm
‘We’re Open’
GreenBiz

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Santa Cruz Film Festival

Santa Cruz Film Festival

Famke Janssen opens up about her premiere in the Santa Cruz Film Festival. How she morphed into writer-producer-director of the new, inventive comedy-drama, ‘Bringing Up Bobby’

Local filmmakers deliver a provocative look at street youth and the transformational power of music in ‘Don’t Cost Nothin To Dream’   

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The Cannabis Couple

The Cannabis Couple

With April 2’s Oaksterdam University raid still fresh in collective memory, this year’s 4/20 celebration was more than just a holiday for stoners; it was a “We shall overcome”-style show of solidarity. Like persecuted minority members lighting candles at a vigil, the ganja smokers of America hoisted their doobies high, refusing to be vilified for their love of a plant that promotes giggling, quesadilla appreciation and thoughts of how cool it would be if the moon were triangular. 

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The 2012 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll

The 2012 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll

What is the best new business in Santa Cruz County? Where do you find the best calamari? Which local mover and shaker captured your interest? The answers to all that—and much more—awaits. Welcome to our annual Best Of Santa Cruz Readers’ Poll. It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, we spotlight all of the local businesses, restaurants and humans that captured your interest over the past year. Our hats go off to our readers, for voting, and to all of the individuals recognized as being the “best” they can be in the creative realms they operate in. They’re a passionate bunch, these winners, so take some time and appreciate their time in the spotlight. Also, take note of our annual Critics’ Picks on page 100, where our editorial posse unveils a different kind of “list.”  As always, thank you for reading. And here’s to another year of making Santa Cruz County the very best it can be.
As always, thanks for reading. And here’s to another year of making Santa Cruz County the best it can be.
—Greg Archer, Editor

Best of Santa Cruz County Index:
| Critics’ Picks | Shops | Food & Drink | Arts & Entertainment | Health & Fitness | Professionals | The Rest |

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Best Shops

Best Shops

Category:Winner
Adult Store:Pure Pleasure
Antiques:Mr. Goodies
Arts & Crafts:Palace Art
Auto (New):Toyota Of Santa Cruz
Auto (Used):Ocean Honda
Auto Repair:Specialized Auto    
Bank (local):Bay Federal  
Beachwear:O’Neill
Bicycle Shop:The Bicycle Trip

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Best Food and Drink

Best Food and Drink

Category:Winner
Açai Bowl:Cafe Brasil
Appetizer:Crow’s Nest
Bagel:The Bagelry
Bakery:Gayle’s Bakery
Bar:515 Kitchen & Cocktails
Bloody Mary:Harbor Cafe
Barbecue:Aptos St. BBQ
Burger & Fries:Betty Burgers
Burrito:Tacos Moreno
Bread:Gayle’s Bakery

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Best Arts & Entertainment

Best Arts & Entertainment

Category:Winner
Art Gallery:Davenport Gallery
Local Band:Extra Large
Billiards:Surf City Billiards
Dance Club:Motiv
Dance Studio:Motion Pacific
Festival:Capitola Art & Wine Festival
Karaoke:Karaoke Sound Co.
Local Solo Musician:James Durbin
Movie Theater:Del Mar Theatre

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Best Health & Fitness

Best Health & Fitness

Category:Winner
Acupuncture:Five  Branches
Aerobics Studio:Santa Cruz Dance Co.
Alternative Health:Five Branches
Bike Trail:Nisense Marks
Botox:Laser Hair & Skin
Day Spa:Caress Day Spa
Facial:L’Atellier Day Spa
Fitness Center:Toadal Fitness
Fitness Trainer:Kyle Haynes (Santa Cruz Strength)
Golf Course:Pasatiempo

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Catwalk on the Wild Side

Meet the artists and designers behind this year’s edition of FashionART, SantaCruz’s most outrageous fashion show

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Watch List

From Google to the government to data brokers, why your privacy is now a thing of the past

 

The Peace Equation

Sunday is the United Nations’ International Day of Peace, a global peace-building day when nations, leaders, governments, communities and individuals are invited to end conflict, cease hostilities, creat 24 hours of non-violence and promote goodwill. Monday is Autumn equinox as the Sun enters Libra (right relations with all of life). The Soul Year now begins. We work in the dark part of the year (Persephone underground) preparing for the new light of winter solstice. Tuesday to Wednesday is the Virgo new moon festival. We know two things about peace. “The absence of war does not signify peace.” And “Peace is an ongoing process.” In its peace-building emphasis, the UNIDP, through education, attempts to create a “culture of peace, understanding and tolerance”. Esoterically we are reminded of the peace equation: “Intentions for goodwill (and acting upon this intention) create right relations with all earth’s kingdoms which create (the ongoing process of) peace on earth.” At noon on Sunday, in all time zones, millions of participating groups will observe a moment of silence for peace on earth. Bells will ring, candles will be lit, and doves released as the New Group of World Servers recite the Great Invocation (humanity’s mantram of direction). To connect with others around the world see www.cultureofpeace.org    Let us join together with the mother (Virgo). Goodwill to all, let peace prevail on earth. The dove is the symbol for the day.
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Sweet Treats

Local cannabis bakers win award for cookies

 

What fashion trends do you want to see, or not see?

Santa Cruz  |  High School Guidance Counselor

 

Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

 

Santa Clara Wine Trail

My memories of growing up in England include my mother pouring port after Sunday dinner—and sometimes a glass of sherry before dinner. My family didn’t drink much wine back then, but we certainly made up for it with the port and sherry.