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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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Best Professionals

Best Professionals

Category-Winner
Aerobics Instructor-Jaimi Ellison / Lee Pate (tie)
Artist of the Year-Maggie Renner Hellman
Astrologer-Risa D’Angeles/Good Times
Bartender-Eric Adams/Michael’s on Main
Carpenter-Richard Singer
Chiropractor-Dr. Katie Griffin
Contractor-Costa Bella Builders
Dentist-Guy W. Peabody DDS
General Practitioner-Michelle Massie
Landscaper-Neu-Scapes

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Best of the Rest

Best of the Rest

Category-Winner
Activist Group-Occupy Santa Cruz  
Beach-Seabright
Childcare-Santa Cruz Toddler Care
Computer Training-Cruzio
Green Service-Greenspace
Local Hero-James Durbin
Mover & Shaker (Local)-Danny Keith
New Business-Vice Salon
Nonprofit (Local)-Save Our Shores
Place To Learn New Things-Cabrillo College

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Marley

Marley

Has the ‘definitive’ documentary about the reggae superstar finally arrived? Bob Marley’s daughter, Cedella, opens up about her famous father and the new film that reveals the (hu)man beyond the legend.

It’s hard not to be taken in by the opening moments of the new documentary Marley. Waves—so passionate, so lush— crash onto the shores of West Africa. A moment later, we spot a few men standing up in a long canoe as they paddle toward an unknown destination. And then, a majestic image appears on screen. At least it looks majestic—from the outside. It’s Cape Coast Castle. And perched here in Ghana, West Africa, it remains a sobering reminder of one of history’s more darker eras. You see, the castle was the threshold where enslaved Africans were held and later shipped to the Caribbean, to North America and to other places in the world in the 18th century. A tall man—a “tour guide” of sorts—informs  viewers that 10,000 enslaved Africans were shipped from the spot year after year—and that eventually millions of Africans were taken from their homeland.

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Occupied

Occupied

Three days of barricades, meetings, dance parties and sleeping inside a vacant bank—and charges of trespassing, vandalism and conspiracy against 11. A deeper look inside some of the lesser-known aftereffects of the local Occupy Movement.

Seventy-four days after the birth of the Occupy Movement in September 2011, a self-described “anonymous, autonomous group standing in solidarity with Occupy Santa Cruz,” entered a building in Downtown Santa Cruz that had been vacant for three years. A press release from occupiers explained that the building, formerly owned by Wells Fargo and now leased to the bank, would be “transformed into a community center.”

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The Battle at the Plate

The Battle at the Plate

With a new book, ‘No Happy Cows,’  and the forthcoming Virtual Food Revolution Summit, author John Robbins stirs up a food uprising unlike any other. Why the push for more natural foods and less processed, industrial foods has never been greater.

Julia Child and John Robbins walk into a veal barn. (This sounds like the start of a great joke, but it is actually the beginning of a true story.) It was the late ’90s, and the pair were speakers at a conference in Philadelphia, Penn. Child, the iconic American cook and gastronomic Francophile, was well into her eighties; Robbins, who is a Santa Cruz County resident, was a decade into his reign as the leading advocate of a plant-based diet.

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Mars Enters Scorpio: The Nine Tests

Over the years I’ve mentioned the nine tests of Mars and Scorpio. The tests are given to everyone—unawakened, beginning to awaken, and the awakened. The purpose is to test our strength, courage, ability to adapt, discriminate and have discernment. To see if we are deceived by illusion or are “warriors triumphant, emerging from the battle.”

 

Final Cut

Cedar Street Video to close after 10 years at downtown location

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of July 25

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >

 

The Maestra Returns

Cabrillo Festival’s Marin Alsop is back to ‘rock the boat of tradition’
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Time is Ripe

Local fruit harvests hit markets, Storrs Winery celebrates ‘Best White’, and a salt fix from heaven

 

I remember Santa Cruz when…

Santa Cruz | Librarian

 

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

 

Hunter Hill Cabernet Sauvignon

Smooth with soft tannins, this velvety crimson Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 is delicious and very drinkable.