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Goldies Standard

Once again, you picked the best of Santa Cruz to be honored with the one and only Goldies Award for 2003. Nice work!

No doubt about it, the Goldies are huge. Huge range of categories, huge field of local favorites getting votes, huge mountain of ballots for the weary Metro Santa Cruz crew to count. But if you want to know the secret of the Goldies ... well, it's really the little things. Like the Oompah Loompahs, whom we hired to count ballots for a while because they'll work for cigarettes and Scotch and because it was fun dressing up like Willy Wonka just to freak 'em out. But after the 1,200th round of "Oompah, Loompah, Loompady Doo, I have another ballot for you," we sobered up and realized that there's nothing like good old-fashioned ballot counting by humans (except in Florida, obviously) and went back to our tried-and-true system.

Seriously, though, it really is the little things that make the Goldies go, and never does that become more clear than when you're wading knee-deep in Santa Cruz opinions. Little things like the fact that "Julio Morgani" and "Accordion Guy" are the same person--if you consider how many locals voted for our returning cover model under both his given and, er, descriptive name, he could have technically taken both the Gold and Silver medals for Best Street Performer.

There are the little things that we just can't get over, like the fact that multiple winner Tacos Moreno is not Tacos Morenos, although absolutely everyone in Santa Cruz including us thinks it is and votes for it as such. Little things like the fact that the name "Bills Wheels" (a winner for best mural) really does not have an apostrophe in it anywhere. Not even a little one. (How can it be? And yet, unbelievably, there it is.) Little things like the fact that hundreds more locals than anyone has the right to expect can correctly spell "Kuumbwa." Isn't there some civic award we can get for that?

Of course, counting Goldies ballots isn't all detail-oriented, insanity-inducing work. Sometimes it's the little things that make it fun. Like catching ballot-box stuffers, Justice-League-of-America-style. Oh yes, we have ways. Or the clever (some might even say smartass) responses to some of our cheekier categories. You would not believe how many people, for "Best Place for Quiet Contemplation," wrote some variation of "If I told you, it wouldn't be quiet anymore." Touché!

"Best Place for Outdoor Sex" always inspires some notable replies, this year's best being "Your mom's house." Those of us who still live with our parents will take that as a compliment.

But anyway, enough of our yakkin'. We may talk a good game about all the work and care we put into these shiny, Oscar-like salutes to the best that Santa Cruz has to offer, but the truth is, the Goldies are yours, Santa Cruz. By the people, for the people. And without further ado, we proudly present your picks.

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Readers' Choice:
Best Food & Drink
Best Arts & Culture
Best Music & Nightlife
Best Goods & Services
Best People & Places
Best Sports & Rec

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From the March 26-April 2, 2003 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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