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Goldies 2005
The Santa Cruz Top 11
Survey Results


Goldies 2005 Survey Results

You picked them to win a 2005 Goldie. We wrote about why they are such great hits.

Reviews compiled by Mike Connor, Linus Eureka, Peter Koht, Benji Langley, Sarah Phelan and Steve Sanchez

Best Food & Drink

1. Bagelry
2. Noah's
3. Bagel Café

1. Gayle's
2. Buttery
3. Kelly's

1. Cole's
2. Bruno's
3. Armadillo Willy's

1. Walnut Avenue Café
2. Zachary's
3. Silver Spur

1. Jack's
2. 99 Bottles
3. Saturn Café

1. Taqueria Vallarta
2. Tacos Morenos
3. Planet Fresh

Cheap Eats
1. Charlie Hong Kong
2. Taqueria Vallarta
3. Asian Rose

1. O' Mei
2. Little Shanghai
3. King Schwan

1. Caffe Pergolesi
2. Lulu's
3. SC Roasting Company

1. Chocolate
2. Buttery
3. Gayle's

French Fries
1. Saturn Café
2. Jack's
3. Carpo's

Grocery Store (locally owned)
1. Shopper's Corner
2. New Leaf
3. Staff of Life

Photograph by Stephen Laufer

Mural Fresh: It's not just the produce at New Leaf that looks good.

New Leaf
Best Natural Food Store

Since the end of World War II, the American diet has taken a dramatic turn toward the artificial. The majority of food products that you can find in a typical supermarket bear little resemblance to anything found growing in nature. Cheese in a can? Kool Aid crystals? Crisco? Even a simple commercial fruit like the tomato is put through chemical hell before arriving on aisle nine. (The vast majority are picked while green, gassed with ethylene to turn them red prematurely, then shipped so that they ripen by the time they arrive at the supermarket. Yuck.) New Leaf Community Markets have taken an entirely different approach in providing food for your table. All five of their locations feature organic fruits and vegetables, sustainably harvested seafood and organic meats. Not only do these products more healthy for you body, they also taste much better than their commercial counterparts. In this era of agribusiness, shopping at natural foods stores like New Leaf is proof positive that eating can be a revolutionary act. (LE)

Ice Cream
1. Marianne's
2. Cold Stone
3. Polar Bear

1. Royal Taj
2. Malabar
3. SRI

Innovative Menu
1. Saturn Café
2. Asian Rose
3. Oswald's

1. Ristorante Italiano
2. Ristorante Avanti
3. Star Bene

Late-Night Eatery
1. Saturn Café
2. Crepe Place
3. Santa Cruz Diner

Local Wine--Red
1. Bonny Doon
2. Bargetto
3. Storrs

Local Wine--White
1. Bonny Doon
2. Storrs
3. Bargetto

1. El Palomar
2. Tampico
3. Tacos Morenos

1. Seabright
2. Boulder Creek
3. SC Brewery

Natural Food Store
1. New Leaf
2. Staff of Life
3. Food Bin

Outdoor Dining
1. Crepe Place
2. Crow's Nest
3. Ristorante Italiano

1. Pizza My Heart
2. Pleasure Pizza
3. Tony & Alba's

Restaurant to Blow the Rent On
1. Shadowbrook
2. Oswald's
3. Bittersweet

1. Dharma's
2. Carpo's
3. Ristorante Italiano

1. Zoccoli's
2. Erik's Deli
3. Togo's

1. Riva's
2. Crow's Nest
3. Stagnaro's

1. Erik's Deli
2. Saturn Café
3. Dharma's

1. Hindquarter
2. Shadowbrook
3. Crow's Nest

1. Mobo Sushi
2. Takara
3. Shogun

1. Taqueria Vallarta
2. Tacos Morenos
3. El Palomar

1. Sabeing
2. Thai House
3. Thai Basil

Vegetarian Menu
1. Dharma's
2. Saturn Café
3. Asian Rose

Wine List
1. Soif
2. Pearl Alley
3. Ristorante Italiano

Best Arts And Culture

Architectural Gem
1. Del Mar Theatre
2. Cooper House
3. Lighthouse

Architectural Nightmare
1. River Street Sign
2. S.C. Coast Hotel
3. County Building

Art Gallery
1. MAH (Museum of Art and History)
2. ? Gallery
3. Felix Kulpa

Photograph by Stephen Laufer

Hidden Jewel: Richness lurks behind MAH's doors.

Museum of Art and History
Best Gallery

Tucked behind the Cooper House in what was once the county jail, The Museum of Art History mixes art and history, through rotating exhibits, permanent displays and ongoing educational programs. Though the museum won a Goldie this year for best gallery, my personal favorite part of the center is the hidden gems to be found in the permanent historical exhibition. Take the sketches of the native peoples, whose dreaded hair and jewelry echoes the fashions of the kids who gather each summer on Pacific Avenue en route to the next rainbow gathering. Or the plaque that indicates that Chinese and Japanese sailors, following strong currents of the Pacific Ocean, may well have got shipwrecked along the West Coast, centuries before the first Europeans appeared.And then there's the impressive photo of a very long-haired Josephine McCrackin, who fled from a crazed and abusive husband to Santa Cruz, where she started the Ladies' Forest and Songbird Protection Association, the state's first animal protection society and worked as a journalist until her death. Cool. Very cool. (SP)

1. Pete Saporito
2. James Ashbacher
3. Graham Perish

1. DeCinzo
2. Tim Eagan
3. Groening

Children's Art Program
1. Kids Art
2. Mariposa
3. Children's Art Foundation

Dance Company
1. Motion Pacific
2. Tandy Beal
3. Ladies of Hula

1. Capitola Art and Wine
2. First Night
3. Santa Cruz Blues Festival

Movie Theater
1. Del Mar
2. Nickelodeon
3. Cinema 9

Mural or Public Art
1. Surfer Statue
2. Upper Crust mural
3. Bill's Wheels mural

Radio Personality
1. Dallas Dobro
2. "Sleepy John" Sandidge
3. Jesse Thorn

Radio Station
1. KZSC-FM (88.1)
2. KPIG-FM (107.5)
3. KUSP-FM (88.9)

Street Performer
1. Umbrella Man
2. Great Morgani
3. Local Guy with Guitar

Theater Troupe
1. Shakespeare Santa Cruz
2. Rainbow Theater
3. Um ... Gee ... Um

Writer (published, local)
1. James Houston
2. Richard Lange
3. Art O'Sullivan

Best Music And Nightlife

1. Red Room
2. Clouds
3. Rush Inn

1. Wendy at Rush Inn
2. Brian at Rush Inn
3. Fafa at Avenue

Club DJ
1. DJ AD
2. DJ Sponer
3. DJ Beebo

Dive Bar
1. Rush Inn
2. Asti
3. Jury Room

Rush Inn
Best Dive Bar

My favorite song in the world is David Allen Coe's "You Never Even Call Me By My Name." In it he talks about he perfect country & western song and how it must contain lyrics about mama, prison and gettin' drunk. Nine times out of 10, when I stumble into the Rush Inn slightly before closing time I hear this song and I realize that the Rush is the perfect bar. It's got linoleum floors, a pool table that's too large for the space its crammed into, video poker, a bartender named Wendy and bathrooms that only have cold water. It's heaven. You can get a greyhound or a whiskey sour with no problems, but if you ask for a Singapore Sling, then all you are going to get is "Honey, I haven't made one of those in years." It also has a pinball machine that you can comfortably lean against while pouring out your hear about someone who broke your heart. Its awesome, but you shouldn't bring your mama, or else you might end up in prison for defending her honor. (PK)

Happy Hour
1. El Palomar
2. Clouds
3. Crow's Nest

Live Music Club
1. Catalyst
2. Moe's Alley
3. Kuumbwa

Local Band
1. Blueprint
2. Extra Large
3. Devil Makes Three

Local CD
1. Blueprint
2. Monsters Not Myth
3. Devil Makes Three

Local Musician
1. Zach Friend--Blueprint
2. Tim McClure
3. Sista Monica

1. Clouds
2. Red Room
3. Ostrich Grill

Place To Dance
1. Blue Lagoon
2. Dakota
3. Catalyst

Place To Play Pool
1. Fast Eddy's
2. Catalyst
3. 007

Place To Salsa Dance
1. El Palomar
2. Crow's Nest
3. Dakota

Singles Bar
1. Red Room
2. Dakota
3. Clouds

Sports Bar
1. Garage
2. 007
3. Club Caution

Best Goods & Services

1. 5 Branches
2. Jessica Davies
3. Adam White

1. Mr. Goodie's
2. Tiffany's
3. Flea Market

Art Supplies
1. Palace
2. Lenz
3. Beverly's

Auto Mechanic
1. Ludy's
2. Specialized Volvo
3. Paul Bear

Bike Shop
1. Spokesman
2. Bicycle Trip
3. Another Bike Shop

Bookshop (New)
1. Bookshop Santa Cruz
2. Borders
3. Capitola Book Café

Bookshop (Used)
1. Logos
2. Bookshop Santa Cruz
3. Literary Guillotine

Camera/Photo Shop
1. Bay Photo
2. Camera Club
3. Wolf

1. Michael Quinn
2. Henry Walton
3. Lawrence Calderon and Adam Schwartz

1. Cotton Tales
2. Gap Kids
3. Lollipop

1. Camouflage
2. Victoria's Secret
3. Purrfect Girl

Photograph by Stephen Laufer

Wigomatic: The hair is not the only thing at Camouflage.

Best Lingerie Store

It's easily the sexiest store in Santa Cruz, a town that has in recent times verged on being sexless, being largely more focused on feminist subtexts than feminine sauciness. And even Camouflage's own beginnings were decidedly prurient--owner Joan Levine originally opened her store as a T-shirt shop in the old Cooper House back in 1980. Gradually the business morphed into what Levine called a "wild and crazy kind of place," but after the earthquake forced her to relocate and start over, she went for a more elegant, European feel. Levine has since maintained a high standard of quality and class--plus a generous indulgence in the explicit side of naughty retail in the backroom. They specialize in the stylish and the sensual, so whether you're out hunting for stylish new top, a delicate camisole or the new multispeed Super Vibro Deluxe 2000, Camouflage is an exciting place to find a sexier you. (MC)

1. Gap
2. Crossroads
3. Ross

1. Bunny's
2. Sockshop
3. Shoe Fetish

1. Pacific Trading Co.
2. Crossroads
3. Rouge

Photograph by Stephen Laufer

Perfectly Accessorized: The Goldie's in the bag at Pacific Trading Co.

Pacific Trading Co.
Best Clothing Store--Women's

When we're in need of retail therapy, we love to wander through the aisles of Pacific Trading Co. and admire their latest fashion collections. In fact, our appreciation begins outside, since their window dressings are always sublimely inventive, but inside is where we really get to salivate over delicious splashes of color, heavenly soft materials and clothes that actually look good on our body, as well as on the rack. And then there are the accessories which make us want to sell our soul to the devil, so we can buy them all. Yes, in a fashion-challenged town, Pacific Trading Co. is one delightful oasis of elegance and classic style. (BL)

1. Crossroads
2. Moon Zoom
3. Goodwill

Costume Shop
1. Closet Capers
2. Cognito
3. Camouflage

Photograph by Stephen Laufer

Return of the Blonde Afro: Closet Capers has it all, including a 2005 Goldie.

Closet Capers
Best Costume Shop

If there's one thing that isn't but should be a requirement in school, it's playing dress-up. Theater kids know the power of an outlandish costume to uncover previously unearthed personalities lying dormant in the back of the psyche. Unfortunately, most adults rarely experience the joy of buckling on a pair of lederhosen and donning a Bavarian hat, the feather aimed just so. Since 1982, Rebecka Hawkins, proprietor of Closet Capers, has been helping Santa Cruz get in touch with its playful side. Hawkins started the place as a vintage clothing store, but quickly found that the greater need was for costumes--elementary and high schools regularly come to her for theater costumes. But adults need her services, too. "It seems like every weekend lately," says Hawkins, "somebody's having some kind of a theme party." No gory slasher stuff though--strictly fantasy and era costumes. Hawkins keeps a number of historical fashion books on hand to supplement her natural costuming instincts. It's difficult, but not impossible to stump Hawkins, and it's even harder to shock her with a request. The weirdest costume she's ever rented out? Santa with fishnets. "I've had calls that are stranger," adds Hawkins, "I won't say what they are, but I just hang up on 'em and say no we don't do those, bye." Decency, people, decency! (SS)

1. Dr. Steve Mann
2. Dr. Jesse Halbieb
3. Dr. Balor Tuck

Flower Shop
1. Nelson & Plumlee
2. FlowerShack
3. Boulder Creek Exchange

1. Toadal Fitness
2. Spa Fitness
3. Gold's Gym

Hair Salon
1. Heat Salon
2. Le Salon Cruz
3. Katwalk

Hot Tub
1. Well Within
2. Tea House
3. Kiva

Internet Service Provider (local)
1. Cruzio
2. Got.net
3. Sasquatch

Best Internet Provider Service

From its adorable beginnings in the garage of two romantically involved computer programmers to its position as the winningest business in the history of the Metro Santa Cruz Goldies awards (they've won a "Best Web Provider" award each of the 10 years that it's been a category), Cruzio has continued to evolve alongside the ever-changing Internet, while continuing to extend its roots in Santa Cruz County. Since last year alone they've accelerated their DSL speed twice: from 1.5 mbps to 3.0 mbps, and now to a whopping to 6.0 mbps (whatever the hell that means)! And for dial-up users, they're offering that fancy schmancy new high-speed dial-up that's all the rage. Domain Hosting, Ecommerce, MySQL and PHP? Check. They've also updated their webmail with reportedly sweet new user-friendly features. Plus, the folks at Cruzio offer all their services in both English and Spanish; they host monthly brown-bag workshops on basic web topics for those who would like to find out what in the hell a "mbps" is (mega bits per second, if you must know); and they also host an annual small business fair. Most recently, Cruzio opened a second store in Watsonville in what is rumored to be "Phase II" in their plan for global domination. (MC)

1. The Vault
2. Stephan's
3. Dell William's

Massage Therapist
1. Debra Mattson
2. Ashley Baydill
3. Stephen @ Well Within

Music Store
1. Sylvan
2. Starving Musician
3. Union Grove

Photograph by Stephen Laufer

Dueling Guitars: You get the best choice at Sylvan.

Best Music Store

I have played guitar for 15 or so years. I love it, but I hate music stores. Usually you get some formerly talented blues player gone to seed trying to tell you that you need a blackface 1974 Fender Twin Reverb to sound like Stevie. Plus there are like eight wankers banging out "Stairway" or the latest Blink-182 song at full blast. Usually I run in, grab my strings and flee to the relative insanity of my own home. These unfortunate situations usually don't present themselves at Sylvan. Unlike most music stores, its not just electric guitars and a handful of basses. They have dulcimers and banjos, fiddles and dobros and most of their guitars are pretty top-notch. Since its expansion a few years ago they have added a vintage room, an acoustic room and an electric room. All in all it's a wonderful place where I can happily waste my time without being hassled about my utter ignorance of Foreigner's greatest hits. (PK)

1. San Lorenzo Garden Center
2. Garden Co.
3. Native Revival

Outdoor Gear
1. Outdoor World
2. Bugaboo
3. Big 5

Record/CD Store
1. Streetlight Records
2. Logos
3. Wherehouse

1. Well Within
2. Chaminade
3. Tea House

Surf Shop
1. O'Neill's
2. SC Surfshop
3. Arrow

Tattoo Parlor
1. Staircase
2. F.U. Tattoo
3. Lovedog

1. Adobe Animal Hospital
2. Santa Cruz Vet Hospital
3. B.D. Mountain Vet

Videotape Rental (neighborhood)
1. Westside
2. East Cliff
3. Hoots

Westside Video
Best Video Store

It's not often that a video store claims its set (Westsi-eeed!), but there's no doubt that this independent and art house film haven is representin' for its peeps--namely, the loyal West Side clientele the store has built over the years. In 1992, Gary Bond purchased the 10-year-old Skyview Video and turned it into a local institution, pioneering the unique "Nickelodeon" section featuring movies that either were or should have been shown at the Nick. In late 2001, two of the store's managers, Matt Stevens and his wife, Jennie Norton, took over the store after being unknowingly groomed by Bond--Gary Bond. Nearly four years later, Stevens and Norton are still keeping it real with over 17,000 VHS titles and an ever-increasing DVD collection, which the couple plans to accommodate by crafty record store-style arrangement. Stevens says the new system will double the store's capacity, thereby eliminating the need to pour old videos out for the homies. (MC)

Best People and Places

Date Spot
1. West Cliff
2. Beach
3. Shadowbrook

Local Hero
1. John Laird
2. Lex van den Berghe
3. Bruce McPherson

Local Villain
1. Robert Norse
2. Mike Rotkin
3. SC City Council

Local Visionary
1. John Laird
2. Mike Rotkin
3. Umbrella Guy

Neighborhood Park
1. Oceanview
2. Frederick Street
3. Garfield and Meder Street

Nonprofit Group
1. Santa Cruz AIDS Project
2. Resource Center for Nonviolence & Homeless Garden Project
3. Planned Parenthood & Jacob's Heart

Place for Outdoor Sex
1. Beach
2. Wilder Ranch

Place to Take Kids
1. Boardwalk
2. Beach
3. Natural Bridges

Sex Symbol
1. Lex van den Berghe
2. "Me"
3. Fred Meng and the Surfer Statue

1. Rachel Cartwright
2. Ms. C. Anderson
3. Valerie Leal

Artful Smile: Rachel Cartwright has lots to be happy about.

Rachel Cartwright
Best Teacher & Children's Art Program

Rachel Cartwright considers herself to be one of the luckiest people on the planet. Not just because she won two Goldies this year--one for Best Teacher, the other for Best Children's Art Program at her Scotts Valley-based KidsArt--but because she gets to combine her two great loves every single day of her working life. "I've always had a passion for art and a passion for working with children," says Cartwright, who opened KidsArt two years ago. "Children keep you young and aware, they challenge you and are very smart. They are not molded or jaded. Everything for them is still new and fresh. They are open to new ideas. They are like sponges--and Art gets them excited. They start with nothing and end with a beautiful piece of work." Hey, with positive words like that we can see why Cartwright has succeeded in creating a safe and nurturing environment in the two years since she opened her school, and already has 180 students enrolled. Here's wishing her many more finger-painted years. (SP)

1. Josh Barlas at Walnut Café
2. Michael Senas at Café Mare and Jason
3. Tellez at Bella Roma
Dara Goldrath at Parwana

Waste of Local Tax Dollars
1. River Street Sign
2. Coast Hotel Project
3. Campaign to Widen Highway 1

Best Sports and Recreation

1. Seabright Beach
2. Natural Bridges Beach
3. Cowell Beach

Bike Ride
1. West Cliff
2. Wilder Ranch
3. Nisene Marks

Birdwatching Spot
1. Elkhorn Slough
2. Neary's Lagoon
3. Natural Bridges and Lighthouse Field

Children's Rec Program
1. Junior Guards
2. Highland's ACE
3. SC Parks and Recreation

Day Trip
1. Big Sur
2. San Francisco
3. Monterey

Hiking Spot
1. Nisene Marks
2. Wilder Ranch
3. Pogonip

Martial Arts
1. IMS
2. Minorsan
3. Claudio Franca Jujitsu

Pickup Basketball Game
1. Meder Street
2. Louden Nelson
3. Jade Street

Place for Quiet Contemplation
1. Beach
2. West Cliff
3. Nisene Marks & Pogonip

Place to Throw a Frisbee
1. De Laveaga
2. Beach
3. UCSC East Field

Sunset View
1. West Cliff
2. Natural Bridges
3. Lighthouse Field

Surf Spot
1. Steamer Lane
2. Pleasure Point
3. Cowell Beach

1. Kali Ray Yoga Center
2. Village Yoga
3. Laura Broderick Burr

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From the March 30-April 6, 2005 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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