Best of Silicon Valley 2004

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Best of Silicon Valley 2004

Checkin' the Year of the Chimp


Arts & Culture
Goods & Shopping
People & Personalities
Sports & Recreation
Style & Beauty
Editor's Short List


DURING THIS year of the simian, we see a lot of monkey see, monkey do. George W. Bush is trying to pretend he served in the military while John Kerry tries to out-psycho a psycho. Reality shows reproduce faster than yeast, to the point where there are, count 'em, two boxing reality series and two swap-your-wife series. Britney Spears is so confused she, oops, married again.

Here in the valley, reverse engineering is pandemic. There are now 50 flavors of iPod look-alikes, and more web portals look like Google every day. Google, of course, made billions off of Overture's revenue model. And Microsoft copies everything in sight, from search algorithms and music downloads to hand-held-device operating systems.

So, guess we should have seen it coming. Metro's Best of Silicon Valley started as the Best of Santa Clara Valley nearly two decades ago, long before anyone had ever heard of Pilates (there was a thing called Jazzercise back then). Now, everyone including the daily, the city mag and the weekly wannabe seem to feel they need to publish some kind of knockoff of our Best Of issue.

Luckily, Metro readers have proved just how smart they really are, choosing winners in a way that only discerning observers of valley life could muster. What other electorate could track down gems like Icing on the Cake for Best Desserts? Confirm that Straits serves up the Best Mojito? Uncover the Best Massage at La Concha Spa and Campbell's Victorian Rose? Or pick both Wooden Horse and Leathermasters for Best Toy Shop? Yes, Metro readers are not only smarter and savvier than readers of other publications, they have more twisted senses of humor.

There's no aping this kind of authenticity, which is why we also look forward to writing about our own favorite things, people and places. In the midst of our Silicon tendency to stare into the distance in search of the next, the Best Of issue is a great chance to stop and take a look at the nest—where we are now. Where we live.

It's a chance for us to celebrate local businesses and the people who give Silicon Valley its personality. The taco truck we swing by on our way back from the City Council chambers. The clothes designer we met at a party at the Blank Club. The Monkey Kiss cocktail, a local creation we stumbled on while researching ... er, something or other.

Political opinion may swing, the economy may swing, but Silicon Valley swings on its own terms. Money is just one letter away from monkey, a typographic truism not forgotten post-dot-bomb. Which makes it appropriate that downtown San Jose's coolest new club has just opened in an old bank—the Vault, which provided the backdrop for the champ of chimps photo shoot. Welcome to the more evolved Best of Silicon Valley, a valley original amid a sea of imposters. And for truists, the only Best Of you'll ever need.

Congratulations to reader Meghan Roberts, Metro's Readers Poll random drawing winner of dinner for two at Seven Restaurant and Lounge and a night out on the town courtesy of Le Grande Affaire limousine service.

Issue Coordinator: Traci Vogel
Contributors: Avital Binshtock, Michael S. Gant, Jim Harrington, Najeeb Hasan, Dean Hinton, Stett Holbrook, Todd Inoue, Yoshi Kato, Christine Lee, Vrinda Normand, Dan Pulcrano, Sarah Quelland, Aaron Robinson, Sheila Sanchez, Gary Singh, Richard von Busack, Gordon Young
Photographs: Charlie Nucci and Dave Lepori
Monkey: Chris G.
Costume: Natasha's Attic

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From the September 22-28, 2004 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

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