Metro's Best of Silicon Valley 2002

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[whitespace] Editors Picks: Fun All Around

Paramount's Great America A Little Loopy: At Paramount's Great America, there are many ways to lose a lunch.

Best Place to Take the Plunge

Paramount's Great America Theme Park
1 Great America Pkwy, Santa Clara 408.988.1776

Sure, when you go to Silicon Valley's favorite theme park, you can always cue up for the trendy rides of the season with the really long lines, but why not do something truly memorable, like make an exclusive appointment for the X-treme Sky Flyer? For a mere 20 bucks, this is the closest you can get to a skydiving experience without ever getting on a plane. First, they strap the two (or three) of you into a snug-fitting harness, then they hoist you up 150 feet in the air, notch by notch, as you face the ground. This anticipatory crank-up is critical, because just when you're feeling like a ball atop a flagpole, they drop you, straight down. And just when you think you're going to hit the ground, you swing out, Tarzan-style, to an arc of 175 feet. From this height, the people really do look like ants.

Best Source of Ichiro Bobbleheads and Chocolate Sushi

Nikkei Traditions
219 Jackson St, San Jose 408.297.7554

Nikkei is a word that most people connote with stock indexes, but Japanese-Americans will beg to differ. Nikkei also refers to American-born Japanese folks. The store Nikkei Traditions honors not only Japanese-American life but also the Asian-Pacific diaspora. There are plenty of neat gifts just right for your too-cool-for-school sansei and yonsei (third- and fourth-generation). Pick up aloha-print dog collars, backpacks, Asian-print baby bibs and aprons, chocolate sushi, dish towels with cute sayings, Hawaiian music and snacks, rad paper lanterns, Ichiro and Shinjo bobblehead dolls--as well as kid's books, toys and clothing. Most stock in other Japanese gift shops is too precious to touch, but at Nikkei Traditions, they have gifts that beg to be used.

Tireless contributors to this year's editor's picks included Corinne Asturias, Michael Gant, Allie Gottlieb, Todd Inoue, Gary Singh, Sarah Quelland, Loren Stein and Gordon Young

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From the October 10-16, 2002 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

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