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The Bohemian's Best of the North Bay 2005

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Everything Is Beautiful: Pop Goes the Boho

Everything is beautiful. Pop is everything.--Andy Warhol

Every year at this time, we are honored, delighted and--at the late hour when this part gets written--exhausted with pleasure at the specter of celebrating all that is good, better and best about the North Bay.

The Best Of issue is a tradition in the alternative press, and almost every paper in our professional association produces one annually. After all, everyone loves a contest, and our readers' wisdom in sundries ranging from the highest quality oil change to the best public school to the most excellent Zinfandel is read and appreciated by the community for a full year, as this issue is generally claimed as a "keeper."

What the editorial staff likes to add to the mix is an intelligent clamor of voices from our large and talented stable of writers. The beauty of Best Of is, in our estimation, its recognition of the best experiences that we share as a community here in the North Bay. Hard-bitten Best Of veterans like David Templeton have grown used to keeping running mental lists throughout the year, just for this issue, as he has a romantic dinner with his wife, hangs out with his daughters or has a cocktail-party conversation. All is potential Best Of fodder, and everything, therefore, is sacred.

Because, more than any of the other 51 issues we produce each year, Best Of is about everything. It's about eating and drinking, about being with friends and playing with the kids; about taking a hike, getting a hair cut, hosting a dinner party, seeing a play, enjoying a painting, getting an education, reading a book, riding a bike, dancing until 2am. It's about the mundane rounds of life exactly as exciting as oil changes and grocery shopping.

Yet there is a way to enjoy even the most daily routines with joie de vivre, affection and style. That's what Best Of strives to underscore, examine and celebrate.

And, to stretch analogies an easy mile, just as the pop art movement demanded notice of the everyday signage, advertising and packaging usually overlooked around us, the Bohemian's annual Best Of issue aims to magnify and, indeed glorify, the ordinary world that we are so blessed to share together. Contributing to this year's issue are writers Alex Horvath, Heather Irwin, Jill Koenigsdorf, Ella Lawrence, Jeff Latta, Gabe Meline, Matt Pamatmat, Bruce Robinson, Jordan E. Rosenfeld, R. V. Scheide and David Templeton. Our photographers are Michael Amsler, Jason Baldwin, Kristy Hoffman, Pablo C. Leites and Rory McNamara. Rory even tried his hand at writing!

With this issue, we launch our mantra of optimism for another year: Everything is beautiful.

--Gretchen Giles

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From the March 23-29, 2005 issue of the North Bay Bohemian.

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