Best of Silicon Valley 2001

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They Love Us. They Really Do!

Readers flood the Metro Empire with the 411 on where to find the best in the valley

THE COMPLETED BALLOTS started showing up mere hours after Metro hit the streets with its first survey and never slowed down, even after the deadline.

While responses to last years Readers' Survey began arriving in a trickle, this year's missives seemed to be barreling along from the beginning on a veritable tsunami of enthusiasm.

Was it the brilliant "Survivor" theme? Was it a valley full of rebellious readers, refusing to buckle under to a sagging economy? We will never know, but it took us way more late-night beer-and-pizza parties than usual to count all the responses.

Now that the last line on the last ballot has been read and carefully tallied, it is time to honor our favorite category of all--the readers themselves.

Creative, painstaking, methodical, funny--the folks behind the gel pens, pencils and keyboards who filled out the ballots showed that they love their town. Or hate it, in some cases--but at least, feel rather strongly about Silicon Valley.

Poring through thousands of ballots is also a good way to get a little sniff of the cultural zeitgeist; to press an ink-stained thumb on the pulse of the local psyche. Keep in mind that the ballots were completed before You Know What happened, so they indeed reflected the more carefree era of two months ago.

What did we discover? Motherhood is in. In response to Best Day Care Provider, Mom was a major contender. Then there was Virginia Giannatos, whose answer for Best Pancakes was "my mom." Hey, cook up a stack for us, Mrs. Giannotos! On the other hand, we discovered that perhaps some of our readers were not cut out to be nuclear physicists. In response to Best Outdoor Store, one confused reader queried, "Do you mean a store selling outdoor stuff or a store that is outdoors?" But we got our own comeuppance from gentle reader Amanda Monroe, who responded to the category Best Nude Beach: "Where is there sand in San Jose?" Touché, Amanda. Although the answer is, Alviso.

Enough of the generalities, and on to awarding prizes, which will be various gift certificates to fine bistros about town. Or pizza parlors, perhaps. Winners for Most Filled Out Ballots are: Carol Balisi, Elaine Giusti, Chris Rucker and Marcy Kilduff.

The Award for Silliest Answers goes to Pearl Wible, who got a few chuckles with her response to such categories as Best Vegetarian--"Me!"--and Best Housewares--"Clean, without human intervention," and Best Place in the Valley to Visit Before Pulling Up Stakes and Leaving: "Nothing, just leave. Idaho is calling."

The winner for Horniest Answers is Keith Jernigan, who managed to work in the word "sex" 11 times in his survey response. When told of the honor bestowed upon him, the young Mr. Jernigan asked if he was going to be awarded someone of the opposite sex. Sorry, Keith--not in the Metro budget this year!

Our final award goes to Samantha Warren for Most Intriguing Answers. Samantha on the Best Place to See and Be Seen: "I'm a hottie--anywhere is good," and Best Morning Radio Show: "Dog House loyal listener, did their wet T-shirt contest in studio."

Uh, Ms. Warren? Meet Mr. Jernigan.

Best of Silicon Valley 2001 Table of Contents

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From the October 18-24, 2001 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

Copyright © 2001 Metro Publishing Inc. Metroactive is affiliated with the Boulevards Network.

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