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Best of Reader's Poll, 2006

Best of Santa Barbara Reader's Poll, 2006

Superlatively speaking, isn't this town the best? Not too big like that megalopolis to the south, or too teeny-tiny like the host of little villages sprinkled between Buellton and Old Cuyama. Surprisingly cultured for a town its size, with great museums, lively stages, and resounding music halls and clubs, it's also a good place for eats, which comes as a result of its part-time job as a tourist town. We're well-educated as well, exposed to many smart people from two colleges and a major university. It's a land of parks and beaches and mountain trails and sunsets over red sails. But beyond all these generalizations is a town full of individuals who go to work, keep their homes nice, barbecue, and get out in the fresh air whenever they can. From those individuals we gleaned a list of voted-upon preferences in 225 categories of daily life here, in maybe a not perfect but definitely best of many possible Southern California worlds. Read story.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Butchers to Bakers, BOSB'06

This in-town chain gives a gentlermeaning to the phrase “liquid diet.” There are times in our poordigestive system’s rocky history when it needs pampering withsomething sweet and pure and wholesome. Juice makes a good meal;add protein powder and other healthy additives and you canpositively rocket. Read story.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Burgers to Bistro, BOSB'06

Now it’s official: the Benson family’son its way to an empire. With shops in Solvang, Los Olivos,Montecito, and the ever-popular store across from Our Daily Breadon Santa Barbara Street, Carter Benson admits they have their eyeon conquering Carpinteria and bigger cities to the south. Read story.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Bells to Whistles, BOSB'06

It’s the best place in town where yourkids can learn how to play rock guitar. You can buy electronicequipment, as well as beautiful handcrafted acoustic instruments.And the readers pick it every year. Read story.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Roses to Rings, BOSB'06

Rules and protocols of love demandcertain iconography — hearts, candies, flowers, and when it’sserious, jewels and the diamond you marry her with. There are evenmore expensive rings that say, “Whoops, you caught me.” And don’tforget bling, which in certain professional circles is a must. Read story.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Highbrow to Get-Down, BOSB'06

It’s the museum’s 90th birthday comeJanuary, and, as far as anyone can remember, the first year it haswon this category. This is the museum with the rattlesnake box, theplanetarium, and the Ray Strong mural dioramas. Read story.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Rugrats to Kittycats, BOSB'06

In business now for nine years, thefolks at Pet Sitters have taken a variation of the HippocraticOath. “We try to disrupt their lives as little as possible,” saidRenee Trenholm of the animals left in her care. “Except that theirparents are gone, we try to make like nothing is unusual. Read story.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Caffeine to Cocktails, BOSB'06

Many years ago, Europe lived on beer, acombo of the ubiquitous beverage and a grainy stew made from theubiquitous beverage. Then came Budweiser, which almost destroyedthe golden beverage’s credibility. Read story.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Head to Toe, BOSB'06

Sometimes it’s not always easy to leaveit. Billing itself as Santa Barbara’s “Hippest resale boutique,”The Closet is open every day. But on Tuesdays, Thursdays, andSaturdays, The Closet is open to take in consignment clothing,which means fresh stock and buying and trading frenzies. Read story.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Jocks to Rocks, BOSB'06

This has been a real triumph for newbusinesses everywhere, seeing as this one won for camping gear onlythree years after first opening. “We try to make peoplecomfortable, but we also steer them toward the people in the storewho have the most expertise in whatever aspect of camping thecustomer wants,” said store manager Jessica Barcelona. Read story.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Roof to Roots, BOSB'06

Sarah Kitson did not grow up trying toavoid getting sucked into the family business. “Are you kidding?When I was a little girl, in the summer my dad used to take me towork with him. I loved it. Read story.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Wants to Needs, BOSB'06

Jesse is too busy to answer the phonehalf the time — he’s fixing things. If it’s made of leather, he canrepair it — from that vaguely kinky pair of pants to those oldRockports that got you through a lot of city walking and boardmeetings. Read story.

Thursday, October 19, 2006
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