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The Independent’s Best Of Readers’ Poll

In this scary new world we’re living through right now, it’s hard to imagine anyone employing any version of that hackneyed old Dickens lead. But here goes: It was the best of times-for economic woes-and it was the worst of times-to cherish consumer dreams.

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.

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