From the Editor


The Best Best Of

    We’ve had a blast doing this year’s Best of issue.
    Ballot counting was a chore, sure, but the sheer number of ballots sent in (and completed online) got us fired up about the coverage, so this year there are more winners, more photographs and more editors’ choices than ever.
    The 2008 ballot asked readers to choose their favorites in Oakland and the East Bay, and that gave us editors license to get out of town. So we headed to Lafayette for great barbecue, stopped in Orinda for yummy fried chicken and explored Seyed Alavi’s clever public art in Emeryville. We did our share of finding bright gems in Oakland, too, but it was fun to go a little more East Bay–centric.
    As every year, we added some a new categories, including Best Movie Theater. There were no ulterior motives for choosing such a category, but when the Grand Lake Theater handily won, we saw the possibilities. Alan Michaan, the political bard of Grand Avenue and the theater’s owner, graciously let us put our cover headlines in the marquee’s bright lights for a splashy cover and story opener.
    We’re Oakland–East Bay fans, so celebrating the best of Oakland and the East Bay comes naturally. So like the title says, “Whoop It Up!” It’s our best Best of yet.
    Don’t fret if you don’t love Best of issues; we haven’t forgotten you.
    For music lovers, Keith Gleason, a fan of the Garden of Memory new music concert at the Chapel of the Chimes, offers a guide to this memorable summer solstice event that invites concert-goers to wander the maze of the Julia Morgan–designed columbarium as unbelievable music plays throughout. The 10th anniversary concert in 2007, Gleason reports, attracted 2,400 people and the attention of National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition. If you haven’t been, go—it’s that memorable.
    For shopaholics, Elise Proulx gets outdoorsy, taking folks outside where they can fly a kite, climb a rock and surf the wind in Retail Therapy, her regular romp into the East Bay retail scene.
    For foodies, senior editor Derk Richardson, our resident food guru, reviews Maritime East, predicting success for this restaurant, a sibling of San Francisco’s Cafe Maritime. Richardson, a longtime East Bay food writer who oversees and edits the magazine’s food coverage, added restaurant reviewing to his roster of duties beginning in April.
    And finally, for spoken word fans, Dialogues sits down with Jamie DeWolf of Tourettes Without Regrets fame. He’s an over-the-top modern-day vaudevillian with a gift for gab and a talent for prose and poetry whose provocative comments will get you thinking.

Judith M. Gallman

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