The best solitary art
In the hills north and west of the intersection of McCarran Boulevard and North Virginia Street, there’s a sculpture titled “Bakardade” (“Solitude”). Created by Nestor Basterretxea, it has stood since August of 1989 as a monument to the Basque sheepherders who played a significant role in the history of the West. Basterretxea, a Spaniard who was exiled to France after the Spanish civil war, has specialized in works touching on the Basque experience. “Solitude” is abstract without being inaccessible. The shepherd cradling a lamb in his arms is quickly recognizable. From there, it is a site and a work that—even with the sound of cars on McCarran—lends itself to quiet thought and, well, solitude.
Most family-friendly downtown
While the Truckee River Whitewater Park has done a lot to improve downtown Reno, you can’t beat Sparks for providing a more family-friendly downtown atmosphere. Sparks may not have the variety of gaming and entertainment venues that Reno has, but it makes up for that with its outdoor festivals. Downtown Sparks bustles with activity during the summer thanks to events such as the Sparks Hometowne Farmers’ Market, The Big Easy and the Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off. During quiet weeks, you can catch a movie at the Sparks Century theaters, cool off at the outdoor fountain or head over to Cantina Los Tres Hombres or Great Basin Brewing Co. for an after-work drink with friends. The action dies down during the cooler months, but events such as the Hometowne Christmas parade still attract large crowds.
Best category to remove from the RN&R’s Best of Northern Nevada readers’ poll: Best art museum
Nevada Museum of Art
There are categories where there are actually races for No. 1. Best art museum is not one of them.