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Best of Sacramento 2009

illustration by Don Button

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Excellent! You’re here just in time!

We just couldn’t wait to pop the cork on this champagne and start celebrating SN&R’s Best of Sacramento 2009! It’s our biggest issue of the year, and it’s filled to bursting with the best our town has to offer.

The economy might be deflating like a popped balloon, but Sacramento’s culture is still thriving. Good things are popping up all over.

We’ve got stories on Sacramento’s best pop music, the explosive popularity of Sacramento’s dodgeball scene and food so hot you have to sign a waiver before you can pop it in your mouth. We walked the streets scouting pop-art hairstyles and toured adult stores for toys that will make you pop. Then we popped in on our local scientists to check out their futuristic projects. (Inflatable spaceship, anyone?)

You also might have seen us running around town on Second Saturday, surprising locals with SN&R’s Pop Quiz. We grilled you on questions like, “You’re off work and money is no object, but you can’t leave Sacramento. What’s your perfect day?” Some of you seemed awfully nervous at the time, but we’re happy to announce that you all got A’s! The most illuminating Pop Quiz answers are scattered throughout the issue.

You’ll find it all here, plus nearly 100 Best of Sacramento picks from our writers and the results of our annual readers’ poll. We know you’re dying to pop this issue open and read all about it, but first, grab a champagne glass and let’s raise a toast to Sacramento! Year after year, our city is always the best!

Pop open the champagne for our 2009 Best Of Sacramento crew!

Editor Becca Costello

Copy Editors Kimberly Brown, Shoka Shafiee

Contributors Kimberly Brown, Becca Costello, Julie De La Torre, Gina Finn, Cosmo Garvin, Lauren Hockenson, Kathleen Jercich, Jenn Kistler, Rachel Leibrock, Greg Lucas, Katie McMillin, Nick Miller, Kel Munger, R.V. Scheide, Shoka, Natasha vonKaenel, Melinda Welsh

Art Directors Don Button, David Jayne, Kate Murphy

Design Manager Anne Lesemann

Design Michele Brown, Priscilla Garcia, Miles Harley, Marianne Mancina, Sharon Wisecarver

Web Kelsey Falle

Photographers Larry Dalton, Mike Iredale, Ken James, Kyle Monk, Shoka, Anne Stokes

Sales Department Manager Jeff Lang

Sales Managers Clayton Nutting, Randy Seevers

Ad Services Manager Amy Nathman

Ad Services Specialist LeeAnn Grundhoefer

Sales Team Josh Burke, Phillip Henry, Diana Jacobson, Cathy Kleckner, Ben Mundy, Rosemarie Messina, Ashley Soto, Olla Ubay, Joy Webber, Kelsi White

We’re popping with gratitude for SN&R editor Melinda Welsh, Michael Billingsley and the distribution crew that pops this paper into newsstands all over town, Ric Marques and the operations department, Kelly Schuhrke and the business department, directors of first impressions Lexie Alexander and Teddie Cox, and—as always—owners Jeff vonKaenel and Deborah Redmond.