IT'S TIME TO PURR, so curl up in a sunny spot and soak up our 1995 Best of Tucson. We're letting the cat out of the bag with our ninth year of compiling a cataclysmic catalogue of all of the very best in our town under the towering Catalinas. We'll take you through sections, from life On The Prowl to Chow Chow Chow, sharing some of Tucson's coolest cats, primo places to scratch that itch, the hottest spots for recreation, the crème de la crème in dining and more.
Tucson has so many good offerings, and the readers let us know in no uncertain terms what they consider the best. We published a ballot for four weeks in July and dutifully recorded your preferences. We had more ballots than ever before, with hundreds and hundreds pouring in over the last weekend before the deadline. In fact, to keep to our schedule, we had to hustle up more ballot counters, feed them really smelly tuna pizzas and keep them here counting your votes almost around the clock. We'd like to thank our ballot counters and judges: Yvonne Acuña, Wendy Wright, Gary Lotze, Kevin Franklin, Bernadette Dominguez, Don Reeve, Shalene Verchot, Michael Semple and A.J. Hart.
Next, we put together a team of nearly 50 writers to annotate the Readers' Picks and Readers' Poll Runner-Ups. We chose some other favorites and share them with you here, as Staff Picks. Where we couldn't limit our favorites to one or two, we've provided even more selections this year--watch for Cat's Meows as you read through the Best Of Tucson.
We had a veritable corral of writers and fans of Tucson help us with this year's Best Of Tucson. Thanks go to our contributors: Peter Akmajian, Carol Anderson, Leo W. Banks, Kate Bartlett, Douglas Biggers, Lisa Button, Rebecca J. Cook, Kevin Dahl, Tom Danehy, Dan Davis, Donine Henshaw Dominice, A. Bradley Dongas III, Kevin Franklin, Emil Franzi, Sarah Garrecht, Timothy Gassen, Hannah Glasston, Daniel Hostetler, Danny Huff, Susan Knight, Mike Landwehr, Heather Lourie, Angela McCormick-Owen, Shelly McDonald, Gregory McNamee, Michael Metzger, Fred Mills, M.F. Munday, Sean Murphy, Jim Nintzel, Terry Owen, Sidney Philips, Jennifer Powers-Murphy, Margaret Regan, J.E. Relly, Jana Rivera, Chelley Salmon, Mort Solot, Mike Sterner, Rosemary Tindall-Gibson, D. Vinik, Mari Wadsworth, Molly Who and others.
While Best Of staffers catalogued your selections, often to the point of catalepsy, the regular Weekly furballs' perseverance on the news end of things delivers a couple of gems in Tucson's civic litter box that should make a major fat cat or two yowl.
Sarah Garrecht interviewed our nine celebrities this year, to find out what they consider to be the best of Tucson. We couldn't stop there, so we had Mari Wadsworth discover the best offerings from the point of view of three Tucson cats.
Photographer Sean Justice carefully captured our Cool Cats--human and feline--on film. And Maria Nasif shot pictures illustrating some of the more detailed descriptions on Tucson's best walks, restaurants, services and other offerings.
This year Tucson Weekly invited 10 artists to contribute artwork for the 1995 Best of Tucson issue. Their pieces--from photographs and watercolors to sculpture and multi-media works--grace each opening section in the issue.
To see the work in its original form, visit the Access Tucson Gallery, 124 E. Broadway, from October 6-19, and Café Magritte, 254 E. Congress during the remainder of October. The participating artists are: Ellen Fountain, Tom Bergin, Rand Carlson, Joe Forkan, Sean Justice, Gail Marcus-Orlen, Bettina Mills, Andrée Richmond, Jeff Scott and Karl Vidstrand. Framing and show preparation were expertly handled by Steve Muscarella and Signature Framing. Art coordination was skillfully handled by Royce Davenport. Our thanks to Mark Taylor and Access Tucson and Terry Etherton for their assistance.
As usual, our sales types in Ad Land prowled the streets and alleys quickly nailing down the stray advertiser who hadn't yet heard the word. This issue will undoubtedly remain in local lairs for months to come.
If your copy gets too worn out, don't despair: We'll have Best of Tucson 1995 up on the World Wide Web for the entire planet to peruse quicker than you can twitch a whisker. You can look for it there until Best of Tucson 1996.
Special thanks to top cat designer Hector Acuña and his editorial production assistant Shanley Dixon, plus production chief Jan Mosier and all of her tomcats and kittens for pouncing on this, our biggest issue of the year.
And once again, a big sand-papery lick goes out to project editor Susan Knight, who, if she were a feline, would undoubtedly win Best of Show. This is Susan's fifth year of fussing and fooling with this massive project, which she always manages to bring in with the grace and ease of a mother lioness knocking off a gazelle just for the hell of it. She was assisted this year by Sarah Garrecht, cool kitten extraordinaire.
Remember, catching the best of Tucson is a constant game of cat and mouse. If you feel we've missed something, please feel free to drop us a note: When it comes to chasing down all our city has to offer, you readers are our most valuable catalyst.
Now it's time to plop down in the cat bird seat and enjoy this latest morsel we proudly drop at your feet.
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