REST OF THE BEST
Editor's note: Below is an array of feedback from our "Best of Phoenix 2009" edition, also known as "Wonderland" (September 24). Readers loved and hated us, thought we were right-on and full of shit. Some of you thought our picks were inspired; others called us bad names ("idiot" and "moron" were popular). Some just wanted to offer their own suggestions as to what and who's best. Check it out:
It's a coaster! It's a fun-finder! It's a big, weird magazine!: You folks at New Times outdo yourselves every year with Best of Phoenix. It was an outstanding issue followed by an outstanding party. Way to go!
New Times feedback
Every year, I keep the Best Of on my coffee table until the next one replaces it. I consult it weekly to discover a new place to dine, drink, or party. There is no resource like it in Phoenix.
I also like the snarky political items that are always in the issue.
Thank God for New Times; without you we would be adrift in stupidity and mediocrity around here.
Elizabeth Hanson, Phoenix
Actually, the longer you've been here, the more you appreciate the Cards: You know, you guys used to be hip to what was going on in this city, but you have gotten out of touch. Some of your stuff seems written by newcomers. Stop doing a Best Of until you hire some cooler/more in-touch people.
And who was it who wrote "Best Reason the Cardinals Will Be Better than Last Year" and "Best Local Owners of a Sports Franchise"? What an idiot!
Because judging from the beginning of the season — Beanie Wells or not — the Cards suck. They remind me of the Cardinals of old. Last year was a fluke. Way to prognosticate, dudes.
And to give the Bidwills "Best Local Owners"! If the Cardinals ever excel, it will be in spite of these skinflints. Get a handle on things again, New Times!
Tommy Gallegos, Phoenix
Fancy talking: Jeff Farias has one of the best liberal talk shows in the Valley ("Best Webcast that Should be a Radio Show").
He started out with the Truth to Power show with Kyrsten Sinema. At first I thought he was fair, at best, but over time and changes, he just gets better and better and more down to earth about liberal politics. I do believe his best days are yet to come.
Douglas Kladis, Mesa
Farias even impresses Scandinavians: I must say a few words, even if I don't know a thing about other talented people in Phoenix.
I'm from Sweden; our media is good and free. I had in mind to tune in to the BBC, when by accident I heard Jeff Farias' voice. That event was about three months ago, and it has turned my life upside down.
Jeff is unique. It's hard to understand how he manages to catch all the guests of global interest. It's also hard to understand how he can be so well informed on so many different topics. He must be a good organizer with good people around him.
Jeff has really proved that our world is small, and that it's best if we work in concert. With mutual respect, we can do it.
Kerstin Lindstroem, Sigtuna, Sweden
For the record: Dennis Gilman's stuff rocks ("Best Videographer")! This little guy has balls of steel, and he, more than anybody else in Arizona, is showing it like it is with the Nazi sheriff and his goons.
Check out Dennis' many videos [through the Feathered Bastard blog] in New Times and on YouTube. Way to go, Gilman!
Chris Adkins, Phoenix
We'll never know: This "Best Videographer" award should've gone to me instead of this communist punk.
Big drinks in crappy old buildings FTW: You have got to be kidding about Hanny's serving the "Best Old-School Martini"! Old-school means large, morons. Not tiny like at Hanny's.
Old-school also means you want to get drunk on your beverage, preferably in a dark place with red-leather booths, like Durant's.
I forget what Hanny's charges for a martini, but whatever Durant's charges (and, granted, it's a lot), you're getting more bang for your buck at D's.
Opening a can of Wop-ass: Thank God your restaurant writers saw the light and returned this honor back to Marcellino's ("Best High-End Italian").
It is, without question, the best Italian restaurant in Arizona. It's like a place you'd find in New York or San Francisco. Thanks for wising up before you lost all credibility regarding Wop food.
And he was a jolly, happy soul: Mr. Snowman was compliments of three friends from Tempe looking for a little adventure, with the help of one of the friend's 6-year-old twins ("Best Snowman").
Amanda Nielson, Tempe
But she didn't break up The Beatles. Just the cake: It's true, there is a Cake Lady, and she has another quirk; she's a big fan of Yoko Ono ("Best Urban Legend").
Steve Weiss, Phoenix
Hey, what's uncool about cake-stealing?: This once was the coolest "Best Of." Once.
You've lost all of your cool factor. Cable news fills 24 hours of time with bullshit, but I expected better of you. I didn't expect you to find the "Burning Bird," but you could've come up with better than some stupid broad who steals cake.
Fucking stupid to no end. Whoever wrote this should be talked to. You're a fucking idiot. Sorry, but it is what it is. It's a big city, guys. Put a little thought into it. Better yet, put a little heart into it.
We forget which idiot it was: Who was the idiot who said summer is the best season here ("Best Phoenix Season"). This person has been out in the Sonoran Desert sun for way too long!
I realize that New Times tries to be counterintuitive, but this is the stupidest thing I've ever read. I'm not sure this person should be allowed to write for the media. Please tell me that Stephen Lemons didn't write this one. Or Sarah Fenske.
Winter is the best season in Phoenix, except for the fact that all the snowbirds bring in their flu germs and ruin it for the rest of us.
Mike Snyder, Phoenix
It's all ours: Shit, yes! I say this to people all the time! Summer is the time of year when all the assholes stay inside at home. It's when the real AZ folk enjoy life!
It's kind of a pot-kettle thing: Talk about a backhanded compliment on the East Valley Tribune's Pulitzer Prize ("Best Coup").
Jayson Peters, Phoenix
See before you pee: You can see a video tour of the awesome Liberty Market bathrooms (Best Bathrooms) on YouTube (www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2afgk4xyDI).
Jeff Moriarty, Gilbert
Where to get down with brown: The Arizona Browncoats now have an official Web site: www.azbrowncoats.org. Check it out for up-to-date information. Or, follow them on Twitter@AzBrowncoats (Best Geeks with a Cause).
Jennifer Anderson, Mesa
Undead gorgeous: I am so enormously overwhelmed by this. What an amazing honor! I'm tempted to share this news with the Sock Zombies, but I'm afraid they'd go crazy and start gnawing on each other ("Best Zombie Inspired Art").
Erin Glaser, Phoenix
The gang's not all here: Thank you very much! The Phoenix Phreaks have regular Phirst Phriday Phreak Bike Rides every month at 7 p.m. Meet at The Firehouse (also a "Best Of Phoenix" pick), 1015 North First Street, Phoenix ("Best Bike Gang").
We love custom bikes, but all bikes are welcome.
We also have other rides throughout the year, and we participate in other Phoenix events, like the St. Patrick's Parade, Parade of the Arts, and the Tour De Fat.
If you are a bicycle phreak come and ride with the Phoenix Phreaks. It's free.
Also: The Green Fuzzy Chopper was stolen, and I believe it is sitting in someone's back yard rotting away. I would love to get it back.
Allan Greenblazer, Phoenix
Oh, baby: Are you kidding me? Kid to Kid ("Best Secondhand Clothes for Kids")? There are so many local and much cooler kids' consignment and resale stores in the Valley: Puddleduds, Urban Baby Exchange, Baby Bloomers, A to Z Kids Resale, Hissyfits.
Instead you choose a boring, nationally franchised big-box kids' resale store. I'm so disappointed by this choice from New Times. Especially in an issue that is supposed to revolve around local businesses.
New Times, you should be ashamed of yourselves. Pathetic!
Finding the best old stuff: I'm very surprised that the Antique Trove was [chosen for "Best High End Antiques"]. This antique mall has almost no high-end antiques — lots of vintage items, though, and lots of reproductions.
But high-end? Not a chance. There are actually very few stores in Arizona that have high-end antiques. For visitors to Arizona, I would recommend Central Antiques and Beyond Expressions in Mesa. Both stores have a decent selection of higher-end antiques.
For an awesome antique mall with a huge selection of everything, go to Patterns of the Past in Apache Junction.
The more good tortas, the merrier: Tortas El Güero is far from the best in Phoenix. I went once and was disappointed. I went again after reading this article and was even more disappointed. I tried the carne asada on my first visit and the cubana this last one.
If you want a really good torta, go to Los Reyes De La Torta and get the king! For the same price you get almost twice the amount of sandwich, and it tastes better and comes with chips. [Also] Gallo Blanco for the naco torta. Absolutely delicious.
I am surprised New Times is pumping up this place.
Just grab a chair and keep it coming: All the food at Bertha's is phenomenal. Yummy sandwiches, cupcakes, and cheesecakes! So glad New Times gave Bertha's the recognition it deserves! ("Best Cupcakes").
Jennifer Katz, Tempe
No way, Ben, you'd enjoy it too much: Congratulations to Ami Johnson. She's one tough gal, but with a heart of gold. She can toss me anytime she wants ("Best Bouncer").
Ben Grant, Phoenix
You have no idea: Sometimes all those sober teenagers looking at art need to be taught a lesson!
Stephen Chilton, via the Internet
Mmmmm, cookie: Dat Ami Johnson is one tough cookie. I can vouch for her bouncing skills — she definitely lays down the law at Modified Arts, but always with a smile!
Finding Farias: Jeff is great! The hardest-working liberal in online radio. Only one thing; the correct Web site is www.thejefffariasshow.com.
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An oasis of rational enlightenment: This is well deserved, as Jeff has the best three hours daily for any rational-minded listener around the world.
Jeff offers a down-to-Earth examination of politics and culture. He never insults or offends, but enlightens. Jeff takes calls from listeners and encourages self-expression.
Hey, you want a good time? You want to hear what's happening and gain something real? Then you'll have to tune your computer to Jeff's show, Monday through Friday, from 3 to 6 p.m. And sometimes he plays an hour of great music after his show.
When Jeff was formerly heard on KPHX last year, he was the heart and soul of the progressive community, the nexus of local concern and positive action. The Valley has no other personality around who can match Jeff Farias.