BEST OF EUGENE 2007: Tightrope Walkers and Trapeze Artists | Sex, Drugs and Rock n Roll |Eat Freaks | The Incredible Shrinking Wallet | Sights, Sounds, Scribbles Everything Else Under the Big Top | Trap Door | We’re So Vain | Staff Picks | Best of the Ballots
Everything Else Under the Big Top
BEST ALL-AGES HANGOUT
1. WOW Hall
2. Cozmic Pizza/The Strand
3. Saturday Market
BEST MOMENT IN LOCAL SPORTS
1. UO football team defeats Oklahoma
2. TIE: Oregon men’s basketball team goes to the Elite Eight / OSU baseball team wins second College World Series
3. UO men’s basketball team defeats then-#1 ranked UCLA
The winner in this category actually appeared in last year’s Best of Eugene as well; the game took place after voting ended, but we put it in staff picks as, a little obviously, “Best Moment in Local Sports Following the Close of Best of Eugene Voting.” But hey, we were right, no? The UO vs. OU game did draw some amusing comments, including this highlight: “The officiating crew almost single-handedly beating OU in Autzen … the UO players were also there, so it counts as local.” We feel a little bad that the bizarro football game topped both OSU’s baseball team’s second straight College World Series win and the men’s basketball team’s fantabulous Elite Eight NCAA Tournament run, but voting was close. They’re all, of course, winners in our book.
BEST ANNUAL EVENT OR FESTIVAL
1. Oregon Country Fair
2. Eugene Celebration
3. Art and the Vineyard
BEST WAY TO IMPROVE DOWNTOWN
1. Encourage local/small business; keep development/chains/big boxes out
2. More shops, cafés, restaurants, etc. (non-specific as to local/national)
3. Get rid of the homeless/street kids/meth
Of all the categories we counted this year, this was the hardest. How to sum up the impassioned answers, the smug dismissals, the involved commentary? We did the best we could, and this is what we came up with: The majority of EW readers want to see more life downtown, but not at the expense of local businesses. Many readers also just want more business and don’t appear to be picky as to which kind. Wish lists include a movie theater (sometimes with the note, “Sorry, Bijou!”), late-night cafés for all ages, music venues for all ages, outdoor art and events, music in the plaza, a permanent farmers’ market and limited vehicle access. (Some of you also want Whole Foods, Nordstrom and Macy’s, but these desires were outnumbered by those interested in keeping small, local businesses afloat.) Coming in third is the contingent that wants downtown “cleaned up” in one way or another; homeless folks, drug dealers and “punk teenagers” were all complaints. We were pleased to see that a good number of readers were a little more sympathetic, suggesting we create places for the teens to go and work to solve the homeless problem.
BEST DAY TRIP
1. The coast
3. McKenzie River
Looks like Eugeneans prefer to head west in their leisure time, presuming Florence also counts as “the coast.” What’s the draw here? The wind-whipped whitecaps on a blustery winter’s day? The small cafés and thriving (if a bit too cutesy) art galleries? The scenic, epic, storied Highway 101? Sand in your teeth? Oregon’s beaches being free and open to the public? The scent of a driftwood bonfire embedded in your clothes? The finality of a day ended with the sun melting into the horizon? All of these things, we suppose.