Wednesday, April 9, 2008

"The Best Of" that WOMAG forgot to aks us!!

I recently filled out "My Best Of" list for Worcester Magazine and I noticed it did not cover everything that I may consider the best of in Worcester so I figured I would add a few of my own that I would have asked if I was doing a "Best of Worcester" and then possibly expand on as I think this out a little more:>)

1.) Best Road Race (might as well start of with something I really know:>):

Worcester Firefighters 6Km - directed by Lt. John Franco every May

The Fallon Community Health Plan "Canal Diggers 5Km" comes close but it is hard to call something the best when it has only taken place once and Lt. Franco and his gang do a hellava job and it's a great cause so it get's my vote (but look out John:>)

2.) Best Hispanic Restaurant

Sazon Latino - Chandler & Piedmont

I eat here once a week and I feel most comfortable here as a non-Hispanic! This is not to say that I have felt un-safe at any other Hispanic restaurant in the city but at Sazon Latino I feel welcome the minute I walk in the door - the place is clean and the food excellent, a winning combination for me:>)

3.) Best Urban City Councilor

Barbara Halller - District 4

Councilor Haller has earned the wrath of me lately for her lack of communication to the electorate on a regular basis but that being said she works hard and there are few out there who could deal with what she has to deal with on a regular basis.

I am a firm believer that until we have more hard scrabble pols like Barbara who have some balls and can take the heat living inside the urban core of this city that it will take even longer for this city to "really" move!! There are just to many leading this city who do not want to live in the city part of the city or send their kid's to the city schools yet they know the problems and feel they can promote the city. We need leaders making more of a committment to this city and that means living in the "urban core" ...Worcester is only going to become a "City on the Move" when the actual city part starts acting like a city in today's modern World.

4.) Best Breakfast Nook

Sano Cafe on Saturday or Sunday morning - Chandler & Dewey

This isn't even close - I have eaten at em' all in the city being the only 45 year ole man on the face of the planet who has never married or had kid's so I have few to cook for even tho I can so I eat out a lot (again some may say it show's).

Sano cooks know how to cook..not just cut up some spuds and then throw on the stove to sit for hours..and then burn! It is a true dining experience when you eat there:>)

5.) Best Place to watch New Years Fireworks

Top of Rocks at Castle Hill Park - between Chandler & Main South

A real hidden gem within the city..once was the site of the first all women's college in the United States of America - Oread Institute
. It now is a neighborhood park that has two racketball courst, a basketball court and a small field. I hosted a children's race there for (2) summers as well as a weekly Monday night run from there.

6. Best Place to Talk Politics & Eat

One Love Cafe - Main South

This one could be debated all day long....I know the Bean Counter is a favorite for many and I pop in there every so often to bang it out with some of the westies over there but I just don't feel the passion that I feel at the "One Love Cafe".

At "One Love Cafe" you can really make some folks gaggle when they hear your thoughts on something:>) those "Stone Soupers" the easiest to get gaggling! And the food is out of this world if you dig jerk spices like I do!!

A Friday night at "One Love Cafe" is an experience..good food, great conversation with the cook/owner/chief dishwasher Venice (a few Red Stripe)..a joke or two about the
Artichoke Cooperative next door all while you watch folks who could be staring in the movie "Land of the Living Dead" walking by looking for their next fix, victim, old man to give a BJ to for three bucks or just a cornah to hang on - real city people watching at it's best and again while talking local politics and eating good food:>)

Lastly, where else can one go from a Reggae mood to a Blues mood in seconds...Gilreins Blues Bar is next door?

7.) Best Pet Store

The Pet Barn - Park & Chandler

In Boston & Greater Boston pet stores are no longer a place where you just pick up a can of Alpo and a generic dog they have become boutiquish in style and can board your dog at some, get your dog a day of a dog leash with Grateful Dead graphics on them and buy food that is better than most folks in Appalacia eat on a daily basis (I was tempted to say China like mi mum & dad used to mention when I was a wee lad and I did not want to eat:>)

Today I bought 10 cans of
Wellness Dog Food w/ New Zealand Venison & Sweet Potato's. I can't get Buddy the Beagle groomed there and they wouldn't board him longah than it takes me to buy his food but it does offer a certain funk and product that is unusual for Worcester so it gets my vote!!

8.) Best Butcher Shop

Emerald Meats - Chandler

Few places left in this city where you can get a real Irish feel and Emerald Meats is one of em! The owners are from Dublin...and have made it in the ole USA like many former immigrants in this country had. If you have ever been to Ireland and a Irish butcher shop then you know what I mean when you walk into Emerald Meats.

9.) Best Local Newspaper Writer

Scott Zoback - Worcester Magazine

I enjoy reading the Worcester Telegram & Gazette each morning for my local news but I really look forward to the weekly Worcester Magazine...for it's usually more indepth news stories and who's doing what locally gossip.

Zoback does a good job on his reporting...would like to see some more "Globe Spotlight" reporting from all of our newspeeps in this city as it is needed to bring more folks into the fold as to what is happening in this city:>)

10.) Best Place to go for a private walk with a friend

Newton Hill - Pleasant & Park

I live on the east side of Park Ave - on notorious Chandler Street East and I can see the peak of Newtion Hill from my kitchen window:>) is surprising how little use the Newton Hills paths get by folks?? I am on them daily with Buddy who just loves the wildness of Newton Hills that is home to hawks, assorted birds, chipmunks, racoons & deer at times and all within eyesight and walk of my very urban flat.