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The Best (and Worst) of San Diego


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After months of scouring the town and agonizing over selections, we’re pleased to pass along our year 2000 best/worst list. Scattered among the 100 categories are helpful hints, timely tips and a few playful pokes.

We share intelligence on—among other things—the best place to live, best health club and best place to scuba dive. We’ve also got the skinny on the worst potholes, worst public-relations gaffe and worst TV news troubleshooter. And many, many more fascinating facets of life in San Diego.

Our staff picked the lion’s share of the winners (and losers). But thanks also go to the scads of readers who voted (via traditional ballots in the magazine and on our Web site) for winners in 20 categories.
Have fun with this. We did.

Best Line To Start an Argument at a Cocktail Party
“I think everyone should just give Ryan Leaf a break.”

Best New San Diego Resident
Welcome to town, Bill Murray. Even if you only live part-time in North County’s Pauma Valley, you kookie, nutty, Saturday Night Live alum, you’re a welcome sight for sore eyes. We mean it. When we see you on the golf course, we promise to wait ’til you’re out of earshot to mimic your Caddyshack schtick: “It’s in da hole. Cinderella story.”

Best Golf Course (Under $35)
It may not boast a Pacific view, but Singing Hills Resort & Country Club offers affordable, world-class golf. (And way better odds on getting a tee time than at Torrey Pines.) Featuring two full championship courses (and a smaller executive course), Singing Hills was created by Ted Robinson and Dave Fleming. 3007 Dehesa Road in El Cajon, 619-442-3425.

Best Place To Buy a Cheap Tux
You can buy the full penguin suit—coat, pants, shirt, cummerbund (or vest) and tie, studs and cufflinks—for $99 at Tuxedo Discount. The tuxedos are used (bought from rental houses) but spotless. Styles include Christian Dior, Pierre Cardin and After Six. 989 Fifth Avenue, 619-239-7027.

Best Framing Shop
Framing art is an art. But those big chain-store art marts that’ll gladly sell you a print of dogs playing poker, then frame it for twice the price, aren’t always about art. Image Maker, an independent on the border of La Mesa’s antique row, is about art. Owned and operated for 17 years by hometown boy Tom Ybarra, Image Maker is also about dated concepts like taste, personal service and fair pricing. 8219 La Mesa Boulevard, 619-461-9490.

Best Personal Trainer
He speaks softly, and he’s incorrigibly upbeat. But don’t be fooled. It’s Moses Urbano’s job is to make you sweat. And he’s very good at his job. Urbano is one of only two Pilates instructors here who’ve undergone the rigorous 600-hour training program with Joseph Pilates protégé Romana Kryzanowska in New York. He opened his Mission Hills studio last fall. E-mail: studiomo@home.com; 619-295-1850.

Worst PR Gaffe
Chargers owner Alex Spanos’ “We want a new stadium” statement. Local media were quick to pounce on Spanos Senior’s verbal fumble, and infuriated fans blistered the Bolts’ ownership. Hey—how ’bout a guaranteed winning season in 2000? Or maybe a new owner?
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