best of santa cruz - humpbacks doug ross
Cover Stories

Readers Picks: Best of Santa Cruz County 2017

GT readers voted on the best of everything Santa Cruz County, and here are the results

'Humpbacks' by Doug Ross

I’ve worked on a lot of Best of Santa Cruz County issues, and while they can be grueling to produce, there’s an undeniable pride that I always feel when they hit the stands, because they’re always the biggest and—if I may be so bold—most spectacular issue of the year.

With that in mind, let me say this: there’s never been a Best of Santa Cruz County issue like this one, and there probably won’t be again. It’s not just about the sheer number of local businesses and individuals who’ve been recognized in these pages (although there are almost a thousand), or the design and photographs (although they’re fantastic). There’s just a different feeling this year, of something bigger that connects this issue to the community in a deeper way.

Early on, we decided to honor Santa Cruz artist Doug Ross, who passed away in December, in this issue. It wasn’t rocket science, considering how beloved he was here, but a few elements did have to come together. First, Maria Grusauskas had been wanting to do a story that would both honor Ross’ legacy as an artist and celebrate the part of him that fewer people know about—his passionate, innovative work as a marine activist. Second, I’ve been struck many times this year by how hard his loss hit this town—reminding us, I think, that sometimes one person can play a far bigger role in the identity of our community than we realize. Doug Ross was that person.

Third, and most importantly, you voted him Best Artist this year, a moving tribute in itself. I hope you’ll read Maria’s story and discover why Ross was not just the best artist, but also one of the best all-around people in Santa Cruz County. Our heartfelt thanks to Ginger Mosney, his wife, both for her insights in the story and for working with us at a devastating time to provide the artworks by Ross that made this tribute complete.

The Best of Santa Cruz County issue has been a lot of things over the years, but reading the story about Ross and looking at his art on the cover and throughout these pages, it’s the first time that I’d describe it as emotional. We hope you enjoy it.

STEVE PALOPOLI | EDITOR-IN-CHIEF


COVER STORY: THE LEGACY OF DOUG ROSS

BEST OF SHOPPING & SERVICES

BEST OF FOOD & DRINK

BEST OF ARTS & CULTURE

BEST OF MUSIC & NIGHTLIFE

BEST OF HEALTH & RECREATION

BEST OF COMMUNITY 

BEST OF EDITOR’S PICKS 

CLICK-THROUGH A PDF ISSUE

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Marthe Rana

    December 7, 2017 at 12:59 am

    So when can we vote on the next Best of Santa Cruz and how do business get included?

  2. Beverly Brook

    March 26, 2017 at 4:31 pm

    This is for Andrea Patton: I was so pleased to see one of my favorite hang-out places chosen as the Best Acai Bowl . . . Samba Rock. Then I read Andrea’s five reasons and wondered if we had gone back in time to the 1950’s. Andrea wrote, “Ron Wilkerson, who owns Samba rock with his wife, . . . WHAT!? No name of ‘his wife’, no acknowledgment of her part in making Samba Rock a success just the Mrs. In are current political climate we all need to be exploring our privilege, our biases, and our blindspots. Please do not reduce women to a less than equal place . . . we get enough of that without having to see it in print in our Good Times.

  3. Steve Pastori

    March 24, 2017 at 11:40 pm

    Wha?!!! Clark’s Auction company for best antique store??? I have a difficult time believing this is not rigged. Who ever thinks of Clark’s when they are looking for antiques, let alone having ever heard of them.

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