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Introduction

This is The Austin Chronicle's lucky number seven "Best of Austin" issue. For the past seven years, you have shared your choices for the best this town has to offer. For the past seven years, we have embellished on this theme with our own list of critics' picks, as well. This year's ballot, dear readers, has been a hell of a ride.

For those of you keeping score, this year's format is different from past BOA issues. We've attempted to take the Readers' Poll results and contextualize the data, in many cases annotating for you a few of the runners-up and previous three year's winners. We hope that this provides a clearer reflection of what you love most about this town year to year.

See, The Austin Chronicle,in all its alternative newsweekly glory, does not regularly hire crack marketing divisions to perform surveys to determine and analyze how much hipper we should be, whose lead we should follow, or which particular colors appeal to your brain centers. No, we kind of just throw stuff out there, week after week, year after year, and hope that someone is paying attention out there in the void. So, in a way, these annual polls are our way of getting to know you, and conversely getting to know ourselves. It's our opportunity to send our very best to all corners of the globe via subscriptions and the World Wide Web, as we bask in this fine violet glow of our beloved Austin, Texas.

Very special thanks go to interns Leslie Hill and Karen Rheudasil, as well as Brian Barry, Laxman Gani, Taylor Holland, Lee Nichols, Laurie Powers, and Clay Smith. – Kate X Messer


Contributors: Roseana Auten, Suzy Banks, Nick Barbaro, Andrea Barnett, Louisa C. Brinsmade, Robert Bryce, Hollis Chacona, Rebecca Chastenet de Gery, Mike Clark-Madison, Audrey Duff, Robert Faires, Hugh Forrest, Laxman Gani, Spike Gillespie, Christopher Gray, Christopher Hess, Pableaux Johnson, Anne S. Lewis, Ken Lieck, Alison Macor, Alex de Marban, Adrienne Martini, Gerald McLeod, Kate X Messer, S. Emerson Moffat, Margaret Moser, Lee Nichols, Don Palmer, Marc Savlov, Jen Scoville, Nisa Sharma, Amy Smith, Clay Smith, cindy soo, Tim Stegall, Kayte VanScoy, Chris Walters, Julie Weaver, Phil West, Deborah Wilson, Virginia Wood.

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