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Best Backwater Town 

Antioch Rivertown

In serene Rivertown the river flows forever, passing a public plaza or the back verandas of businesses. Ocean-going ships pass close, looming large. The river ripples, shimmers, and surges seaward. Those could be bulrushes on the far shore. Bunches of water hyacinth bob upstream, pushed by tide and wind. Rivertown is uncrowded and free of franchise stores. Good stuff at good prices fill the antique stores, Nifty As Is sells stylish duds for $1, and the students at Delta Beauty College do hair for cheap. The few local restaurants serve good food. The old buildings, with captivating details, are nicely painted and maintained. But this isn't a theme town. Bill Mercado sweeps the sidewalk in front of his Panther Country barbershop near the venerable El Campanil Theater, which in the 1930s was a hot stop for national acts. This Spanish rococo stunner was saved and painted and shows old movies and hosts bigname acts and music.

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