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Readers Say the Darndest Things: People & Places 

What You Said

Best Commercial Renovation
Downtown Oakland YMCA
I love what they did with the 2nd floor. Big windows that look out to the Oakland Hills. The cardio weight room is spacious and beautiful. — JM

Vo's Restaurant
(If they ever, ever open). — Brian Williams

Best Preservationist
Naomi Schiff of the Oakland Heritage Alliance
A one woman preservation tornado, thank the OHA for City Hall the next time you're downtown, currently fighting to save Highland Hospital. — Mary Becker

Phil Tagami
The Fox! — Jonathan Bair

Most Endangered East Bay landmark
Albany Bulb
Save that shit. — Connor Morrison

Berkeley's once-upon-a-time sensible government.
Berkeley politics has once again reached rock bottom in services and rationale for what they do and why. We need to start over. — Tim Hannon

Highland Hospital
No one even knows that much of it is about to be torn down to build a parking lot. Shame on you Oakland. — Mary Becker

Kasper's Hot Dogs
A sad, "temporarily" abandoned institution at 45th and Telegraph/Shattuck whose owner keeps insisting that he will again open. We are waiting. — Judith Alper

The Kingfish
This is the best dive bar ever, and they might be building condos in place of it. It is a magical place, of shufflepuck and free popcorn, with a kickass jukebox and good neighborhood vibes. I will be devastated if this turns into just another clump of condos. — Christa Edwards

The Old West Oakland Train Station
Looks like it's going to be torn down any day. Some of the most beautiful art nouveau era architecture in East Bay. — Aryana Farsai

Oaklandish Capture the Flag
The city says we can't play anymore at Frank Ogawa Plaza. — Courtney Hull

Tightwad Hill
Berkeley is beginning to think like Nebraska. — Mike Napolitano

Best High School Teacher
Thien Pham, Bishop O'Dowd High School
He's very helpful and he meets with me after school to help me with my homework. — Alex Beglinger

Coach Nathaniel of McClymonds High
A fairytale victory against all odds. — Max Allstadt

Nancy Steele, College Preparatory School
She is the sweetest woman, but as a freshman she scared the pants off me. She once started a class by drinking a shot of hard A then downing a Bud light to teach us what a "chaser" was. Turns out the booze was water. — Nicolas

Parker Merrill, Oakland Tech
Tireless commitment to getting Oakland kids into the best colleges in the country. You could add Maryann Wolfe and Marietta Joe just as easily. — Chris Vernon

Best Middle School Teacher
Kay Sorg, Albany Middle School
She made science fun. — Lisa

Fred Logan, Montera Middle School
This man drank a raisin in lemonade and told his students it was a new tick that neutralized urine. How cool is that? — Jackie Walts

Best Elementary School Teacher
Calvert Hand, Peralta Elementary School
How can I count the ways? — Shelagh

Joanie Wright-Albertini, Park Day School
More energy than her first graders, with much better judgment. — Ann Mohler

All of them
Seriously, how can you pick one person this way? — Gabrielle Hedlund

Best Hippie
Wavy Gravy
Sets the standard. — Nicole Magnuson

Diane Heinze
Only cut her dreadlocks last year. — Mike Napolitano

Hate Man
He still around? — Jessica

Best Encounter Group
Alcoholics Anonymous
All of them. — Jacqueline Epstein

Best Pick-up Joint
Berkeley Bowl, Friday night
What people put in their shopping cart can tell you a lot. — LeeAnne Haglund

Mills College dance performances
Duh. — Max Allstadt

Whole Foods, anywhere.
When you pay that much more for your food, you're ready to believe anything. — Dave

24 Hour Fitness
Any of 'em ... urgh. — Susan Barron

Best Place to Make Out in Public
Edible Garden, Berkeley
Open 24 hours, middle-of-the-night risk factor adds spice. — Dave

Radio Bar
The dark bar with all red lighting just makes you want to suck face in a back booth. — Anne Ayers

In line at Peet's on Lakeshore
Try it, I would like to watch. — Heidi Kearsley

Middle Harbor Shoreline Park
There's nobody there ever. You can have sex during the day outside. — Max Allstadt

Please stop doing this. — Christa Edwards

Best Old-School Social Club
Lake Merritt Breakfast Club
They sing "Oh what a beautiful morning ... oh what a beautiful day." from Oklahoma at the start of their breakfast meeting. — Lea

Best Place to Worship
East Bay Church of Religious Science
Reverend E. — Amy Robins

Come As You Are Coven
Best open coven in the East Bay. — Suzy

Mormon Temple
Best view in Oakland. Too bad, as a non-Mormon, they won't let me worship there, but the visitor center is VERY friendly. — Nicolas

Redwood Regional Park
If you don't feel it there, you may never. — Nicole Kyner

The Trappist
Worship Belgian beer. — Sean Smith

Suck it Jesus ... Zachary's is my god now. — Corey Eubanks

Best Neon Sign
Grand Lake Theater
It's an institution. — Max Allstadt

Oakland's Fox Theater
The thing cost enough money to restore and now it has to go because of safety code violations, but that doesn't stop it from being beautiful! — Christopher Monaco Glynn

Is no neon sign
Down with light pollution. — Jessica

Best Jukebox
Club Mallard, upstairs or downstairs
Full of old classics as well as all your favorite indie hits. I can always find something new that fits my mood perfectly! — Tyler Larsen

Bette's Oceanview Diner
I love those little counter top jukeboxes! — Girly

Best Company to Work For
Not that I have ever worked there — but I want to! — Julie Danger

Crossroads Trading Co.
Have worked here for 17 years — and still love my job. — Melissa Laubstein

UNITE HERE! Local 2850
Screw companies, work for a labor union! — Owen Li

It can never get better than that. — Lisa Jervis

Best Reason to Wait in Line
Bakesale Betty's Fried Chicken Sandwich
You almost always get a cookie while you wait. :). — Gabrielle Hedlund

The ice cream is worth the half hour wait, especially if they're serving Earl Grey. — Rebecca Saltzman

Kabana Restaurant
Tiny Pakistani restaurant on University, goat on weekends. — Dave

For the sheer joy of it.
You don't really need a reason. If you find a line you like, just go ahead and stand in it. — Dave Lebowitz

To vote
Flood the polls in November! — Jessica

Best Category We Didn't Think Of (and Winner)
Best dressed
Adam Rozan. — Terry Furry

Best revitalized neighborhood
The Dimond District in Oakland has been reborn, complete with a great independent grocery store, new coffee houses and bakeries, remodeled retail spaces, and an activist community. — Jody Lerner

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