By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
1 The new, accordion-shaped OCTA buses: everybody polka!
2 Catholic Worker director Dwight Smith, who shudders at the idea of anyone calling him "director." 3 Eggplant Mondayat Nikki's Tandoori restaurant. 3705 S. Bristol, Santa Ana, (714) 850-0595.
4 The courteous service at Spanky's Adult Video. 213 N. Harbor Blvd., Santa Ana, (714) 554-4495.
5 That and its ripping selection of Japanese-cheerleader flicks.
6 Walt Disney's head.
7 The colorful cast of loons whose opinions make The Orange County RegisterLetterspage the best thing in that paper. 8 This line from the Offspringhit Self Esteem: "I may be dumb/But I'm not a dweeb/I'm just a sucker/With no self-esteem." 9 The grumpy guy who sells jerkyfrom the back of his white Dodge truck on Santiago Canyon Road near Lake Irvine. Or is it the jerky guy who sells Grumpy? No, that's Michael Eisner. 10 "Health care, like food and a place to live, is something we should all have to earn." Letter to the Register, May 17, 1996.
11 The nation's authority on getting babies to sleep and developer of "attachment parenting," pediatrician William Sears, has spent his professional life resisting the trend toward technology-intensive child rearing. What a guy! 655 Camino de los Mares, Ste. 117, San Clemente, (949) 493-5437.
12 A Taste of Newport. Newporthas a taste. It really does. A strong one. With a flavorful, piquant bouquet, as well.
13 The scaffolding at MissionSan Juan Capistrano, which has been keeping the decaying, hollow structure from collapsing for years. 14 Ditto county Supervisor Jim Silva's skull. 15 County CEO Jan Mittermeier's winning smile! 16 Mmmm. . . traffic. 17 Free rock climbing at Sport Chalet in Huntington Beach. 16242 Beach Blvd., Huntington Beach, (714) 848-0988. (Reader Walter Phillips)
18 The sound of sealsat 3 a.m. from an expensive one-bedroom flat over a garage in Laguna Beach. (Reader Cindy Sue Cook) 19 KUCIfor playing the most eclectic mix of music, a respite from Third Eye Blind, whom I can't wait to laugh at as the New Kids of the late '90s. (Reader Matthew Mallard) 20 Brad Gatesused to be the sheriff. 21 Libby Cowan is a Costa Mesa City Council member. 22 I love the fact that when I come home from Virginia during breaks from college, I can remember what it's like to be back in civilization, where I can go to the beach; enjoy humidity-free warmth; and forget about REDNECKS driving beat-up, camo-painted pickups with gun racks, Confederate flags, and dueling bumper stickers of Dale Earnhardt and the local John Deere dealer! (Reader Jeff Rankin) 23 Abs! Abs! Abs! 24 The Bloody Marys at the White House. It's the horseradish, stupid. 2800 N. Main, Santa Ana, (714) 973-7747. (Reader Tom Chapman) 25 Adventure City-at $11.95, OC's best amusement-park value. Its compact size (16 rides and attractions) and short lines are perfect for kids under 10. 1238 S. Beach Blvd., Stanton, (714) 236-9300. 26 Yaohan Plaza, a Japanese market and food court where you can buy Hula bobble-headed dolls, good-luck cat erasers and sushi plates in bulk. 665 Paularino Ave., Costa Mesa, (714) 557-6699. 27 Tree of Life nursery owner Mike Evans, who steadfastly repeats a simple botanical belief: "California should look like California." For 14 years, Tree of Life has grown and sold only California-native plants to become the largest such nursery in the state. 33201 Ortega Hwy., San Juan Capistrano, (949) 728-0685. 28 The mariachi dinner show at Plaza Garibaldi: a nine-piece band, tango dancers, a rope-trick act, a comedic waiter and kick-ass Mexican cuisine in a room as large and colorful as a big-top circus. 1490 S. Anaheim Blvd., Anaheim, (714) 758-9014. 29 That small portion of Mile Square Park in Fountain Valley that's not yet a golf course. 30 Gustaf Anders' Christmas Smörgåsbord. Nowhere else in Southern California can you fill as many plates with herring, caviar, gravlax, meatballs, "Jansson's Temptation" and ham as you want. 1651 W. Sunflower Ave., Santa Ana, (714) 668-1737. 31 The studded black belts at Hot Topic. MainPlace Mall, 2800 N. Main St., Ste. 430, Santa Ana, (714) 543-5587. 32 Playing golf with a caddyat Tustin Ranch Golf Club. 12442 Tustin Ranch Rd., Tustin, (714) 730-1611. 33 Santa Ana River Lakes-where osprey fish and you can, too. However, not for long if they build a "flying" freeway over the river. 34 This poetic irony: Judge Thomas J. Borris, who sentenced medical-marijuana activist Marvin Chavez, wrapped his car around a tree while DUI. 35 Thirty years of open space left! 36 Jan Crouch's hair. 37 Hash and eggs with a Miller Gold Draft at the Harbour House Grill, the best hangover breakfast. 16341 Pacific Coast Hwy., Sunset Beach, (562) 592-5404. (Reader Tom Chapman) 38 The Pocket Clowns-Ginger L. Gladness, Stanky Edwards, Hewitt Wierwen, Y.N. Howe and Tabitha Sanchez-still the best damn band neverto come out of Stanton. 39 The mighty steelhead trout. Now nearly extinct, the fish were recently discovered living near the mouth of San Mateo Creek. Because it's on the endangered species list, the steelhead may stop construction of the 16-mile Foothill-South toll road that threatens to slice through San Onofre State Park. 40The Orange County Sports Hall of Fame, especially on those rare occasions when it's open. Edison International Field, Anaheim. 41 The Bay Theatre, located in Seal Beach since the 1940s (with the functioning pump organ to prove it), screens art-house films in a thoroughly clean, cozy environment. And it doesn't show previews! 340 Main St., Seal Beach, (562) 431-9988. 42Angels savior Mo Vaughn's ankle. 43 Ghostrider, the wooden roller coaster at Knott's that's so fun and fast and noisy and scary that it can bring back more than mere memories of Grandma Knott's fried chicken and boysenberry pie. 44 Lunch at one of the bluffside tables at the Hotel Laguna above the sand, rocks and crashing surf. 425 S. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, (949) 494-1151. 45 Ghostrider, which enhanced its reputation-while making an argument for using union carpenters next time-when a board fell off and injured a park visitor. 46 Spending money like a touristat Hilo Hattie's. The Block at Orange, 20 City Blvd. W., Orange, (714) 769-3255. 47 Zacatecas Records,the label based in the Buena Park home of Juan Carlos Guzman, records and distributes the music of the little mining towns of central Mexico. 48A two-hour visit to Hawaii at Matiki Island Barbecue. 3070 W. Lincoln Ave., Anaheim, (714) 821-5228. 49 The floating fish market known as Pearson's Port, where the tiger shrimp and live crab are unbeatable for price, freshness and taste. And Roy Pearson always shoots from an honest, salty hip. 100 E. Coast Hwy., Newport Beach, (949) 675-6771. 50 The free coffee bar at Cost Plus remains the cheapest way to get your morning coffee. 1313 W. Sunflower Ave., Santa Ana, (714) 957-6553. 51 The Purple Turtle. How can you not love a place called the Purple Turtle? So it's a bridal shop, but c'mon, it's called the Purple Turtle. 757 N. Tustin, Orange, (714) 744-9551. 52 "[Slain abortion doctor John Britton] made his living shedding innocent blood. It is a darn shame about his missed 75th birthday, but we have to remember that his victims never got their first." Letter to the Register, Aug. 5, 1994. 53 Troquet, located on the third floor of South Coast Plaza, is one of the best restaurants in the county and certainly the best thing to happen to mall food since Hot Dog on a Stick. 3333 Bristol, Ste. 3001, Santa Ana, (714) 708-6865. 54 The Seussian sensibility-dragon slides, whale slides, giant clams, tethered sharks, seahorse swings-that is Garden Grove's Atlantis Playcenter. 9301 Westminster Ave., Garden Grove, (714) 892-6015. 55 Martinez Books and Art remains the best place for one-stop shopping if your list includes original art, a copy of One Hundred Years of Solitude in the form Márquez (and God) intended it, and a wall-sized map of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. 1110 N. Main St., Santa Ana, (714) 954-1151. 56 Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez's hair. 57 Teresa Barnwell, professional Hillary Clinton impersonator, who does gigs for both Republicans and Democrats. Like her subject, she follows the money. 58 The Spanky's Adult Video ad that shows a man spanking a monkey; choking a chicken; polishing a rocket; and standing with his hands on his hips, his right arm twice the size of his left. We have no idea what this ad is about. It's just funny. 59 The neon, 7-Elevenesque "Open" sign perched in a window at Trinity Broadcasting Network headquarters in Costa Mesa. The best local architectural joke since the Ziggurat, the Chet Holifield Federal Building in Laguna Niguel. 60 Anti-bilingual activist Gloria Matta Tuchman's sense of timing, as she contemplates a run against Democrat Loretta Sanchez in the heavily Latino 46th Congressional District. 61 Ultraviolent pornographic Japanese comic books at 21st Century Comics. 124 W. Commonwealth, Fullerton, (714) 99-COMIX. 62 Yes, we like ultraviolent, pornographic Japanese comic books . . . Mother. 63 The chocolate-chip milk shake at Costa Mesa Super Burgers. 2966 Bristol St., Costa Mesa, (714) 662-2572. 64 "Moonwalker" Buzz Aldrin for never letting us forget that we went to the friggin' moon. 65 Benny Hinn's power. 66 Driving late at night comforted by the cool jazz of KLON(FM 88.1), a Cal state Long Beach station that might well-along with KCRW(FM 89.9) and KPFK(FM 90.7)-constitute a kind of Radio Free Orange County. 67 Beach Access owner Tom Moore for standing up to radio bully, certified loon and all-around miserable person Dr. Laura Schlessinger. 68 Designer Paul Frank, whose cartoon-animal characters show up in better boutiques and movies everywhere. 69 Heh, heh, heh, heh. 70 Author and UC Irvine writing-program product Michael Chabon: young, talented, successful. We loathe him. Chabon's latest book is Werewolves in Their Youth. 71 The drum roll for No Doubt's follow-up to Tragic Kingdom, which has lasted through three years and three producers and is scheduled to continue until a still-not-pinned-down release date. 72 The calming force of Noguchi's California Scenario near South Coast Plaza. Alton Pkwy. & Ave. of the Arts, Costa Mesa. 73 Orange Coast Magazine for providing a front-cover home to C- and D-list celebrities. 74Gwen Stefani's abs. 75 The Register's Best of Orange County list, which boldly named Goodyear "Best Tire Store," stating, "Every year is a great year at Goodyear." Finally, someone with the courage to say it. 76The same list, which named Huntington State Beach as the best place to swim. No shit. 77 Sub sandwiches at Seacliff Liquor in Huntington Beach. 402 17th St., Huntington Beach, (714) 960-2828. 78 Activist Tim Carpenter's heart. 79 Sub sandwiches at Li'l Pickle Famous Submarines. 2985 Fairview Dr., Costa Mesa, (714) 979-5522. 80 The lemon-drop martini at Habana. 2939 Bristol St., Costa Mesa, (714) 556-0176. 81 Chapman University: where old money goes to die and new money goes to show off. 82 Larry Agran's defectionfrom the Democrats as an illustration of the decline in OCof the two major parties. 83 Ortega Highway, the best place to dump a body without anybody noticing, barely edging out the studios of OCN. 84 Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan. 85 "It is my feeling that the 19th Amendment needs to be amended as follows: each woman's vote will be counted as two-thirds of a vote. This is due to the constant factor of 'good looks.' How else to explain the lead in the polls of President [Bill] Clinton?" Letter to the Register, Sept. 24, 1996. 86 Trophy wives. 87 NeoTherapeutics Inc., a biotechnology firm from Irvine, contributing $2 million to fund a UCI research project to decode "mystery" receptors in the brain. It's the best news Agatha Christie fans have gotten in years. 88 Everyone roots for two high schools: theirs and whoever Mater Dei is playing. 89 Frankie and Johnny. She's a farmer's daughter who grew up in Nebraska; he's a big friendly local who talks easily and listens carefully. Together, they're the best bartenders-and nicest couple -at the Blue Beet Cafe. 107 21st St., Newport Beach, (949) 675-2338. 90 Spending 50 cents to spend five minutes on the Balboa Island ferry as it steams across Newport Harbor on a summer night. 91 The always hot and delicious Catfish Po' Boy at Memphis Soul Cafe & Bar. 2920 Bristol St., Costa Mesa, (714) 432-7685. 92 The salmon tacos-grilled salmon topped with papaya butter and relish-served Wednesdays at Taco Mesa. 647 W. 19th St., Costa Mesa, (949) 642-0629. 93 Watching frightened tourists and locals dodge cars at the Balboa Boulevard and 18th Street intersection on the Balboa Peninsula during the heady summer months. 94Resting under the massive Heritage Oak Treeat Santiago Oaks Park. 95 The Unocalstation on Westminster and Seal Beach Boulevard. Its close proximity to Leisure World prompted owners to place "Remember to remove nozzle from car before driving away" warnings on all of the pumps. 96 Making a call from the bright-red London-style phone booth in front of Larson's Shipyard. 2703 W. Coast Hwy., Newport Beach. 97 Flying in and out of John Wayne Airport: not only are there plenty of parking spaces in the garages and no lines at the gates, but everyone departing also gets to soar out of the airport at the rocket-likeslope of 1,000 feet per nautical mile so the good folks in Back Bay and Balboa can rest a little easier. 98The pleasant, friendly way Orange County Transportation Authority board member Sarah Catzsays the word "cynical" when describing others. Like cynicism might be a bad thing. 99 Walking through the very eerie life-size statues in the Leaders Roomat the Richard Nixon Library in Yorba Linda. Mao's there, de Gaulle's there, Churchill's there, even little Nikita Khrushchev's there. But be careful: they may look bronze, but library insiders tell us they're just papier-mâché. 18001 Yorba Linda Blvd., Yorba Linda, (714) 993-3393. 100 The New York-style pizza sold by the slice from Pizza Petein the Balboa Fun Zone. 701 E. Edgewater, Newport Beach, (949) 675-4771.