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
Best Collectibles Bijou Collectables. Relive your childhood or nerd adulthood here amongst figurines, lunch pails and other assorted memorabilia spanning the spectrum from the Marx Brothers to Superman. 116 E. Amerige Ave., Fullerton, (714) 680-8799; www.bijoucollectables.com.
Best Place to Buy The Best of Blur Black Hole Records. The Anglophiliest record store in OC, with a comparable selection of rare old punk vinyl and all kinds of style boosters: posters, pins, clunky shoes—all somehow spiritually linked to Morrissey. 108 N. Harbor Blvd., Fullerton, (714) 449-1788.
Coolest Shopping Area Villa Del Sol. It has fine restaurants, like the Cellar, Cafe Hidalgo, Brownstone Cafe and Stadium Tavern, a stuffy British grocer, a sports memorabilia store, and a salon stacked with attractive woman clients—all nestled in a 1920s building that used to be the California Hotel and is supposedly haunted. 305 N. Harbor Blvd., Fullerton.
Best Vintage Out of Vogue. This city's answer to Meow of Long Beach, only more so—a multidisciplinary take on vintage that embraces clothing, furniture and accessories, with a particular concentration on midcentury-type stuff. Clearly, the ex-punk rocker owner knows his stuff; most ex-punks with a pulse do.109 E. Commonwealth, Fullerton, (714) 879-6647.
Best Place to Do the Pop The Alley. Promoter James Barnum resurrects the spirit of Fullerton's old Backalley as the (non-back?) Alley, an all-ages punk rock club with a roster that reminds us of, say, early Chain Reaction—Public Storage, anyone? Think 4/4 beats, lots of octaves and no bouncers at the door: ah, to be young again. 139 W. Amerige Ave., Fullerton, (714) 738-6934; www.thealleyclub.com.
Best Liquid Lunch The Continental Room. At night, it's swingers hell—swingers like the film, not the old guy with his hands deep in his wife's jeans pockets—but during the day, it's the air-conditioned, leather-cushioned sensory deprivation tank you need before you can go back for the rest of work/traffic school/middle school/whatever. Afternoons at the Continental are quiet, classy and somehow soul-renewing. If you're gonna be a daytime drunk, at least do it old school. 115 W. Santa Fe Ave., Fullerton, (714) 526-4529.
Best Place to Smoke Kettle and the Keg. British tea room in the front and beer garden in the back, this place goes off several nights of the week. Twenty-one flavors of tobacco are available for your hookah enjoyment, from peach—the most popular—to cherry cola, the weirdest. 136 W. Wilshire Ave., Fullerton, (714) 447-3399.
Best VW Restorationists West Coast Classics Restoration. You'd walk right by head man Lenny Copp on the street, but he and his crack team of restorers revive bugs and microbuses to factory condition—making them big in France, New York and elsewhere. Not too long ago, they redid a VW bus for Jerry Seinfeld, much better known for his Porsche collection. 1002 E. Walnut Ave., Fullerton, (714) 871-1322.
Best Reason to Hope for the Future The Fox Fullerton theater. A tireless group of local volunteers helped save this venerable 1925 movie palace from demolition. They now need something like $10 million to create the multi-use performing arts facility that once seemed like a pipe dream, but in the meantime, they've cleaned up the exterior and launched an outdoor film series—projecting movies on a wall. They plan to have the rest finished in five years. Good luck. 512 N. Harbor Blvd., Fullerton, (714) 870-0069.