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From Harry Houdini to David Blaine, the enduring appeal of magic subsides on disbelief, innocence and wonder. It doesn't take any sleight of hand to realize that here in the North Bay, we've got those qualities in spades. We'd estimate that even among those of us born and raised here, it's a weekly experience to find ourselves in awe.
For this year's Best Of issue, we extend the theme of magic beyond the upturned top hat and deck of cards. Contained herein are people, places and things in the North Bay that pique our sense of astonishment, and, in some cases, tweak our sense of reality. Be they sites of natural beauty, captivating individuals, puzzling places of mystery or incubators of energy, they all conjure an effect so strong, we wonder, "What's the secret?"
In the print edition of this issue, we also toy with the idea of illusion, and you're in on the act, too. Found at the entrance to each section are pages that you, the reader, will have to manipulate in order to read. Sometimes you'll hold the paper up to a mirror. Other times you'll flip it upside down or spin it in a circle or fold it over upon itself. When the text isn't flying at you like a fireball, you might even discover hidden messages and reappearing in-jokes.
The prestidigitators and sorcerers contributing to this grand illusion include Rachel Dovey, Jessica Dur Taylor, Estefany Maria Gonzalez, Nicolas Grizzle, Elise Guillot, Christina Julian, James Knight, Gabe Meline, Jonah Raskin, Bruce Robinson and David Templeton.
As is our policy, the businesses represented throughout are all locally owned. In fact, it was a small, local downtown Santa Rosa business that instilled a love of magic in many of us: the Mostly Magic Shop. Hence, this issue is dedicated to the memory of Jon E. King—magician, proprietor, friend.
—Gabe Meline, Editor