Here at the Bohemian, we're always making new discoveries. That just-opened junk shop behind the strip mall packed with incredible curios; the guy who sells the world's best tamales at that abandoned gas station; that fantastic secret supper club tucked in the redwoods. As our readers know, most of the time we rush eagerly to print with such information, energized at the opportunity to share that oh-so-awesome cool little Thing That Everybody Must Know About Right Now.
Some discoveries, however, we keep close to our chests, preferring their details whispered furtively from cautious lips to trusting ears instead of posted online for the world to see. These are the hidden gems, the off-the-beaten-path secrets that one can't find in a tourism brochure or, for the most part, on Yelp. They're the types of cherished finds that for many reasons stay kept inside our pockets.
Well, dear readers, we're pulling our pockets inside-out and spilling all. Along with the winners for Best Bookstore, Best Italian Restaurant, Best Hair Salon and others voted by readers in our annual poll, you'll find in the following pages those hidden gems that we've heretofore kept secret and which give the North Bay its unique character. Think of it as running into a born-and-raised local who knows the territory.
In keeping with our "Hidden Gems" theme, you'll also find little funny-looking binary squares scattered throughout this issue. These are QR codes, which can be scanned on any smartphone or mobile device to unlock online video content. Most QR code apps are free to download (ScanIt is the one we like) and very easy to use—just scan the code, and up pops the video. We hope you'll try it out and play along in this issue, uncovering even more hidden gems along the way.
The flatfoots, eagle eyes and treasure hunters contributing to this endeavor include Alastair Bland, Leilani Clark, Suzanne Daly, Jessica Dur, Katrina Fried, Nick Grizzle, James Knight, Kylie Mendonca, Jonah Raskin, Mira Stauffacher and David Templeton, represented by their initials and their passion for the concealed and unsung. Hence, without further ado, we bring you the North Bay's hidden gems.
Readers' Poll: The Winning Results
Our Writers' Picks: Hidden Gems