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Artvoice Best of Buffalo 2010

I’ve got a feeling that AV’s venerable Best of Buffalo poll has reached the beginning of a new age. More voters than ever before participated in the poll: 3,800 ballots were started online, and nearly half of those followed through and submitted valid, completed entries. Of the 1,812 valid ballots, only a couple hundred were delivered by the US Mail. A sign of the times. A number of aspirants launched vigorous (and usually successful) Facebook campaigns, enlisting friends and strangers alike to vote for them.

A number of new names—artists, institutions, restaurants, bars—cracked the top fives in categories long dominated by a few staid regulars. Maybe the demographics of our readership are shifting slightly; maybe there’s simply been a lot of activity on the region’s cultural scene in recent years, providing our readers new wells of inspiration. In any case, it’s certainly refreshing to see the region’s old reliables—plays at the Irish Classical Theatre, the sauce at Chef’s Restaurant, the jukebox at the Essex Street Pub—quickened by the arrival of newcomers like Merge, Sugar City, 464 Gallery, and Juniper. Buffalo’s cultural scene has seldom felt stronger.

Melvin Danger, aka Melly B.

About our Cover Model

A recent transplant from Brooklyn, Mel is a first-time model and all-around renaissance man.

He enjoys the finer things in life: binge-eating, collecting records, tanning, HOD Tattoo, Johnny Maestro, lambwhiches, and chubby Sicilian girls who yell at him. If you see him on the West Side, say hi.

One thing hasn’t changed about AV’s Best of Buffalo poll and never will: Our finalists and our winners are determined entirely by popular vote. We don’t make editorial choices, we don’t shade the voting, we don’t take it upon ourselves the “correct” the thinking of our readers. If you all believe Chef’s is the height of Italian cuisine, so be it: The place must have something special about it. If you like the beer selection at Pearl Street and the honey lavender martini at Sample, sounds good to us. It’s your call, not ours. If you want to learn some best-kept secrets, if you’re thirsty for insider knowledge, you might find some here, but you’re better off picking up our quarterly food guides or our upcoming (June 3!) annual summer guide. Best of Buffalo presents the region’s public profile. This is what democracy looks like.

This year the Best of Buffalo survey included, as it often does, an essay question: What would you do if you had $1 billion to spend in a community-minded way? The response to this question was literally overwheling. (That is to say, we’re overwhelmed.) We’ll start posting the best answers we received on Thursday morning at AV Daily, and post a new one every day until we’ve run out of good answers. It’ll take a while.

Meantime, take a look at the results of our 2010 Best of Buffalo contest. What follows are the top five vote-getters in each category, listed in no particular order. The winners will be unveiled and feted at out Best of Buffalo Bash this Monday, April 26, 6-9pm at the Town Ballroom. As always, the party is free of charge. There will be terrific entertainment and lots of the restaurants below will offer samples of their wares. Come one, come all, and toast to the Best of Buffalo.

geoff kelly

Mark Your Calendars...

2010 Best of Buffalo Bash: Monday, April 26, 6-9pm at the Town Ballroom

...and the nominees are:
IntroductionFood & Drink
Shops & ServicesNightlife
NomineesThe Fine Arts
People PowerOur Fair City

The 2010 Best of Buffalo Winners List

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