.A Salute to the Survivors

Introduction | The Short List | Food & Drink | Arts & Culture | Cannabis | Beauty, Health and Wellness | Family | Recreation | Romance | Everyday | Editor’s Picks

This issue is a salute to resilience and survival, and to all of those who persevered and undertook risks to preserve the amenities, organizations and locally based businesses that serve Silicon Valley.

The shaky return to some semblance of normalcy, after staring down the collective disaster of our lifetimes, has not been without its challenges. Beset by employee shortages, rising costs, supply shortages and regulations that seem to shift from week to week, we’ve learned to be nimble and inventive.

The Best of Silicon Valley 2021 gives us reasons to celebrate. There is music and theater again, stores are open and we can dine indoors. There is life beyond day drinking, online shopping and food deliveries.

Not all businesses withstood the pandemic’s onslaught, and that’s a reminder that local businesses need our support. If you appreciate and enjoy a local establishment, spend money with them. Tip their staff. Keep them thriving and surviving.

This year’s Best of issue incorporated a new two-part voting system that allowed readers to nominate, then pick winners in a runoff. We will be refining the methodology in 2022 to present even more great finds.

Since introducing the first Best of Santa Clara Valley more than three decades ago, we’ve considered it a privilege to champion the people who strive for excellence and make this a better place to live. This year’s team features some new participants, including advertising director Lori Lieneke, managing editor Sharan Street, arts editor Mike Huguenor, staff writer Katie Lauer, account executive Serenity Polizzi and production manager Phaedra Strecher.

About Our Amazing Cover Artist: Orly Locquiao

This year’s cover features an original composition by Orly Locquiao, the founder of Humble Beginnings tattoo shop on the Alameda and the Cukui clothing line, whose retail flagship is in San Jose’s Japantown.

Few artists have been as influential in defining our area as Locquiao, who draws influences from traditional Polynesian culture and the region’s street art. He is an unabashed champion of San Jose, incorporating local motifs such as treatments of the Sharks hockey team logo into his original t-shirt and ball cap designs. His sought-after tattoo art has drawn such high-profile customers as former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

Early in his career, Orly worked as a member of Metro’s graphic design team. He calls his stint with us, more than 20 years ago, “my first real job.” We’re pleased to have been a small part of his stratospheric rise and are proud to present his work on the cover of this year’s Best of Silicon Valley issue.

Claim Your Best of Silicon Valley 2021 Award

Honorees who wish to celebrate their 2021 Best of Silicon Valley win can visit “Metro: Best of Silicon Valley” Award Plaque to order a plaque.

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