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Anson Stevens-Bollen

You May Be A Winner!

And the best lip-piercing parlor on Galisteo is…

July 27, 2016, 12:00 am

You’ve probably seen the big news: SFR today announced the results of the 2016 Best of Santa Fe competition.

If you live in Santa Fe, you know that’s a pretty big deal for the first, second and third-place winners in our roughly two million separate categories. Local businesses and other entities soon will be festooned with their BOSF certificates and the bragging rights that come with them.

Indeed, there is a restaurant out on Cerrillos, which still proudly displays its BOSF award from 2003. I’m not making this up. My thinking is, Hey, buddy, if you haven’t won anything since then, you might want to accept that your best days are behind you.

People ask me how the BOSF awards are chosen. It’s complicated, especially now that readers get to take part in the nominations as well as the voting. Without going into the full methodology, the process involves a series of primaries and caucuses held in yoga studios around Santa Fe, and then George R.R. Martin pulls color-coded pinecones from a burlap bag.

Our BOSF judges this year carefully tallied the reader nominations, and then removed Bernie Sanders’ name from every category. Sorry, Bernie, you don’t get to be the Best Sushi Bar on Canyon Road, no matter how much your supporters whine about it.

While the BOSF system works very well, the Reporter has asked me to take an objective look and suggest possible improvements in 2017. They also advised me not to take it personally that the 2016 award for Best Humor Column in a Weekly Santa Fe Newspaper went to some guy who died in 1998, so I guess I’m cool with that.

The full list of actual BOSF categories is so dizzying, I misread one as Best Electric Shopping Experience. I really did. Whoops, make that Best Eclectic Shopping Experience, and congratulations on your well-deserved win, Doodlets!

Let’s look at the 2016 results. Best Business on St. Michael’s Drive, Best Business on the Southside, Best Breakfast Burrito… Well, shoot, there’s your problem, right there. Your categories aren’t specific enough! Sure, we have lots of categories, but we could always use more.

How about Best Onion Rings on Johnson Street? My vote would go to Terracotta Wine Bistro. Best Shrimp and Grits on Johnson Street? Georgia, hands down. Best Lemon Meringue Pie on Johnson Street? Sweet Lily!

See how that works? By creating more specific categories, we can paper the town with awards, and nobody will feel like a loser! Well, nobody except maybe that 2003 restaurant out on Cerrillos.

Some of our categories don’t make sense to me. Why do we have Best Dentist, for example, but not Best Doctor? Don’t you think there’s a proctologist just wishing he could hang up one of our award certificates, after washing his hands, of course? And how about Best Dentist Who Works Out of a Sedan, so Santa Fe’s own El Dentista has a shot at some glory?

But here’s my main recommendation for next year. One very popular new local business is conspicuously absent from today’s results, I guess because it was just opening its doors as the BOSF nominations were underway. But next year, for sure, we need a slot for Best Repurposed Bowling Alley Featuring a Victorian Mansion With a Secret Refrigerator Tunnel.

The pinecone, please, George?

Well, I’ll be goddamned! The winner is Meow Wolf!

Robert Basler’s humor column runs twice monthly in SFR. Email the author:


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