When I was little, I'd spend hours upon hours in my room, sitting on the floor and making toys fight amongst themselves. It could have been anything—plastic animals, anthropomorphized Matchbox cars, even small stacks of baseball cards held together with rubber bands. They would be epic orgies of punching, kicking, shooting, bombing and killing—and then reincarnation and more killing.
Maybe it was nostalgia for my battle-addled boyhood that caused me to OK the theme suggested by staff writer Alex Zaragoza for this year's Best of San Diego issue, our 11th annual: Take two things that are both really good at the same thing, pit them against one another and declare a winner. My 8-year-old, bloodthirsty self would have preferred more killing, but, whatever.
We constructed a metaphorical boxing ring and scheduled 15 bouts, starring competitors like climbing gyms, car services, women-owned coffee shops, bahn mi sandwiches, soul-food restaurants, drive-in theaters, dive-bar jukeboxes and more.
As usual, our issue also brings the main event: the Best of San Diego Readers Poll, which the little kid in me likens to an all-out, raging brawl. That mayhem begins here.
Please enjoy, and rest assured that no one was harmed in the making of this issue.