Thanks for all your letters, emails, phone-calls and streetcorner pestering. You've never been shy in pointing out your favorites for our annual "Best of Portland" issue.

We truly appreciate your effort.

And in some cases, your campaign paid off.

Especially all you "mathers." At last count, we had more than three dozen emails from one group of math-lovers who created a verb for what they do--"mathe" (rhymes with "bathe"). Yes, you read right--mathematicians rocked our world. Each one of these missives was sent in an effort to get the third-floor atrium of Portland State University's Neuberger Hall considered as the "best place to mathe." We checked it out, and they were right--see page 29. Thanks for your oddly persuasive persistence. We might not have known about you otherwise.

That's what Willamette Week's "Best of Portland" issue is all about. For three decades we've honored the odder aspects of our city, found in the most unlikely of spaces. And for the past three months dozens of WW scribes have scoured the city to ask questions, lift up rocks and walk down dark alleys in search of cool "bests."

Some of your favorite stuff might not be included these pages. If yours didn't make it--hey, there's always next year. And if you're wondering why we didn't include best pie or Pilates, well, that's not our style. (For readers' picks on such items, though, check out the results of our online poll). For now ,just sit back and enjoy. Hell, you might even learn something--especially if the mathing addicts have anything to do with it.


Byron Beck
Special Sections Editor

When we featured local pop artist Miss Mona Superhero's duct-tape "drawings" in the April 23 issue of our paper, we knew we'd want to see her Home Depot-meets-Homeland Security Act psychedelic-induced artwork again.

She's the perfect example, in the age of Ashcroft, of someone who's willing to tackle a terror-inducing subject and flip it on its head.

Still, we were a bit surprised when this pioneer of plumber's-aid portraiture (and longstanding Rose City burlesque legend) accepted our shy plea to create some Mona-riginal art for the cover of Best of Portland 2003. After all, ever since she picked up her X-Acto knife just last winter, Mona's shiny, hyperkinetic color riots have been in high demand for everything from album art to wall murals. Lucky for us, this gracious cut-and-paste queen (she works only in multicolored tape on white melamine) took on our challenge and came back with her own Portland's best: a starry, electric, one-woman, two-wheeled wonder. Roller disco, anyone?

Byron Beck

Kelly N. Clarke

Rachel Beckman, David Berman, Nate Berne, Caryn B. Brooks, Jenny Boyer, Art Chenoweth, Taylor Clark, Kim B. Colton, Lauren Dake, Nathan Dinsdale, Zach Dundas, Elizabeth Dye, Jacob Fenton, Kai Hsing, Nigel Jaquiss, Mike Kiefer, Gavin Lane, Chris Lydgate, Ian Marshall, Matt McNally, Grant Menzies, Francesca Monga, Emilie Raguso, Amy Roe, John Schrag, Steffen Silvis, David Walker, Brian Wagner, Stiv J. Wilson

Matt Buckingham, Ian Gillingham, Margaret Seiler, Carrie Meech

Amanda Bigos, Thomas Cobb, Samantha Gardner, Kendon Gray, Tom Humphrey, Jason Landis, Shawna McKeown, Anne Reeser, Amy Ryan, Frank Zurbano

Wynde Dyer

Jesse Mangerson