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Arcadia runs the gamut from bucolic paradise to bourgeois bohemian

July 26-August 1, 2006

Arcadia 2006:

Our annual Arcadia issue salutes the elaborate joys of the simple life. The Sonoma, Marin and Napa area abounds in such pleasures, and with this issue we celebrate the food, the wine and the arts that help to make our small slice of the world so special. As everything always changes nothing, we are reminded that the themes that inspired the impressionist painters are the themes that continue to inspire North Bay residents every day, particularly during the summer's dry swelter. Eating, drinking, taking time to be with friends and loved ones, enjoying the out of doors, sitting at table and idly picking that last bunch of grapes from the platter, using the day to merely be--all of this conspires to make life here so unrepentantly marvelous.

While poor Vincent's visage graces this page, it's not the tortured, the neglected or the ill that we consider with this one issue of the year; rather, we raise a metaphoric glass to all that there is to cheer about. As always, an endeavor of this sort cannot be undertaken alone, and we are indebted to the ArtRatz twins, Billy Westinghouse and Dominic Egan, as well as to photographers Michael Amsler and Nina Zhito, staff writer Brett Ascarelli, who lent much intelligence, and to design director Kara Brown, whose weekly genius stuns us.

--Gretchen Giles

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