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Once upon a time, Joe and Gavin Maloof were kings among men in this town. But the fun-loving brothers went from Maloof to Magoof when they tried earlier this year to take our once-beloved basketball team down south to Anaheim. Who would have guessed that the best Maloof of all would be a tiny, blond-tressed, stiletto-heeled Beverly Hills Housewife? On her Bravo TV show, ADRIENNE MALOOF charms us with her no-nonsense, anti-mean-girl approach to life in the 90210. In Season 1, she brought her fellow housewives to town (via private plane, natch), where she treated the ladies to a meal at Grange. Afterward, they all trooped out to Power Balance Pavillion to shoot hoops, then catch a Kings game from courtside seats. Adrienne may have a private chef, a plastic surgeon husband and gazillions in the bank, but this is one down-to-earth gal. Mwah!
Best Debut Novelist
When a Sacramento-based author gets a first novel published, it’s cause for celebration. When that same author makes The New York Times best-seller list within two weeks of publication, it’s reason to have a parade. Such is the case with VANESSA DIFFENBAUGH, author of The Language of Flowers, a tale of a young woman named Victoria who ages out of foster care and has nowhere to go. Through her knowledge of floriography, the 19th century study of flower symbolism and meanings, Victoria finds love, forges a career and heals her past. Diffenbaugh, a longtime foster parent, used funds from her book deal to form Camellia Network, a nonprofit organization aimed at helping young adults transition out of foster care. Now living in Massachusetts with her family, she returned to Sacramento in late August to launch the nonprofit with a fundraiser, as well as promote the novel, which was written in midtown cafes and analyzed in local writing groups. Diffenbaugh is still beloved in Sacramento, if the rousing applause she received at her Tsakopoulos Library Galleria reading and book signing is any indication. “It’s exciting to be here, where I’m surrounded by people I love,” she said.
Best Local Maestro
MICHAEL NEUMANN knows how to make beautiful music. For 33 seasons, he’s taken bows as artistic director and conductor of the Sacramento Youth Symphony, leading the group in performances throughout the world. In 2004, he opened the Folsom Symphony’s first season as music director and conductor. Today, he juggles both symphonies with aplomb. According to Folsom Symphony board president Bruce Woodbury, the maestro brings exceptional talent to Folsom. “His vast network of connections and his overall expertise in music bring so much to our stage,” says Woodbury. “His reputation and style bring high-caliber musicians to the area. Performers love to work with him.”
Best Local Leap to Hollywood
ANALEIGH TIPTON, former El Dorado Hills resident and St. Francis High School graduate, is redefining “triple threat”: A championship ice skater as a tween, she went on to be a finalist on “America’s Next Top Model” in 2008, then moved into acting. In 2011, she had roles in The Green Hornet and Crazy, Stupid, Love, working alongside box-office powerhouses Seth Rogen and Steve Carell, respectively. Her performance in Crazy, Stupid, Love as a teenage baby sitter with a crush on her employer garnered her an appearance on New York Times’ film critic Karen Durbin’s “Faces to Watch” list. It also landed her a starring role in Samaritan, scheduled for release in 2012. Last month, Season 3 of HBO’s comedy series “Hung” featured Tipton as a schizophrenic pimp, and she can be seen in the comedy Damsels in Distress alongside fellow Sacramentan Greta Gerwig.
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HOME + GARDEN + DESIGN
Best Place To Stock Your Backyard Henhouse
Under a new city ordinance, Sacramento residents are now allowed to keep up to three egg-laying hens in their backyard. Which raises the question: Where exactly do you buy egg-laying hens? Answer: BRADSHAW FEED & PET SUPPLY. Located on a dusty stretch of Bradshaw Road about 15 minutes outside town, this old-fashioned country store carries 35 to 40 chicken varieties, including standard breeds such as Rhode Island Red, White Leghorn and Ameraucana, and so-called “fancy” breeds like Golden Polish, Mottled Houdan and Sumatra. The baby chicks ($1.25 to $5 apiece) are housed by the dozens in deep, glass-fronted drawers. Once you make your selection, a staffer pops your chicks into a brown paper bag, gives you a care sheet and sells you everything you need to get started as an urban chicken keeper: heat lamp, pine shavings, chick waterer, food, etc. The payoff comes five or six months later, when your chickens start laying eggs. 7285 Bradshaw Road, Sacramento; (916) 369-8225
Best Modern Furniture
Interior designer Curtis Popp is not about to tell you what to think of his Soft Side Table, the first offering from his CPOPP WORKSHOP. He will say, however, that the 18-by-18-inch round wooden table with three brightly colored legs is “approachable but not stuffy.” We definitely agree on both counts: The warm walnut or white oak tabletop, with green, blue, orange or yellow legs, illustrates that Popp knows how to put the fun in functional. He sells the tables exclusively through his website, though he’s been approached by retailers wanting to carry the line. There’s also been interest from renowned hotelier Ian Schrager, and the table was featured in the Sunset Idea House this fall. Next up for CPopp Workshop: a coffee table version of the Soft Side Table. (916) 207-9106; cpoppworkshop.com
Best New Florist
Philip Rice was still in high school when he started working for a florist in Colusa. After the shop closed in 2009, he decided it was time to move to “the big city.” Yes, Sacramento—that big city. After purchasing EAST SAC FLORIST earlier this year, he considered changing the name to something “more designery,” then thought better of it. “The name fits the neighborhood. It’s casual but elegant,” he says—a phrase that also nicely describes Rice’s design style. Rice has worked for two governors and the Tournament of Roses parade, and he flies all over the country doing floral design and lighting for special events and destination weddings. Here in Sacramento, he’s especially known for his unique plant combos, such as topiaries underplanted with succulents and decorated with manzanita limbs. “It’s amazing what a dead branch will do,” he quips. 5379 H St., Sacramento; (916) 457-2699; eastsacflorist.com
Best Home Décor
Can’t spare the time (or the money) to fly to Paris for the famed Marché aux Puces
flea market? Then do the next best thing and drive to FLEURI in Carmichael. Owned and operated for the past 13 years by sisters Sonia Moreno and Sylvia Frazier, this charming shop overflows with gorgeous French antiques, linens, garden décor, pillows, vintage ribbon, china, candles and other things for the home too numerous to mention. Frazier goes to Paris on a shopping expedition once a year and brings back all manner of Francophilic treasures: farmhouse tables, chandeliers, iron beds, fireplace screens, hotel silver, antique postcards . . . the list goes on and on. We’ll always have Paris as long as Fleuri is around. 7301 Fair Oaks Blvd., Carmichael; (916) 973-9848
Best Wine Design
Helwig Winery owners David and Nancy Helwig wanted their new Amador County winery to reflect the history of the area. When they met with SAGE ARCHITECTURE, they immediately knew they’d found the right people for the job. “They had a very creative, subtle approach in capturing the rustic charm we wanted without making it look dated,” says Nancy. Through the use of metal roofing, board-and-batten wood siding and galvanized metal, Paul Almond and Pam Whitehead of Sage designed buildings that stand out from their surroundings yet blend in beautifully. With a nod to sustainability, the architects made use of oak and pine harvested during the clearing of the site in the tasting room and other areas of the property. 11555 Shenandoah Valley Road, Plymouth; (209) 245-5200; helwigwinery.com
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