I've been to them all...YMCA's all over the state and 24hr fitness. This YMCA has been the best of them all. It is cheap compared to the for profit chains. There are a good number of classes avaliable if you want to take them. The workers are friendly. The facilities are clean. There is a lot of equipment. Even the people here are great. I regularly play in pick up basketball games with people I meet on the court. Everyone should check it out. BTW, there is also a woman's YMCA right across from campus.
UCSF is regularly ranked among the best hospitals in the world. My father went here a couple of months ago for surgery. He was treated great. The nurses were nice and caring. The food wasn't bad. He was given a private room. The doctor that operated on my father came by everyday to check on the status of my father to speak with me and my mother about the process and recovery. When my dad left, the nurses made sure to educate him and my family about everything important about my dad's recovery. They were very receptive to questions and very friendly. It truely is a great hospital!
For the price, I would have rather gone to supercuts. I went once last year because Supercuts is far from my house, so I decided to try the Cutting Room. There was a short wait before it was my turn. The barber was nice and talkative. She asked what I wanted and did an ok job. It wasn't good, it wasn't bad. The thing that bothered me was that she took forever. It was like a 25 minute haircut when I usually get it done in about 10. I think the woman was taking a long time because she was interested in having a conversation.
Perhaps because they are in Berkeley, they are only "ok." Berkeley has so man great bookstores. Black Oak specializes in used and rare books. They do manage to attract good authors and speakers to their store for events on occasion. In terms of comparison, I would say that Moe's and Cody's books are slightly better bookstores, mainly because of price and service. My unscientific research showed Black Oaks is slightly the most expensive of the three. Also, the workers arent as friendly. By no means, are they mean, but I've seen better service else where.
I used Greater Bay Plumbing when I moved into my condo. The fixer upper I bought needed alot of work. I had heard good things about the company so I called them for an estimate. Greater Bay gave me a rate that was better than the 2 other companies I called. They completly redid my bathroom is super fast time. The tub and sink work great and the toilet works like a wonderfully as well. The workers were extremely nice while they were in my condo and made sure not to mess up or dirty anything in my house. I highly recommend them!
I went to Harry Mason's last year to buy an ring for my girlfriend. When I told them what I was looking for, they asked what my budget range was. They promptly showed me what was in my range and didn't try to get me to spend more than I could afford. They then asked me what my girlfriend usually wore. I told them and they showed me a couple of pieces that they thought would be excellent for her. One piece they showed me, I really liked, so I bought it. My girlfriend loved the necklace that I got her. Next time I buy jewlery it will be at Harry Mason's.
I have been to the Guillotine a couple of times to buy required books for my classes. The location is good, as it is close to Pacific and the metro station. The store itself is really small and cramped. It reminds me of being in a closet full of books. To make up for it, the workers are extremely nice and willing to help find what you are looking for. When they don't have a book they are wiling to order it for you. Also, they've bought back books from me that the school bookstore and Slug books would not have. You should check it out if you are buying books for class.
This is my favorite bookstore in Santa Cruz. The selection is big(I've never had a problem finding what I was looking for). Their music section is also very respectable. Once in a while, when they have sales I've been able to find some really great books at great prices. The service is pretty good. Lines are never long and the workers are always willing to help find what you are looking for.
The reason Slug books is so popular is because it is "cheaper" than the bookstore. What I have noticed though is that "cheaper" is often by a dime or two. Last year, I only saved about $1 by buying from them over the school bookstore. The lines at the begining of each quarter are usually really long. There better buyback rates, also aren't as great as advertised. Often the prices they advertise they will buy books back for is not true because they will only buy a limited number of those books at those prices(often only a couple). I have had better luck getting more money at the school bookstore.
My advice for UCSC student's, but books off the internet, you'll save a lot.
I used the carpet doctor last year after hair dye was spilled on my carped. I was desperate for immediate cleaning as I had family coming over in a couple of days. They were the only ones who could schedule me in the next day. When they showed up they promptly went to work on the stain. They used a couple of foul smelling chemicals that they said would penetrate the carpet and loosen the color from the carpet. After about 2hrs of cleaning they were able to remove the stain to an acceptable level. The price was steep, I am sure I could have gotten a better deal but I didn't have the time to shop around.