Best Telescope Store - 2000
Located in the North Point Centre minimall, this store has the largest se- lection of telescopes, microscopes, and binoculars in Northern California. Part of a chain, it has state-of-the-art telescopes ranging in price from $120 to $33,000 and binoculars from $75 to $5,000. One popular item is the computerized NexStar "go-to" tele-scope, which can automatically locate any known star once it's been oriented on the North Star. Night-vision goggles, opera glasses, globes of the moon and Mars, and books about urban stargazing in "a light-polluted environment" are other choices. The star attraction, though, is a 10-foot telescope built in 1898, with a price tag of $179,000. Greg Bottini, the store's manager and "optical adviser," has a profound knowledge of astronomy, which he is eager to share.