People & Places

  • Best St. Louisan of 2001

    Joe Edwards

    Last year, the Riverfront Times anointed Nelly the Best St. Louisan; the readers, in their infinite wisdom, picked Joe Edwards. Instead of giving long-overdue props to a certain civic-minded University City-based capitalist, we chose to commemorate a baby-faced U. City-based capitalist, one known not for his contributions to city development but for his unprecedented ability to dominate the pop charts… More >>
  • Best Radio Personality

    J.C. Corcoran, KLOU (103.3 FM)

    It is possible that J.C. Corcoran is the most misunderstood radio personality in St. Louis, for few in the local media can claim such ardent detractors and champions. The first group -- and they are legion -- seems to comprise stuffed shirts, common louts and various personages, including fellow talk jocks, that Corcoran has offended through any of myriad pranks… More >>
  • Best TV Weathercaster

    Scott Connell, KSDK-TV (Channel 5)

    In a city with weather as fickle as ours, is there really any point to tuning in to the 10 p.m. news for a forecast from Cindy Preszler or Kent Ehrhardt? By the time the sun rises, last night's predictions always seem to have a 50-50 chance of being dead wrong (along with the colorful graphic in your morning newspaper).… More >>
  • Best Attraction To Take Out-Of-Towners

    Old Chain Of Rocks Bridge

    Had the price of scrap steel not dropped dramatically in 1976, making the old Chain of Rocks Bridge unprofitable to demolish, current visitors would be denied the splendid view of downtown St. Louis, shimmering like some fabled kingdom. Opened for traffic in 1929, the bridge, part of old Route 66, connected North St. Louis with Madison, Ill. By 1968 the… More >>
  • Best Local Politician

    George "Buzz" Westfall

    The first job of a politician is to get elected. Buzz Westfall has been passing that test since 1978. He was elected three times as the county's prosecuting attorney, then won three elections to the county's top post. His 1990 win marked the first time since 1958 that a Democrat had become county executive. With his electoral success and his… More >>
  • Best Tattoo On a City Alderman

    Ken Ortmann's woman

    Only a strip search of all 28 aldermen would prove that no one else has a more provocative tattoo in a more precarious place, but for the sake of their privacy, and our indigestion, let's hand the award to Ald. Ken Ortmann (D-9th Ward). Ortmann, a former Marine, has a woman indelibly etched on the outside of his right calf.… More >>
  • Best Dead End

    Park Avenue west of 39th Street

    Last year, we honored Bill Willert as Best Role Model for his magnanimous ap proach to running Willert Home Products, his business, the nation's largest producer of potpourri, air fresheners and mothballs. He's also, it seems, largely responsible for the best dead end in the city, one that stretches from the intersection of 39th and Park westward. Located in the… More >>
  • Best Hair On a TV Personality (Male)

    Art Holliday, KSDK-TV (Channel 5)

    Sometimes less is more, and that is definitely the case with Art Holliday, co-anchor of Today in St. Louis and NewsChannel 5 at Noon, whose smooth, shaved and nearly bald dome leaves him looking downright dashing. His striking appearance is heads above the generic, shellacked style commonplace on the pates of other St. Louis television personalities. A couple of other… More >>
  • Best Hair On a TV Personality (Female)

    Keryn Shipman, KDNL-TV (Channel 30)

    Once upon a time, in the 1970s, our newsfolk had actual hairdos -- that is, hair we could remember when we tried to picture them between nightly episodes. Robin Smith was probably the most sublime exemplar: Her doughnut-sized, impossibly severe topknot was both stylish and idiosyncratic -- and, we're guessing, the catalyst for countless migraines. Alas, the days of hair-with-flair… More >>
  • Best One-Man Band

    Ed L. Golterman

    For more than three years, Ed L. Golterman has kept a steady drumbeat going for the reopening of Kiel Opera House, shuttered since 1991. A prolific gadfly, Golterman spits out a steady stream of e-mails to media types and local officials -- Mayor Francis Slay and Deputy Mayor Barb Geisman are current regulars on Golterman's spam list. According to Golterman,… More >>
  • Best TV-News Anchor

    Kathryn Jamboretz, KPLR-TV (Channel 11)

    This St. Louis native joined WB11 (KPLR-TV, Channel 11) as a nighttime news anchor in May 2000 after six years as a reporter at other stations here. Ever since, she's been the perkiest presence on the local-television scene. In a town where anchors tend to come and stay, stay, stay (usually for decades), her youth and enthusiasm are a welcome… More >>
  • Best TV-Sports Anchor

    Mike Bush, KSDK-TV (Channel 5)

    If Mike Bush were one of the St. Louis athletes he covers, he'd already have retired to the golf course and sports-banquet circuit: He's been with us that long. When St. Louis first heard Bush elongating the word "deep" on his signature home-run call, Jack Clark was the Cardinals' slugger, 35 long balls in spacious Busch Stadium seemed an outrageous… More >>
  • Best Evidence the New Mayor Knows Carolyn Tuft's Value

    Slay's inaugural speech

    When newly elected Mayor Francis Slay gave his inaugural address in the City Hall rotunda, he pleaded for folks to "come back" to the city in a "give us your tired commuter" take on the Statue of Liberty's plea. "For those of you who may be tired of the commute from Highland or Florissant, O'Fallon, Chesterfield, Clayton or Town &… More >>
  • Best Place To See Jesus

    Chouteau and Tower Grove

    Let's say it was spring and you'd fallen in love. The dim bricks of the houses in the old neighborhood were suddenly illuminated. Scraggly dogs looked fit and lively. Even the mailman, who usually looked as if he could have been packing an Uzi instead of the mail, was friendly. La, la. You drove your sweet one home one morning,… More >>
  • Best Romantic Getaway

    New Harmony Inn

    New Harmony, Ind., 812-682-4491 First, forget the clichés. Beaches and fruity drinks, furtive hideaway motels, decadent opulence. Who wants one of those sunken Roman tubs in the room anyway -- it's humid, and the marble's slippery. Instead, tryst in unlikely peace at the New Harmony Inn. The plain Shaker furniture may look austere at first -- until you realize the possibilities… More >>
  • Best Highway-2-Heaven

    McCausland Avenue

    If Michael Landon were alive today, odds are he wouldn't be for long if he commuted along McCausland Avenue. This heavily trafficked road, which skirts the city along Maplewood on its way to Clayton, has all the danger signs -- warped lanes, wind-strewn garbage cans, the odd parked car, no center turn lane, residents backing out into heavy traffic, dangerous… More >>
  • Best Example Of Why Radio Hosts Should Prepare For Celebrity Interviews

    George Carlin on KMOX

    The Hippy-Dippy Weatherman, George Carlin, was doing the book tour thing in May, pumping up sales for his Napalm & Silly Putty bestseller. He was being interviewed by two of the chuckleheads at KMOX (1120 AM), McGraw Milhaven and Charles Brennan, during a live remote broadcast of the Morning Meeting from the Muny Opera. Milhaven asked Carlin about his wife,… More >>
  • Best Statue At a Strip Mall

    The clown at General Grant Center

    We're sure there are people out there who know the name of the strip mall at 8400 Watson Rd. is the General Grant Center. But most people in our circles have taken to referring to it as "Scary Clown Plaza." Standing at least 15 feet tall, just off the curb to the street, the clown seems prepared to squirt seltzer… More >>
  • Best Eerie Portent Of an Election Result

    "Clarence Harmon" obit

    Exactly when did it become conventional wisdom that Clarence Harmon would be one-term city mayor? Was it when he fired Michael Jones, his effective deputy mayor for development? Was it when Hizzoner refused to give Cornell Haynes Jr., a.k.a. Nelly, a proclamation, protesting that the chart-topping, St. Louis-promoting rapper's lyrics were offensive? Harmon, the anti-Freeman Bosley Jr. candidate in 1997,… More >>
  • Best Nostalgic Highway Exit Ramp

    Lindbergh at Highway 40

    Round and round we go, and where we stop, there's most likely to be a whole lot more cars than there were when this thing was built. If you're over the age of 35, you remember when most exit ramps on highways were built in these tight-curved cloverleaf patterns. You also remember when getting on and off highways was one… More >>
  • Best Stoplight

    Watson and Laclede Station

    Two minutes and 10 seconds was long enough for the Ramones to create any number of masterpieces. It seems an eternity when you're sitting in a car on Watson Road, waiting for the light to change at Laclede Station Road. Between 20 and 25 automobiles will line up at attention, waiting for that special moment when red disappears and green… More >>
  • Best Male Stripper

    The Rock

    We have nothing but respect for all the gentlemen wandering the interiors of Boxers 'n Briefs night after night, fondling their private parts in front of the wide-eyed male and female patrons. It's a hard job, if you know what we mean. But one man in particular delivers the most thrills every time he takes the stage. They call him… More >>
  • Best Place To Fall Off a Commode

    Drury Inn

    A Michigan woman visiting St. Louis checked into the Drury Inn near the airport. She went into her hotel bathroom, turned on the bathtub's hot water, then sat down on the commode to "read the newspaper." As she contemplated the day's latest news, the bathtub device that switches the water stream from the tub faucet to the shower head mysteriously… More >>
  • Best Place To People-Watch

    University City Loop

    People-watching on the University Loop isn't planned; it just happens. At any given time, there is a parade of humanity akin to a United Colors of Benetton ad with feet. Teenagers with piercings and leather walk past businessmen in corporate suits, who pass thirtysomething couples walking hand in hand. Then there are the regulars: The Vietnamese man who peacefully does… More >>
  • Best Animal At the Zoo

    Malayan sun bear

    Infuriated by the unintended taunts of gawkers ("Lookit the baaby!"), the Malayan sun bear paces its log, snout furrowed in ire. The smallest of bears, Helarctos malayanus is only a couple of feet tall and tops out at 150 pounds, though you would do well to remember that no description of the species is complete without reference both to its… More >>
  • Best Non-Native Booster

    Charlie Brennan, KMOX (1120 AM)

    As the midmorning-talk-show host on KMOX radio, native Clevelander Charlie Brennan spent years listening to local "civic leaders" blather on about wise and well-researched surveys and plans for making the most of the assets of downtown St. Louis. But unlike the vast majority of his guests, Brennan went out and actually did something, creating a walking trail of downtown historic… More >>
  • Best Place To Take a Cynical Out-Of-Towner

    City Museum

    Take visiting friends or relatives to this vibrantly kitschy museum, and have fun just watching them react. See the bemusement on their faces as they observe children bouncing on the spring-loaded flippers of a hollow whale. Watch them beam with pride as they make their own sheet of paper. And that doesn't even cover the eccentric art and architecture exhibits… More >>
  • Best Chance To Connect the Arch To Downtown

    New Mississippi River bridge

    Ahh, good old St. Louis civic coordination. Those who have actually bothered to read the dozens of "plans" set forth for the betterment of downtown St. Louis know that the 1999 Downtown Now! plan, like virtually every plan written since the Arch opened in 1966, advocates better connections of the Arch grounds and downtown St. Louis. Further, the Downtown Plan… More >>
  • Best New Radio Host

    D.J. Wilson, KDHX (88.1 FM)

    Is D.J. Wilson a man or a woman? Is D.J. a churlish cynic or a lovable lout? Is D.J. the long-lost twin of St. Louis American editor Alvin Reid? Curious readers of Wilson's weekly "Short Cuts" column in the Riverfront Times get some clues on Mondays at 7 p.m. on Collateral Damage, a KDHX (88.1 FM) program that made its… More >>
  • Best Bridge

    Lewis and Clark Bridge

    This cable-stayed bridge spanning 4,260 feet across the Mississippi River from Missouri to Alton, Ill., is one of the area's most beautiful. On a sunny day, the contrast of the bridge cables against a bright-blue sky would clearly win the area's bridge beauty contest. Sometimes referred to as the "Super Bridge" or the "Clark Bridge," the elegant structure features four… More >>
  • Best Frontier Neighborhood

    North Broadway area

    Now that the developers are nudging the frontier spirits out of downtown -- you've served your purpose; now move on so we can jack up the rent! -- where are they to go? Zipping north on Broadway downtown, just keep going. If you're from the South Side or West County, the imaginary Great Wall just north of the Dome at… More >>
  • Best Fundraiser

    Krewe of the Mystic Martini

    Amid the diamond tiaras of social giving, AIDS fundraisers and the annual arm-twisting of United Way campaigns are many smaller groups that raise money. One such group is a humble bunch of do-gooders known as the Krewe of the Mystic Martini. Although it's true Mardi Gras krewes meet for drink and merriment, the Mystic Martini raises Cain and cash --… More >>
  • Best Attorney Who Looks the Part

    Charles "Ed" Brown, Brown & Brown

    In Legal Marketing 101, idealistic young law students learn that if you are going advertise, you need a hook. St. Louis lawyer Charles "Ed" Brown found his hook in the form of a patch. You can't miss Brown; his mug is plastered on billboards and buses throughout the city -- and he is wearing a black eye patch. The ads… More >>
  • Best Place To Meet New Friends You Won't Invite Over For Dinner

    Colony Theater

    This is a character bar, both in terms of décor and denizens. Yes, it's a tad expensive for a place with a gravel parking lot and siding that belongs on a barn. No, you can't get beer in a bottle -- this is a cans-only place -- and there's always a cover charge, which varies with the day of the… More >>
  • Best High School

    Cardinal Ritter College Prep High School

    If there's one thing the locals have to know about you, it's where you went to high school. Although asking about one's high school is frequently used as a polite way of sizing you up, you can't always tell a book by its cover. At Cardinal Ritter, 100 percent of its graduates are accepted by one or more colleges each… More >>
  • Best Lawsuit

    Deuschle v. Jobe

    It used to be that bedroom encounters were prefaced with the usual professions of undying love, the sharing of an alcoholic beverage or two and adamant denials of already being married. But now, mating-game participants must tell their partners about sexually transmitted diseases, or they risk more than disrespect in the morning -- they could get sued. Jason Lee Jobe… More >>
  • Best Local Corporation

    Monsanto Co.

    Have you hugged your agricultural scientist today? Considering that national and multinational corporations are leaving the St. Louis area like popcorn from a fire, it's time to appreciate the much-maligned Monsanto, one of the few multinational corporations to still call St. Louis home. Monsanto, which is controlled by Peapack, N.J.-based Pharmacia Corp., not only funded the new research center near… More >>
  • Best Metrolink Station

    Eighth and Pine

    If you're a cynic, you might think that the MetroLink is just a glorified shuttle system between parking lots. As a consequence, a number of the stations might seem like aesthetic afterthoughts -- a series of cookie-cutter platforms. Downtown's Eighth and Pine, though, is a stone-carved underground cavern that makes you feel as if you've walked into a bona fide… More >>
  • Best Candidates For Adult Education

    RCGA Economic Development staff

    One of the things any reputable business school teaches its students is economic forecasting, the method of calculating financial losses or benefits that might accrue as a result of an event, policy or legislation. Somehow the folks at the Regional Chamber and Growth Association seem to have no clue about how to do it. When the Rams made it to… More >>
  • Best Restaurant Restroom

    Remy's Kitchen & Wine Bar

    Cleanliness is a given in washrooms, or it should be. When it comes to the complete bathroom experience in hygiene and ambience, try the ladies' room at Remy's. Remy's owners moved ahead of the bathroom pack when they designed a bathroom of function, funk and interest. With art objects and kitsch encased in a glass display box on one wall… More >>
  • Best Place To Waste Time

    St. Louis County Traffic Court, North Division

    Yes, you could hire a lawyer and just stay home. And yes, the fine for "air pollution by motor vehicle" really isn't all that big. But why pass up the chance to stand in line, especially on a night when the docket exceeds 1,000 cases and you're under threat of arrest if you don't enter a plea? You can quit… More >>
  • Best Judge (If You're Michael Lazaroff)

    Charles Shaw

    Even though most defendants in criminal cases dread federal court and shudder at the phrase "sentencing guidelines," St. Louis lawyer Michael Lazaroff was able to prove that the feds' bark is worse than the bite. Lazaroff was the legal genius and gifted Democratic fundraiser who was able to enrich his personal coffers by $500,000. All he had to do was… More >>
  • Best News Story To R.I.P.

    Steve Fossett, hot-air balloonist

    Why kill this news story? It's great to hear about achievers -- that is, when they achieve. Hot-air balloonist Steve Fossett has only managed to try, year after year, and yet the news ink flows (at least 18 Post-Dispatch news stories this year, plus a Kevin Horrigan column comparing Fossett to perennial presidential candidate Harold Stassen). When you consider the… More >>
  • Best Place to Play Good Samariton

    Wild Bird Rehabilitation

    Emily Dickinson promised: If we help one fainting robin unto his nest again, we will not have lived in vain. Seems like an easy way to justify your existence -- until you're holding a trembling, barely cheeping robin too new for feathers, and he's just plunged from an invisible nest to a concrete stairwell, and you don't know whether to… More >>
  • Best Small Business

    Leroy's

    You start a small business and you hire a few people and you pay them as little as you can. You start making some money and you still pay the employees as little as you can. If they show up late, you chew them out and you don't want to hear any excuses. Some of them quit and you hire… More >>
  • Best Newspaper Columnist

    Dolores Shante, St. Louis American

    The best columnist in St. Louis isn't real. Giving someone a column may start out as a good idea, but too often the columnist drones on with his weekly, or thrice-weekly, chore long after the death of anything resembling a good idea. Every column, and columnist, has a half-life beyond which concept and execution disintegrate into jukebox journalism, giving the… More >>
  • Best Mall Restroom

    Plaza Frontenac

    A friend of ours, who shares our deep and abiding affection for the women's restroom in Plaza Frontenac, claims that a well-known interior decorator designed the opulent but tasteful sanctuary. We left messages for Plaza Frontenac staff but never heard back. No matter. Whoever designed it, the result is the same -- and it's sublime. From the buttery maple veneer… More >>
  • Best Government Leader

    Irene Smith

    Twas the whiz heard 'round the globe as Ald. Irene Smith apparently decided she'd rather fill a bucket than give up a filibuster. Shielded by aldermanic allies, the alderwoman-with-'tude -- a former city judge, mind you -- allegedly peed in a garbage can after she was refused a potty break during a rigorous redistricting debate. Headlines about Smith's mid-July government… More >>
  • Best Obscure Historic District

    Crittenden Historic District

    Bounded by Louisiana Avenue at one end and South Grand Boulevard at the other, the Crittenden Historic District, which comprises three city blocks (two residential and one on the campus of St. Elizabeth Academy, the only private Catholic girls' high school in the city), is the tiniest historic district in the state of Missouri. If you ignore the hideous '50s… More >>
  • Best City Neighborhood

    St. Louis Hills

    With many city neighborhoods on the comeback, St. Louis Hills is one that never went away. Residents in this tree-lined district in the southwest corner of the city call their one-of-a-kind gingerbread houses and 1930s art-deco architecture home. Its arches and turrets, stonework and stained glass draw gawkers from nearby Ted Drewes, who stroll the sidewalks with a chocolate frozen… More >>
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