People & Places

  • Best Kept Secret

    Missouri Athletic Club

    Picture nine businessmen with their feet up in comfy old pleather recliners, neckties tossed over one shoulder, eyes closed, mouths open, soft buzzing noises coming out of said mouths, and you'll get a fair idea of the Missouri Athletic Club's "Reading Room" after lunch, give or take a few smoldering cigars. But the room known to cognoscenti as the "Snooze… More >>
  • Best Month to Be in St. Louis

    June

    Some might insist that spring and fall are the best times to be in St. Louis, what with the manageable temperatures and the breezy, drier days. Not us. We're into June — in a big way. Those first few humid days warm our still-pale skin just as the faintest memories of cold weather begin to fade. It's the only time… More >>
  • Best Local Boy Gone Bad

    Rod Jetton

    For a decade, Rod Jetton's political career was rising as fast and carefree as a cloud of helium. Then, last December, pop! A police report sent the former Missouri House speaker plummeting back to Earth and made both Jetton and the term "green balloons" running jokes in state politics. Elected to the Missouri House in 2000, Jetton was just 37… More >>
  • Best Public Works Project

    Great Streets Initiative on South Grand Boulevard

    Beginning this fall, the South Grand business district near Tower Grove Park will undergo a six-block face-lift designed to make the area more pedestrian friendly and safe. "You could put your life at risk crossing Grand," says Rachel Witt, executive director of the South Grand Community Improvement District. "The goal of this project is to make the area more walkable,… More >>
  • Best Bed & Breakfast

    The Beall Mansion

    Host Jim Belote greets guests in a tux and tails when they pull up to the portico of the Beall Mansion, nestled in Alton's Millionaire's Row. He'll give you a history lesson, if you'd like. (It's a sordid history, really, best told by Belote.) And the Beall offers more than breakfast. "Bed and Graze" is a better term. The dining… More >>
  • Best New Building

    William L. Clay Sr. Early Childhood Development/ Parenting Education Center

    The William L. Clay Sr. Early Childhood Development/Parenting Education Center at Harris-Stowe State University is exactly what people in the 1950s thought the 2000s would look like: clean lines and dramatic angles juxtaposed with generous swoops straight out of The Jetsons. Yet the building's functionality and swagger place it squarely in the present tense, void of retro kitsch and post-modern… More >>
  • Best Place to Meet Married Women

    Cardwell's at the Plaza

    They want to let go, these married women of Frontenac and Ladue, of Town and Country and Huntleigh. All morning they have tottered on the heels of their Louboutins from Saks to Tiffany to Neiman Marcus. Now they want nothing more than to sit down and enjoy a good meal and a glass (or three) of good wine. They want,… More >>
  • Best Cheap Thrill

    Amateur Sleuthing with the CrimeReports iPhone App

    With the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department's new free iPhone app, St. Louisans can give themselves a self-guided tour of the seedy underbelly of our city. Want to do some amateur sleuthing? The app shows you dates, times and locations of various felonies around the city, from breaking and entering to car theft to murder, so get out there and… More >>
  • Best Place to Take Out-of-Town Guests

    Missouri Botanical Garden

    For millennia, gardens have served as a showcase for man's ability to control and reproduce, in miniature, the wilds of the natural world. St. Louis' own garden, the Missouri Botanical Garden, is no exception, though it encapsulates the essence of the urban landscape around it as well. It doesn't matter if you take your guests to one of the colorful… More >>
  • Best Citizen

    Randy Grim

    In July the City of St. Louis began moving the last group of dogs out of the pound on Gasconade Street, a frightful place Charles Dickens might have invented, to the new shelter being built by Randy Grim's Stray Rescue. This marked the latest remarkable chapter in the story of Grim, a former flight attendant who has rescued and rehabilitated… More >>
  • Best Worthy Cause

    Pathways to Independence

    Learning disabilities don't simply disappear when high school is over — which sounds obvious but has proven all too easy for the world to forget. All too often men and women with learning and developmental disabilities are left to fend for themselves as adults, leading to social isolation, depression and a feeling of being out of sync with the rest… More >>
  • Best Place to Booze (Outside of Church) on the Lord's Day

    Grafton, Illinois

    First God made Heaven and Earth. He created light to see the seas, which came next, and to feed the vegetation, which shot up from the dry land that He parted from the waters. God was working hard, but the place still looked a bit unfinished, so He created birds and fish, to fly over the land and swim through… More >>
  • Best Old Building

    The DeBaliviere Building

    When it comes to architecture, St. Louis has an embarrassment of riches. Even with the loss of many great buildings in recent years, there are still wonderful examples of almost every trend in American architecture for the last two centuries. With such a wealth of options to admire, sadly, a few great buildings are bound to go underappreciated. Such is… More >>
  • Best Place for a First Date (Not a Restaurant)

    One-Nite Stand

    Conversation is the key to a quality first date, and no place in St. Louis has more conversation pieces than One-Nite Stand. Open for business for nineteen years on the corner of Gravois and Ohio avenues in south city, One-Nite Stand is smoky as hell and kind of smells like Grandpa's house. (The first thing you see when you walk… More >>
  • Best Local Boy Made Good

    Jack Dorsey

    You only need 140 characters to explain how Twitter's creator, Jack Dorsey (Bishop DuBourg High), has changed cyberspace! Follow him @jack.… More >>
  • Best Lightning Rod

    Dana Loesch

    Mom-blogger. Tea-Partier. Host of radio's The Dana Show. Oh, and don't forget, a former liberal. Dana Loesch's metamorphosis has proven quite the spectacle. The self-described smart aleck from south county is now a frequent commentator for Tea Party causes on nightly cable news channels, from MSNBC to CNN to FOX News, and the conservative media baron Andrew Breitbart counts her… More >>
  • Best Volunteer

    Tim Tettambel

    Along with his partners Tom Michler and John Cochran, Tim Tettambel is the founder of New Dimensions Soccer. Every Saturday for the past six years, the trio has run loosely organized soccer practices and games for underprivileged kids at a field near the intersection of Russell Boulevard and Jefferson Avenue in south St. Louis. "There's no coaching the kids when… More >>
  • Best Federal Lawsuit

    The North Face v. The South Butt

    Back in 2007 Chaminade student Jimmy Winkelmann set out to mock his classmates wrapped in North Face fleece by launching his own clothing line, "the South Butt." Yet the apparel giant wasn't quite so amused; last September, the company discovered Winkelmann had applied for a trademark. Threatened with legal action, the young man — then a Mizzou freshman — not… More >>
  • Best Parade

    People's Joy Parade on Cherokee Street

    Multiculturalism sets Cherokee Street apart from the rest of the city: Black families have lived in the neighborhood for decades, and artists, musicians and bohemians moved in more recently for the cheap rent and laid-back community vibe found in the area's Hispanic hub. All of these factions came out in force for Cinco de Mayo, creating a sight to behold.… More >>
  • Best Place to Meet Single Men

    International Tap House

    If we've learned anything from Homer Simpson, it's that men are simple creatures. A good beer-scented belch here, a nice 32-ounce porterhouse there — it's not rocket science. So why not seek them out at their most contented, a place where beer flows like carbonated wine? Look no further, ladies, than the cathedral to man's first love: the International Tap… More >>
  • Best Place to Watch the Sunrise

    Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site

    Most of us recognize sunrise as the streak of light searing through the window blinds straight into our closed eyelids. At least once a year, though, we should stop fighting it and celebrate the dawn as the ancients did: at Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site. Not actually in Cahokia, Illinois, this National Historic Landmark is just eight miles from downtown… More >>
  • Best Blog

    Girl, You Lost Your Weave

    Oh, girl. Is there any greater joy than uttering those condescending yet fond words? Thanks to the Girl, You Lost Your Weave blog, we all have an excuse to say them in the course of our daily Internet browsing. This blog is a category unto itself: Unlike most blogs, you won't find political rants, boring descriptions of daily life, photographs… More >>
  • Best Place for a Last Date (Not a Restaurant)

    Maryland Plaza Fountain

    In the movie of our life, we always hope to do everything in a really cool and dramatic way. So if we've gotta get dumped, we're OK with that, just as long as it's suitably theatrical. For these purposes, the fountain in Maryland Plaza in the Central West End is perfect. Just imagine the jets of water arching behind your… More >>
  • Best View of Downtown

    Westbound on the Poplar Street Bridge

    Those who say St. Louis lacks an iconic skyline are too accustomed to seeing things from Missouri's point of view. Drive into the city from Illinois across the Poplar Street Bridge: You could be nowhere else but St. Louis. The Arch is in the foreground, the silver catenary curve beautifully framed from south to north by the high-rise office towers… More >>
  • Best Local Website

    B.E.L.T.

    B.E.L.T. stands for "the built environment in layman's terms" — or, as curator/writer Toby Weiss explains, the site beckons people to "talk about buildings and spaces in a language we all understand. Let's really see what's around us rather than look." Such action is easy, thanks to B.E.L.T.'s information-packed posts about St. Louis' urban infrastructure, quaint neighborhoods and architectural quirks.… More >>
  • Best Festival

    St. Louis African Arts Festival

    If you're in town next Memorial Day weekend, dust off your dashiki and head to the African Arts Festival at the World's Fair Pavilion in Forest Park. Stroll through the African marketplace and enjoy the sweet smell of incense and handmade soaps while perusing the vendors' brightly colored jewelry and textiles. Stop by the main stage for reggae and belly… More >>
  • Best Cemetery

    Old Picker's Cemetery

    There are certainly bigger cemeteries in St. Louis, and there are probably nicer ones. There may even be a few that are a little bit older. But Old Picker's Cemetery, now part of the Gatewood Gardens complex, has something you just can't find anywhere else — an unearthliness, if you will. Named for Frederick Picker, a pastor at the German… More >>
  • Best Mayor

    Don Yarber

    Not many politicians have the cojones to embrace a nickname like "Mayor-juana," but 71-year-old Don Yarber has good reason to be proud of his marijuana-inspired moniker. Fifteen years ago, his wife, Sylvia, was diagnosed with breast cancer. Chemotherapy made her feel miserable. And the drugs the doctors prescribed to treat nausea had the opposite effect — they made her vomit.… More >>
  • Best Local Politician

    Antonio French

    Since taking office not quite two years ago, Alderman French has done what many politicians promise to do but often fail at actually achieving: He's making a positive impact on his constituents' quality of life. He began with something simple — he opened the first aldermanic office in the ward in several years, where he keeps regular hours to meet… More >>
  • Best Place to Live

    The Shaw neighborhood

    When New York Times travel reporter Dan Saltzstein visited St. Louis in June, he made special note of Shaw, a "leafy neighborhood" where "stately architecture mixes with hip spots." Saltzstein's observations are brief but astute; it is precisely Shaw's natural beauty, historic housing stock and thriving businesses that make it a great place to visit — and an even better… More >>
  • Best Scavenger Hunt

    Saint Louis Science Center's Amazing Challenge

    Teams of two, racing around the world, solving puzzles and completing challenges, relying on their wits to win the prize: That's the premise of the hit CBS reality game show The Amazing Race. If you've ever muttered to your fellow armchair traveler, "We could do that," then lace up your running shoes and sign up for the Saint Louis Science… More >>
  • Best Local Girl Made Good

    Ellie Kemper

    Say what you will about the direction The Office took last season, but the show did itself a big favor by casting comedian Ellie Kemper. She joined a cast full of St. Louisans as the impossibly optimistic and sweet orphan Erin Hannon and handily turned a four-episode guest spot into a full-time gig. Kemper's turn as Dunder Mifflin's new secretary… More >>
  • Best Bus Route

    No. 30 Soulard

    A ridiculous number of St. Louis icons are located along bus route No. 30. Launching from the St. Charles Rock Road MetroLink station, you glide east past the Griot Museum of Black History, St. Louis Park and Crown Candy Kitchen. Then you head south to the North 14th Street mall, the Washington Avenue nightclub strip, the central branch of the… More >>
  • Best Villain

    Matt Bartle

    Thanks to Matt Bartle, a Republican state senator from Jackson County, the Missouri legislature voted to outlaw nudity and booze at the state's strip clubs in 2010. (Bartle actually sponsored the same bill seven years in a row before it finally passed this year.) Under the new laws, clubs can't sponsor nude dancing, can't serve alcohol and can't allow performers… More >>
  • Best Judicial Style

    Robert Dierker

    Judge Robert H. Dierker's courtroom demeanor is imperious — he once halted proceedings and, schoolmaster-style, instructed a reporter reclining in the gallery to keep her "feet off the furniture." And yet, this judge with the owlish glasses and smart bowties frequently smirks as legal counsel argue before him, as if they've somehow amused him. On paper, he shows an ability… More >>
  • Best Thing to Happen to St. Louis This Year

    Restoring Funding for Metro

    It was a hard lesson, but one that will ultimately benefit the entire region. Fed up with $137 million in cost overruns for MetroLink and tired of Metro's perceived arrogance and unaccountability, St. Louis County voters in November 2008 rejected a half-cent tax increase to aid the transit agency. Faced with a $50 million budget deficit as a result, Metro… More >>
  • Best Kids' Thrill

    Crown Ridge Tiger Sanctuary

    Tigers lurk just outside St. Louis, and we're not talking about the Mizzou variety. A little road trip to Ste. Genevieve is worth it for the kids to experience the rescued big cats at Crown Ridge Tiger Sanctuary. The rescued cats — five tigers and a lioness — live in natural habitats designed so that visitors can get within five… More >>
  • Best View of Someplace Other Than Downtown

    Lewis & Clark Confluence Tower

    It took eight years of construction and fundraising to build the Lewis & Clark Confluence Tower near the site where the explorers embarked on their Louisiana Purchase journey. Even though hopes to have the tower finished in time for the journey's 2004 bicentennial were long dashed, the view proved to be worth the wait. As of this summer, visitors can… More >>
  • Best Month to Leave St. Louis

    October

    Ask any bridal-shop worker, and she'll tell you that recent years have seen an uptick in fall weddings. Starry-eyed brides-to-be envision the fiery red, orange and yellow backdrop of their most perfect, beautiful day set in St. Louis' most perfect, beautiful month. But here's an October surprise for you: This month bites. All wretched 31 days of it hurtle us… More >>
  • Best Lawyer

    Charlie Weiss

    At 68, Charlie Weiss is a short, soft-spoken gentleman with spectacles, a good-natured grin and a brisk gait. But though his rural Missouri modesty keeps him from mentioning it, in the world of business and complex litigation, this mild-mannered attorney is a rock star. Now a partner at Bryan Cave, Weiss has appeared in more than 30 jury trials and… More >>
  • Best Bureaucrat

    Kara Bowlin

    Ed Rhode was a hard act to follow. In his eight and a half years as St. Louis mayor Francis Slay's press secretary, he dispatched news releases and pesky reporters with equal efficiency — until last summer, when he left the mayor's employ to start his own PR firm. Fortunately, Kara Bowlin stepped in to replace him. Bowlin, 26, is… More >>
  • Best Gadfly

    Adam Shriver

    An accomplished academic (he's in the Philosophy-Neurosciences-Psychology doctoral program at Washington University), Adam Shriver earned his stripes as an activist and organizer, working for the Public Interest Research Group (PIRG). He sees apathy as a barrier to change, but he believes there's a cure: "Agitation is what you use to motivate people to make the leap from interest to participation."… More >>
  • Best St. Louis-Inspired Wordplay

    STL-Style

    It's hard to go anywhere in the Lou without seeing a cap, hoodie or some other piece of apparel paying homage to St. Louis. Thanks to STL-Style, we can now join in — in a witty fashion. With shirts that read "St. Louis: The Perfect Ghettoway" and string-bikini undies depicting the old Cardinals' stadium, subtitled "The Original Busch," STL-Style reminds… More >>
  • Best Addition to Downtown

    Culinaria

    Downtown dwellers had to wait so long for an honest-to-goodness grocery store that you would forgive them for embracing anything that sold milk, eggs, bread and beer. Luckily for them, Schnucks went several steps beyond the essentials with Culinaria. The prepared-foods section alone offers such a broad, inviting selection that you might never fire up the state-of-the-art range in your… More >>
  • Best Mile of St. Louis

    Ninth Street from Lynch Street to Lafayette Avenue

    Take a deep whiff. That's the smell of fermenting hops. You're standing in the shadow of the Anheuser-Busch Brewery. Head north for 5,280 feet, and you'll pass no fewer than nine drinking establishments that serve the local brew and one, International Tap House, that stocks about 500 others. You'll also encounter two green spaces (tiny Pontiac Park and bum-friendly Soulard… More >>
  • Best Place to People-Watch

    Citygarden

    Citygarden truly embodies the best of both worlds. The city of St. Louis and the Gateway Foundation managed not only to create a gorgeous city park full of sculptures and beautifully lighted fountains and gardens, but it also crafted it in such a way that visitors are encouraged to become part of the art through playful interaction — resulting in… More >>
  • Best Local Girl Gone Bad

    Alexis Bellino

    "I'd rather be a praying hypocrite than a non-praying socialite," says Alexis Bellino, newest cast member of Bravo's Real Housewives of Orange County reality TV juggernaut. Before she was quite so blond or buxom, Bellino hailed from Hannibal, where women are "plain," according to Bellino, because they don't wear a lot of makeup and "wear jeans and T-shirts." (Um, damn… More >>
  • Best Geezer

    Martin Duggan

    After 22 years moderating Donnybrook — the combative roundtable discussion show on KETC-TV (Channel 9) — Martin Duggan, age 89, has passed the baton. But that doesn't mean the old man's checked out of public life: A lifelong Christian conservative, he recently endorsed Republican Ed Martin's bid for Congress. Duggan served as a Marine in World War II, then rose… More >>
  • Best Hotel

    The Moonrise Hotel

    Joe Edwards, the unofficial mayor of the Delmar Loop, has always been known to shoot for the moon with his development projects. But who knew he'd take the metaphor so literally? As soon as Edwards placed a rotating moon sculpture atop an old funeral home at the eastern end of the Loop in April 2009, the hipness quotient of local… More >>
  • Best Public Restroom

    The Fountain on Locust

    Let's face it: Your basic indoor johns are just a step above your festival-weary portable potties — and we're not talking about a big step here. Most times, having to utilize public restrooms is about as sanitary and fun as doing the backstroke in the ol' septic tank. After enduring mall messes, nightclub cesspools, department-store disasters, airport-terminal train wrecks and… More >>
  • Best Place to Meet Single Women

    Kaldi's Coffeehouse

    The Kaldi's Coffeehouse on DeMun Avenue isn't a typical coffeehouse. It isn't even a typical Kaldi's. There is no Wi-Fi here, nor are there outlets for your laptop. This is a coffeehouse to enjoy a latte while you read a book — remember them? — or watch your dog gambol in the park across the street. It is, above all… More >>
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