People & Places

  • Best Addition to Downtown

    Food Trucks

    In the summer of 2010, Pi on the Spot and Sarah's Cake Stop tentatively hit the streets, and St. Louis responded, with people lining up and buying everything the trucks had in stock. A year later, those two food trucks have become at least nineteen, and they've changed the way people dine downtown. Instead of holing up in their cubes,… More >>
  • Best Local Politician

    Stephen Conway

    With respectful nods to rising aldermanic stars, sometimes you've got to give props to the guy who's been around the block. St. Louis alderman Stephen Conway has been a force in city hall for many years, using bare-knuckle tactics and financial acumen to balance the budget during tough economic times. But while Conway's a CPA, he's no bloodless number cruncher:… More >>
  • Best Mayor

    Ed Hagnauer

    Nothing has come easy for Granite City mayor Ed Hagnauer. One year after he won his seat, a devastating storm ripped through his city in 2006, causing $1.3 million in damage. Two years later, the recession hit the old steel town hard. Thousands of residents lost their jobs. Businesses left. The budget grew so tight that the city couldn't afford… More >>
  • Best Mile of St. Louis

    Lindell Boulevard from Skinker Boulevard to the Missouri History Museum

    Did you know the World's Fair was held here in St. Louis in 1904? If you answered "no" to this question, your status as a St. Louisan is hereby revoked until you've watched the 1944 movie Meet Me in St. Louis, which re-creates that momentous time. (Well, sort of; it's pretty clear that the exteriors were shot on the MGM… More >>
  • Best Month to Be in St. Louis


    You made your resolutions. You drank your Champagne. You neglected to sing "Auld Lang Syne." Yes, it's a new year, and while the weather might be chilly — especially if one of those Arctic air masses sweeps down from Canada and across the plain — this is when you want to be in St. Louis. The early-winter sun might not… More >>
  • Best Month to Leave St. Louis


    As reported by the National Weather Service, July 2011 featured: • Twenty-five days with a high of 90 degrees Fahrenheit or higher • Eighteen days with a high of 95 degrees Fahrenheit or higher • Eight days with a high of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher • Average high temperature: 94.9 degrees Fahrenheit • Nine days with a low of 80 degrees Fahrenheit or higher •… More >>
  • Best Thing to Happen to St. Louis Readers This Year

    The St. Louis Independent Bookstore Alliance

    Who says good ideas don't come from bars? Last winter when Kelly von Plonski's store, Subterranean Books, seemed in danger of going under, von Plonski's fellow bookstore owner, Nikki Furrer of Pudd'nhead Books, took her out for a drink to commiserate and dream up ways to bring in customers. Later that night, Furrer had an idea: What if Subterranean and… More >>
  • Best View of Someplace Other Than Downtown

    Clark Bridge

    If you're driving on the Clark Bridge you'll see steel cables pass overhead in a geometric blur akin to a Star Trek time warp. If you're heading east into Alton, Illinois, the bridge drops you off in a futuristic, near-apocalyptic downtown repeatedly battered by the mighty Mississippi. If you're driving west to the desolate riverfront stretch of St. Charles County… More >>
  • Best Villain

    State Senator Brian Nieves

    Where to start with Brian Nieves? Well, here are some things he's done in the past twelve months or so: He allegedly assaulted and threatened a political opponent's campaign manager who stopped by his office to congratulate him on his election win. He called a semiautomatic rifle a "Nancy Pelosi special." When retired teacher Tom Smith came into his office… More >>
  • Best Bus Route

    No. 73 Carondelet

    Welcome back, No. 73 Carondelet! We missed your shining face trundling around south county and south city. One of the 70 routes that we lost and then regained last September when voters approved a sales tax hike to increase transit funding, 73 runs along an old trolley route. It takes us to South County Center, the Greyhound and Amtrak stations… More >>
  • Best Citizen

    Tammy Chapman

    She didn't go looking for publicity. Tammy Chapman was no longer stripping and no longer posing for Penthouse. She was just a bartender doing her job. But when a picture of her posing with the lieutenant governor (and odds-on favorite to take on Governor Jay Nixon) was posted on the RFT website and reporters began calling, Tammy Chapman answered their… More >>
  • Best Festival

    PrideFest at Tower Grove Park

    St. Louis is a gay old town. This year, the Advocate named us one of the most gay-friendly cities in the country, and our Pride festival is considered the largest in the Midwest, with more than 80,000 folks showing up. For one magical weekend every June, Tower Grove Park is taken over. There are churches reaching out to the lesbian,… More >>
  • Best Gadflies

    Concerned Citizens for Crystal City

    The Concerned Citizens for Crystal City formed to oppose an iron smelter being proposed for their town in 2007 — and they ended up winning a victory not just for the environment, but for the First Amendment. That's because, after the group sued the city to block the plan, the smelter's developer intervened and somehow managed to persuade a Jefferson… More >>
  • Best Gala


    Attending a gala can be a wearisome ordeal. At nearly every affair, people are dressed up in tired tuxedos and dull dresses, blah, blah, blah. These same attendees eat chicken dinners and nod their heads to music, yada, yada, yada. Of course, all this pomp and circumstance is in the name of raising money for a good cause, which is… More >>
  • Best Geezer

    Ann Chance

    You might take it for granted, but St. Louis hosted numerous events in recent years that took months of planning and preparation: the All-Star Game, Marine Week, the sesquicentennial of the Civil War. And there was just one person responsible for making sure each went off without a hitch. That person is Ann Chance, the unsung hero behind the scenes… More >>
  • Best Lawyer

    Alan C. Kohn

    Don't take our word for it: Alan C. Kohn's own peers in the St. Louis legal profession voted him most qualified this year to handle "Bet-the-Company Litigation," meaning high-stakes lawsuits. The 79-year-old Kohn has surely represented his share of corporate giants, including Philip Morris, Peabody Coal, Amoco Oil, Motorola, Ford, Monsanto and the National Football League. But this member of… More >>
  • Best Lightning Rod

    State Senator Jim Lembke

    The ire directed at Jim Lembke over the past twelve months hit its zenith in March after the Republican from south county characterized the unemployed as lazy freeloaders. "People need to get off their backsides and get a job," said Lembke, arguing to reject federal long-term jobless benefits for Missourians out of work. "Maybe they'll have to get two jobs… More >>
  • Best Local Boy Gone Bad

    August A. Busch IV

    Yeah, we know. To go bad, you have to start good — while the chart of AB4's ride on the RFT's Good-to-Bad-o-Meter looks a bit like a 2-D diagram of the Screamin' Eagle. Still: Just a few years ago, by all outward appearances, this scion of suds was finally riding the high on the rails of life's rolly coaster. He'd… More >>
  • Best Local Boy Made Good

    Andy Cohen

    The St. Louis-born Andy Cohen initially decided to focus on the behind-the-scenes part of cable TV. And since he rose to become Bravo's executive vice president of original programming and development, it's hard to second-guess his career planning — only it turns out everybody's fabulous gay BFF was oh-so-much more than just a TV exec. He was also a born… More >>
  • Best Blog

    When Steve Patterson suffered a debilitating stroke that nearly killed him and left him partially paralyzed three years ago, the former real estate broker could have downshifted into a low-pressure life, living comfortably on a disability pension. But Patterson instead chose to turn the pressure up, writing daily musings and rants on his blog, Urban Review STL, about the gaping… More >>
  • Best Local Girl Made Good

    Ellie Kemper

    The first thing we noticed about Ellie Kemper was how gosh-darn cute she is. Brought onto NBC's The Office as new-girl receptionist Erin, she charmed us with her adorable naiveté and winsome awkwardness — qualities we again admired in Sofia Coppola's Somewhere and Bridesmaids. But it was only when we did a bit of Googling that we really fell in… More >>
  • Best Old Building

    Cotton Belt Freight Depot

    The Cotton Belt Freight Depot is towering and slender, like a giant book sitting on its binding. In the first half of the twentieth century (and especially the Roaring Twenties), this five-story structure was a bustling hub for Southern cotton. The delivery schedule was so precise, its owners boasted, you could set your watch to it. Almost a century later,… More >>
  • Best Place to Live

    Cherokee Street

    Dear Cherokee Street, We confess it: From low-lying Gravois Avenue up to the towering, red-brick Lemp Brewery, you've been born anew, and dammit, we are wild-eyed hot for you again. Do you remember how it all began, at the turn of the century, with your trolley running between the dry-goods stores and small shops? And how sexy you got after World… More >>
  • Best Place to Meet Married Men

    Cordell & Cordell

    It's not all that hard to meet a married man. They're everywhere: in the cubicle next door, perched on the next barstool, sweating in the next seat at Busch Stadium. There they are, in the park, coaching their kids' T-ball games, browsing the shelves at Schnucks (sometimes observed holding shopping lists in feminine handwriting), their wedding bands winking in the… More >>
  • Best Place to Meet Married Women

    DeMun Park

    Sorry to do this to you, ladies. But, damn! What's a red-blooded man with no morals to do? You sexy mamas playing with your children at DeMun Park look sooo fine, we can't help but want to meet you. Speaking of help, gentlemen, here's our suggested plan of action: Borrow yourself a toddler, and head to the park around 10… More >>
  • Best Place to Meet Single Men

    Shaw Dog Park

    Disney movies can have a nefarious effect on a young person's soul. How many of us, after watching 101 Dalmatians, grew up believing there was nothing so romantic for dog owners than getting all tangled together in a leash, your body suddenly hip-to-hip with your soul mate? Sorry, doesn't happen. In real life, you juggle the leashes and then hurry… More >>
  • Best Place to Meet Single Women

    Rock 'N Roll Craft Show

    Want to find that perfect set of hand-quilted beefcake boy-printed potholders for Mom's Christmas gift — and maybe a date for New Year's Eve? Hit the Rock 'N Roll Craft Show. The eighth-annual Thanksgiving craft fair, held at Third Degree Glass Factory (5200 Delmar Boulevard), won't feature any wooden yard art of bent-over grannies, but it promises to bring out… More >>
  • Best Place to People Watch

    Maryland Plaza

    Few places in St. Louis offer the vibrancy and diversity and foot traffic of Maryland Plaza in the Central West End. This is where the spokes of the city converge. There will be aldermen and local billionaires and community-newspaper barons and other power brokers walking by. There will be men with gold watches and women in high heels and youngsters… More >>
  • Best Public Restroom

    Lambert-St. Louis International Airport

    For years, travelers complained that Lambert-St. Louis International Airport's restrooms were dismal and drab. Not anymore. They're being revamped into clean and well-lighted places, with a little pizzazz to boot, thanks to the vision of local firm Gray Design Group Inc. One bathroom is already finished, and its floors are no longer a drab tile but, rather, a light terrazzo.… More >>
  • Best Thing to Happen to St. Louis This Year

    Local Control Passes the Missouri House of Representatives

    In February, for the first time in 150 years, a local police-control bill passed the Missouri House of Representatives. Then in May another first: The St. Louis Police Officers' Association (Fraternal Order of Police) announced its support of the bill after working with state legislators and city hall to ensure that its members' benefits were protected. While the bill died… More >>
  • Best View of Downtown

    Westbound I-64 west of Fairview Heights, Illinois

    You've been drivin' all night, your hands wet on the wheel. Last time you saw the sun, you were looking at the Atlantic. Got off with a warning in West Virginia. Had the last cuppa back in Louisville. That was about 2:30. Sure could use another shot of bitter truck-stop mud right about now. The last hour has been a… More >>
  • Best Worthy Cause

    Crime Victim Advocacy Center

    St. Louis gets a lot of attention for being "America's Most Dangerous City." But what happens to the victims of crime once the police tape is gone and the media move on to cover the next atrocity? More often than not, the victims are left in the lurch, paralyzed emotionally, if not physically. That's where the Crime Victim Advocacy Center… More >>
  • Best Bureaucrat

    Colonel Tim Fitch

    Tim Fitch seems to be everywhere. One day you'll see the St. Louis County police chief speaking at a public forum warning the community on the perils of heroin use. The next day he's on the radio bashing speed cameras, which he sees as little more than a money grab. Fitch doesn't mince words, but he also has the reputation… More >>
  • Best Local Girl Gone Bad

    State Senator Jane Cunningham

    Jane Cunningham of Chesterfield is one of those Republicans who claim to be looking out for The Children. Hence Cunningham's sponsorship of the Amy Hestir Student Protection Act, which was designed to stop teachers from molesting youngsters, as well as her pushing of a bill that would require libraries to develop policies to keep "obscene" material out of the kiddos'… More >>
  • Best Local Website


    We first came across the website for this downtown creative-consulting firm via its Twitter feed, @HughesPR. The company's intriguing comments and links to timely issues in media and communications compelled us to check out who was behind the tweets. Once we arrived at, we were immediately blown away by the opening video featuring live-action shots melded with animation. Exploring… More >>
  • Best New Building

    Centene Plaza

    Say what you will about Centene: how the healthcare firm tore down the landmark Library Limited building at the corner of Forsyth Boulevard and Hanley Road in Clayton, or maybe how it was supposed to construct its new headquarters downtown at Ballpark Village, dammit! Yeah, yeah. We've heard it all before. But c'mon. You gotta admit: Centene Plaza is pretty… More >>
  • Best Federal Lawsuit

    Tattoo Artist v. The Hangover Part II

    The lawsuit involving the release of The Hangover Part II might have been more entertaining than the movie itself. A few weeks before the film was set to be released, S. Victor Whitmill, the Missouri tattoo artist behind Mike Tyson's famous face ink, sued Warner Bros. in federal court for using his creation without his permission. Tyson, after all, had… More >>
  • Best Hidden Historical Site

    Ellen Clark Sculpture Park

    This year marks the sesquicentennial of the Camp Jackson massacre at this site, then known as Lindell Grove on the western edge of the city. On May 10, 1861, federal troops — already on edge and spooked by the sound of gunfire — fired into the crowd, killing 28 civilians, including several children, and wounding nearly 100 more. From 1929… More >>

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