People & Places

  • Best Kept Secret

    Cementland

    Way up north, beyond the northern border of St. Louis, past Interstate 70 and Bellefontaine Cemetery, where most St. Louisans rarely go (except when their cars get towed), across the street from the banks of the mighty Mississippi, lies an old cement factory surrounded by a rusty chainlink fence bearing a sign that reads "Positively Positively No Admittance." All you… More >>
  • Best Month to Be in St. Louis

    February

    To hell with rodents and their shadows — it doesn't change the fact that February will always be dark and dull in St. Louis. And this is a marvelous thing. Light gray days give way to darker gray evenings that settle over the city before the five o'clock news. It's cold, but a cold that the preceding months have conditioned… More >>
  • Best Local Girl Gone Bad

    Becky Rothman

    Customers within the Kingdom of Becky were shocked this June to find the gates of the castle closed — all five castles, in fact. It had been a hell of a ride for the self-proclaimed "Queen of Carpets" whose television ads once featured her flying on a rug over the Arch. And as popular as those ads once made Rothman,… More >>
  • Best Local Website

    What High School Should We Call Me

    In 1987 Web wizards invented the Graphics Interchange Format, or GIF. Around the same time, kids were popping out of the womb who were destined to properly deploy this technological miracle — namely, by using GIFs to make fun of shit. Take this entry from the anonymous GIF impresarios behind the Tumblr, What High School Should We Call Me. Setup:… More >>
  • Best Lightning Rod

    Todd Akin

    Todd Akin? Might as well change his name to Rod Akin. On August 19, 2012, the Missouri congressman, who has given up his House seat to try to topple Claire McCaskill from hers in the Senate, was asked during an interview with KTVI-TV (Channel 2)'s Charles Jaco whether he believes abortions should be legal in cases of rape. Replied Akin:… More >>
  • Best Gadfly

    Ed Golterman

    For well over a decade, Ed Golterman pounded the drum for the restoration of the Kiel Opera House. When the auditorium (rechristened the Peabody Opera House) was opened last year following a $78 million makeover, many thought they'd seen the last of Golterman's voluminous letters to the editor and blistering online comments. Think again. The best gadflies can't be swatted… More >>
  • Best Citizen(s)

    Jarvise Shelton and Kyle Hardman

    Jarvise Shelton and Kyle Hardman were working on a towboat near downtown on the evening of June 12 when they saw a family on a lifeless vessel drifting toward a moored barge. The two rivermen inflated a raft and set out to try to rescue the men and children on the runaway craft. But the current was so strong it… More >>
  • Best Cheap Thrill

    Arsenal Street Bridge

    You're stuck at the stoplight on eastbound Arsenal Street at Jamieson Avenue. All of a sudden your car and everything in it starts bouncing up and down. We mean really shaking. Your mind races: "It's an earthquake! The bridge is going to collapse! Oh, God, no! I DON'T WANT TO DIE!" And then, as quickly as the stirring began, it… More >>
  • Best Bureaucrat(s)

    Maplewood and Ellisville TIF commissions

    It used to be that retail developers getting tax money for their projects was a slam-dunk, with TIF commissions tripping over each other to provide giveaways. Times have changed. In the past twelve months, TIF commissions in St. Louis county have rejected public subsidies for two major projects — a Walmart in Ellisville and the Deer Creek Shopping Center in… More >>
  • Best Tweeter

    @patricialicious

    Patricia Bynes, a Democratic committeewoman from Ferguson, Tweets. A lot. It's often political, so not everybody is going to like what she's chirping about. But one time she did something unbeTweetable: She saved a freakin' kitten. "I was walking down the street & heard a cat meowing. It took me awhile to figure it out," her first Tweet read, accompanied… More >>
  • Best Local Technophile

    Charlie Miller

    St. Louis is not Silicon Valley, but we're no slouch on the tech side of things — after all, we gave the world the man who invented Twitter (see "Best Local Boy Made Good"). We also boast as a resident the man who might be the greatest hacker in the world: Charlie Miller. He has hacked Samsung, Nokia and Android… More >>
  • Best Local Boy Made Good

    Jack Dorsey

    Jack Dorsey has taken this title in past years, but he had a pretty interesting past twelve months. In an industry where young entrepreneurs are "fast-talking, fast-moving, fast-thinking" clichés, Dorsey has revealed that his love of cities started right here in St. Louis, that he has only just bought his first car and that he texts his mother first thing… More >>
  • Best Weekend Getaway

    Springfield, Illinois

    We realize that our love for Abraham Lincoln may be perceived as a little excessive. We realize that not everyone keeps a Lincoln doll on their desk or a series of Lincoln pictures on the wall. That's OK. Even if you don't love Lincoln as much as we do, it's still worth spending a weekend in Springfield, Illinois, his hometown.… More >>
  • Best Local Boy Gone Bad

    Brian Dotson

    Until this past spring, the main reason to hate on Brian Dotson was his position as the frontman of the embarrassingly bad rap-metal quartet Shattermask. Then, on April 8, a warrant was issued charging Dotson with five counts of statutory rape and sodomy involving an underage girl; two weeks later and still on the lam, Dotson's faux-hawked mug appeared on… More >>
  • Best Geezer(s)

    Franciscan Sisters of Mary

    For decades popular culture portrayed nuns as geriatric, ruler-rapping didacts whose sole mission in life is to put — quite literally — the fear of God in Catholic grade-schoolers. That changed this year when the Vatican accused the Leadership Conference of Women Religious — the organization that represents 83 percent of American nunnery — with practicing "radical feminism." The leadership… More >>
  • Best Mayor

    Shelley Welsch

    Will the Loop Trolley Project be University City's Spruce Goose, or will it take the suburb to new heights? Mayor Shelley Welsch has bet on the latter, and after a decade of delay, it looks like things are finally starting to move forward. Welsch's administration has been instrumental in rallying up funding and public support for Joe Edwards' vision of… More >>
  • Best Federal Lawsuit

    JJK Industries v. Painful Pleasures

    Using the following clues, try to guess the product at the center of the federal case known as JJK v. Painful Pleasures: 1. Its inventor was plagued with lawsuits from companies claiming they were the first to patent it. 2. There are countless Chinese knockoffs of it. 3. Previous litigation became so heated that two opposing attorneys came to blows… More >>
  • Best New Building

    Botanical Grove

    The structure at 4230 McRee Avenue is not a towering skyscraper or a luxe shopping center. It's a simple one-family home two blocks from the Missouri Botanical Garden. Aesthetically, it's a little jewel box. The design is simplicity itself and harks back to the iconic row homes that are, in some parts of St. Louis, an endangered species. At the… More >>
  • Best Bus Route

    Forest Park Trolley

    Someone told me/It's all happening at the zoo. And you can even take a cross-town bus to get there! All right, so the Forest Park Trolley — not to be confused with the actual (as in authentic, vintage) but nonexistent (as in you can't ride it because it's not yet a reality, except inside Joe Edwards' visionary noggin) Loop Trolley… More >>
  • Best Place to Live

    Tower Grove South

    The urban theorist Jane Jacobs described an ideal city neighborhood as one with a mix of low-rise residences and street-level businesses where people would be able to look out for one another. She had in mind New York's Greenwich Village, where she was living in the early 1960s when she wrote her seminal The Death and Life of Great American… More >>
  • Best Villain

    Albert Pujols

    C'mon, like anyone else had a chance at this one? Take a guy who appeared seemingly out of nowhere a decade ago, and watch as he wills himself into being the best hitter in the game, and then drives himself and the team to three World Series. Marvel at this humble man who says all the right things about the… More >>
  • Best Worthy Cause

    Fathers' Support Center

    The numbers are alarming: More than half the children inside St. Louis' city limits grow up in a fatherless home. For African American children, the statistic is even higher at 70 percent. Now in its fifteenth year of operation, the Fathers' Support Center recognizes how important dads are in their children's lives. Kids growing up without a father are 72… More >>
  • Best Local Girl Made Good

    Karlie Kloss

    Even this haiku is thicker through the middle than model Karlie… More >>
  • Best Mile of St. Louis

    Washington Avenue from Vandeventer to Compton avenues

    Start out a couple blocks north of the extravagant Moolah Theatre and start walking along Washington Avenue. You'll hit two of the loudest voices in the city's conversation about current art in the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis and the sparse, elegant Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts. Beyond that is the intersection of Grand Boulevard and Washington Avenue, which puts… More >>
  • Best Lawyer

    Travis Noble

    Imagine you're a doctor, judge, cop or pro athlete. You're soused. You get pulled over. Red and blue lights swirling behind you, your heart thumping, your palms dewing, you'll probably fumble for your cell phone and call Travis Noble. If anybody can get you out of this jam, he can — and he looks every bit the part of flashy… More >>
  • Best Local Politician

    Scott Ogilvie

    With his scruffy face, skinny ties and hoop earring, Scott Ogilvie of the 24th Ward does not look like your typical city alderman. Nor does he act like one. During committee hearings, when his colleagues' pet projects often get rubber-stamped, Ogilvie interjects and asks the big questions. A 31-year-old Minnesota native and Washington University grad, he famously rides his bike… More >>
  • Best Old Building

    The Dorsa

    If Washington Avenue is a family reunion of stately Chicago School-style buildings, then the Dorsa sticks out like a flamboyant great-aunt. The structure originally rose up as a red-brick warehouse in 1902, but in 1946, the Dorsa Clothing Company commissioned architect Meyer Loomstein to give it a bold facelift, most of which is still intact: The bottom two stories are… More >>
  • Best Blog

    WTFatherhood

    For the past year, standup comedian Matt Conty has been trying to manage two major things: his baby, who poops a lot, and his blog, WTFatherhood (www.wtfatherhood.com), which he has devoted to her. Well, not entirely to her. His blog serves as an outlet for all the irony-soaked hyperbole that swims in his brain. He writes of the "urban rednecks"… More >>
  • Best Volunteer

    Jacob Schmidt

    Last November teenager Jacob Schmidt schlepped a bag of trash into the alley behind his parents' house in Compton Heights. He looked at the garbage bins and realized how much they "uglify" the city. So Schmidt, then a junior at Metro High School, asked city officials if he could swirl some color onto a few of them. Instead, the city… More >>
  • Best Addition to Downtown

    Cautious optimism

    Ssshhhh: Don't look now, but things are, like, almost happening. OK, OK, the anticlimax of the Ballpark Village That Wasn't during the All-Star Game a few years back still smarts, but plans for a German-themed, Anheuser-Busch-backed restaurant there have been unveiled: At long last, BPV's first tenant. Booyah, Centene Corp. (And wasn't that big, empty field somewhat idyllic in a… More >>
  • Best Month to Leave St. Louis

    August

    T.S. Eliot once wrote that April is the cruelest month. But as a native St. Louisan, you can bet your bottom dollar he knew better in his heart. August is hell in St. Louis. The heat is bad, but as the old saw goes, it's the humidity that really gets you. After two months of face-melting summer temperatures, the city… More >>
  • Best Mom

    Judy Cassilly

    When Judy and Bob Cassilly's oldest son, Bob Jr., built a tree fort in the back yard, complete with tunnels and a network of vines lined up for maximum swingage, Bob Sr. bought the boy a Boy Scout knife and took him down to the basement to teach him how to use a jigsaw properly. When Judy noticed young Bob… More >>
  • Best Cemetery

    Greenwood Cemetery

    While St. Louis is certainly graced with its fair quota of elegant cemeteries, Greenwood Cemetery arguably does the best job of epitomizing St. Louis' tenacious character. As an un-endowed cemetery serving St. Louis' African American community since the 1870s, Greenwood has been forced to fend for itself. A small team of volunteers has managed to beat back at least some… More >>
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