We at City Pages delight in exposing evil, mocking incompetence, and otherwise poking our journalistic flashlight into this town's dingy crevices. But even the most resolute sourpuss needs a week off now and then.
Thus was born the Best of the Twin Cities, our annual tribute to everything extraordinary about the place we live. Some of the 300-plus entries contained herein will ring familiar; others are well-kept secrets we're only reluctantly giving up. (And some, we have to admit, might best fall under the heading "dubious distinctions.") All were selected by a peculiar and complex ritual whose details we refuse to divulge, except to say that it guarantees McDonald's will never win Best French Fries.
Speaking of which: Nearly 1,300 of you responded to our Readers' Poll, severely taxing our ballot-counting resources. The results ranged from the painfully obvious to the truly inspired: The Artist Formerly Known will be disappointed to learn that not one of the admirers who anointed him Best Local Boy Made Good employed the symbol he has worked so hard to publicize. If the folks at Buca are gratified to find themselves Best Italian Restaurant (Cheap), perhaps they're a tad mystified to see they're also co-winners (with Olive Garden) in the Best Italian Restaurant (Not Cheap) category. And those who consider Matt's their own little hamburger hideaway will shudder to learn that a lot of other people know where to find the one and only Jucy Lucy.
Of course, not all of you color inside the lines. Our favorite respondent gave Best Weekend Getaway to "the Yukon," dismissed the entire Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll division ("It stinks to high hell"), and filled up the remainder of the ballot with a typewritten list of the "Eight Greatest Baseball Players of All Time" (not a single Twin among them).
If nothing else, it's heartening to know that you, dear readers, are just as weird, cranky, and fundamentally suspicious of authority as we are.