Best of

the Twin Cities

Best Scandal

The Trevor Cook Affair

Trevor Cook was a trusted financial advisor with a down-home, bro-ish cadence who lulled 900 investors into forking over their life savings at info sessions held in his opulent $2.8-million mansion. His fund guaranteed yields during one of history's greatest recessions. Instead, it yielded a private submarine, an exotic dancer/assistant, a voracious gambling habit, and a mansion full of Fabergé eggs for Cook as he lived high on the hog, paying old investors back with the take from new investors. But the scheme wasn't nearly as juicy as the takedown. The FBI enlisted an undercover informant, strapped him with recording devices, and sent him into the mansion, where the whistleblower resisted the urge to tell the poor drywall hangers and retirees to get the hell out of there. After Cook was finally busted, $190 million had flowed into his Ponzi scheme, and only a fraction has been recovered. Authorities have found dribs and drabs of it all over the place, including gold coins stashed in the walls of his brother's house. His former security guard has just been indicted for hiding $150,000 worth of Turkish lira, Iraqi dinars, and other foreign currency in a locker at the Mall of America. This past year marked the end of the road for Cook—he's now serving his 25-year sentence at a federal facility in Illinois.

Best Bathroom Graffiti Women's lower-level bathroom, Turf Club

Best Billboard MIA's graffiti-bombed Titian

Best Bridge Franklin Avenue Bridge

Best Bus Route The 3A

Best Celebrity Letdown Prince almost joins Gayngs at First Avenue

Best Celebrity Sighting Lady Gaga at the Turf Club

Best Cemetery Oakland Cemetery

Best Charity Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis

Best Corner University Avenue and 13th Avenue Northeast

Best Festival Ten Second Film Fest

Best Fight The dog park controversy at MLK Park

Best Free Activity Free Ink Day at Highpoint Center for Printmaking

Best Graffiti Oh, the Manatee!

Best Hipster Hangout Turf Club

Best Lake Lake Harriet

Best Local Blog The Adventures of Johnny Northside

Best Local Boy Made Good Vincent Kartheiser

Best Local Girl Made Good Aditi Kapil

Best Local Website MNBeer

Best Mayor R.T. Rybak

Best Neighborhood Lyn-Lake

Best New Hipster Hangout Hell's Kitchen

Best Old Building The Pioneer Building

Best Park Mears Park

Best Place for a First Date Lawn bowling at Brit's Pub

Best Place to Break Up McDonald's parking lot

Best Place to Get Lost Crosby Farm Park

Best Place to Make Out Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

Best Place to People-Watch The Brass Rail

Best Place to Take Out-Of-Town Guests Nye's Polonaise Room

Best Place to Waste an Afternoon Minnehaha Park

Best Politician Amy Klobuchar

Best Sightseeing Indian Mounds Park

Best Sign of Spring Sunken pickup trucks

Best State Fair Food Cheese curds

Best Street Nicollet Avenue South

Best Suburb Eden Prairie

Best Tweeter @NickColeman

Best Undiscovered Neighborhood Victory Neighborhood, Minneapolis

Best View Prohibition at the Foshay

Best Villain Steve Drazkowski