Best of

the Twin Cities

Best Villain

Archbishop John Nienstedt

In Minnesota's battle over same-sex marriage, no one has come out looking quite as diabolical as Archbishop John Nienstedt. Throughout the political debate, Nienstedt used his standing in the Catholic Church to bully proponents of marriage equality, donating more than $650,000 of church money to the anti-gay-marriage cause and demonizing any Catholics who dared question the doctrine. He ordered all clergy to join his crusade against gay marriage and threatened to remove one outspoken priest from his ministerial assignments if he didn't fall in line. Frankly, that would be bad enough, but last fall a letter surfaced that Nienstedt wrote to a woman who wanted acceptance for her gay son. The archbishop told her to reconsider. You know, rethink the whole loving her son for who he is thing. Her "eternal salvation may well depend upon a conversation of heart on this topic," he wrote. Now, disagreeing with gay marriage is one thing, but telling a mother she's doomed to damnation simply for loving her kid? That's just cold.

Best Neighborhood Longfellow

Best Place to Take Out-of-Town Guests The Endless Bridge at the Guthrie Theater

Best Tourist Attraction Walnut Grove

Best Historical Site Split Rock Lighthouse

Best Cemetery Pioneers and Soldiers Cemetery

Best State Fair Food Classic Walleye Roll at Giggles Campfire Grill

Best Festival Northern Spark

Best Trans-Friendly Event Cirque Du So Gay Bike Ride

Best Place to Do Something for Free Minneapolis Institute of Arts

Best Planetarium ExploraDome (Bell Museum)

Best Charity GiveMN

Best Undiscovered Neighborhood Keewaydin

Best Sign of Spring Nice Ride returns

Best Make-Out Spot Minneapolis Institute of Arts

Best First-Date Spot A midnight movie at the Uptown Theatre

Best Breakup Spot The corner of Franklin and Hennepin avenues

Best Place to Run into Your Ex The Depot Tavern

Best Place to See a Fistfight Cowboy Jack's

Best Website Minnesota Historical Society

Best Blog Bluestem Prairie

Best Facebook Page Old Minneapolis

Best Hipster Neighborhood North Loop

Best Tweeter David Brauer

Best Politician Branden Petersen

Best Mayor Minneapolis's mayoral wannabees

Best Unlikely Activist Chris Kluwe

Best Local Girl Made Good Cheryl Strayed

Best Local Boy Made Good Denis McDonough

Best Scandal DRE Drug Scandal

Best Boondoggle St. Paul Crime Lab

Best Corner 43rd Street and Nicollet Avenue

Best Street Nicollet Avenue

Best Lake Powderhorn Lake

Best View Indian Mounds Park

Best People-Watching The Chain of Lakes

Best Bus Route Route 16

Best Viral Video "Hot Cheetos and Takis"