Best of

the Twin Cities

Best Facebook Page

Old Minneapolis

On October 18, 1988, the Star Tribune reported that citizens and civic leaders assembled on a notorious stretch of Hennepin Avenue in downtown Minneapolis "not to praise Block E, but to condemn it," gathering for a flashy demolition celebration marking the impending destruction of several buildings lining the street. They sang these words to the tune of "Bye Bye Blackbird": "Pack up all your crime and porn/Block of scorn, be reborn/Bye Bye Block E/Moby Dick's is beached at last/Problems vast, now are past/Bye Bye Block E." Many in the city had high hopes for the new Block E project, which they believed could bring in more mainstream commercial business (and fewer shady customers). But those who appreciated Minneapolis's grittier urban side, those who browsed the shelves of Shinders or hobnobbed with the unsavory characters of Moby Dick's, were less enthused. And do they today feel vindicated by the failure of the "new" Block E? Not quite. They're still longing for the days of Old Minneapolis, and nothing embodies this nostalgia better than the Facebook page of the same name, which describes itself as "a place to share photos and memories of pre-October 18th, 1988, Minneapolis." But the photos aren't limited to that well-known shot of old Block E: Brady's Pub, Rifle Sport, McDonald's, Moby Dick's. The collection explores all corners of Minneapolis, from its earliest days to the unfortunate bouts of renewal that did away with the likes of old Block E and the Gateway District, from a snapshot of David Johansen's in-store appearance at Oar Folkjokeopus to one of a homeless woman on Minneapolis's circa-1930s skid row. No one here can stop or aggravate us/No more hard-luck stories will deflate us/Say goodbye to urban blight/Now we'll light up the night/Block E, Bye Bye.

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 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 Villain Archbishop John Nienstedt

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"