Best of

the Twin Cities

Best Viral Video

"Magic Beard"

The story behind the best local viral video of the year begins with simple maternal nagging. Ben Garvin's formidable graying whiskers looked like the Bride of Frankenstein's mane turned upside down. Impressive, yes, but also a bit scary. His mom pestered him for months, "When you gonna cut that beard off?" Ben's response was priceless: a two-minute stop-motion video in which the beard displays magical qualities. It moves of its own accord, hides multiple crayons, and makes fruits and vegetables disappear into its hirsute wilderness. To produce the special effects, Garvin had to painstakingly realign his eyes between each click of his iPhone, a task that took 10 hours outside of his day job as a photojournalist for the Pioneer Press. The final product garnered 4.2 million views on YouTube and grabbed the attention of national media. Mashable said it tickled "internetters' funny bones." Twins pitcher Glen Perkins tweeted a link to his 25,000 followers. But perhaps the best response came from a two-year-old boy who reportedly pleaded to his mother, "More beard!" Although the beard is shaved off by the end, thanks to YouTube you can experience the magic over and over and over.

Best Adopted Minnesotan Astronautalis

Best Alternative Fries Curried mushroom fries at the Moral Omnivore

Best App The Minnesota State Fair App

Best Barbecue Q-Fanatic BBQ and Grill

Best Blog <a href=""></a>

Best Bus Route Route 4

Best Classic Burger Casper & Runyon's Nook

Best Columnist C.J.

Best Commercial Jeff Wagner for Mayor

Best Corner 34th and Lyndale

Best Cyclist Under Pressure Amber Dallman

Best Facebook Page Old Minneapolis

Best Festival The MSP International Film Festival

Best Gay Bar eagleBOLTbar

Best Ghost Twitter Account @MPLSweather

Best Instagram Account Tom Horgen

Best Lake Lake Harriet

Best Lesbian Bar Night GRRRL SCOUT at the Nomad World Pub

Best Local Boy Made Good Josh Hartnett

Best Local Girl Made Good Nicole Curtis

Best Local Landmark The Grain Belt sign

Best Mayor Betsy Hodges

Best Mural Central Identity Project

Best Neighborhood North Loop

Best New Law Marriage Equality

Best Nonprofit Second Harvest Heartland

Best Place for a First Date Como Zoo

Best Place to Break Up Uptown Art Fair

Best Place to Do Something for Free Mixed Blood Theater's Radical Hospitality Program

Best Place to Make Out Kitty Cat Klub lounge

Best Place to Meet Single Men (Gay) Flip Phone at Honey

Best Place to Meet Single Men (Straight) Adult Kickball Leagues

Best Place to Meet Single Women (Gay) Fab-U-Lush Fridays at Lush

Best Place to Meet Single Women (Straight) The Loop

Best Place to People-Watch In the Heart of the Beast Puppet Theatre's April workshops

Best Place to Take Out-of-Town Guests The Midtown Greenway

Best Place to Warm Up Marjorie McNeely Conservatory

Best Politician Jesse Ventura

Best Radio Personality Paul Allen

Best Renovation St. Paul Union Depot

Best Scandal Rogers Confessions

Best Sign of Spring Restaurant patios return

Best Sports Talk Radio Host Dan Cole

Best Street Lake Street

Best TV Newscaster Jason DeRusha

Best TV Sports Anchor Mark Rosen

Best TV Station WCCO

Best TV Weatherperson Sven Sundgaard

Best Tweeter Chris Steller

Best View Confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers

Best View from Out of Town The New York Times dating scene article

Best Villain Pedal Pub

Best Wardrobe Sarah Edwards

Best Website Gentleman's Gazette

Best Weekend Getaway The Apostle Islands

Best Wings Runyon's