Best of the Twin Cities

Fred Petters

AS MUCH AS ST. PAUL AND MINNEAPOLIS boast their own distinct urban personalities, their individual identities can't help being defined by the tension between them: the sibling rivalry. This year we pay tribute to the ongoing Tussle of the Towns with Best of the Twin Cities 2002: The Mayoral Edition.

We'd like to thank mayors Randy Kelly and R.T. Rybak for their contributions to the issue--and for being such good sports. Our profound gratitude also goes to the University of Minnesota cheerleading squad, and to the tremendous photographic talents of Fred Petters and Dana Lewman.

Nearly 2,000 of you weighed in on our annual Readers' Poll, yielding both interesting results and some close races--despite the fact that McDonald's won Best Fries (again) and KARE-11 swept the TV news category. The erstwhile Brenda Oldfield nosed out Flip Saunders for Best Coach (we agree). In a three-way race for supremacy in the Wine List category, Lucia's narrowly beat Bev's and Zander Café. Two categories that were new to the ballot were likewise hotly contested: Williams Pub topped Old Chicago by a head for Best Beer Selection in a Bar; Schieks managed to, er, barely outstrip the King of Diamonds for Best Strip Club.

There were some examples of ballot-box stuffing that, in the name of good sportsmanship, we're not gonna go into. We will, however, make note of two races in which eyebrow-raising but (as far as we could tell) legitimate campaigning led to triumph. First, Gel rallied support and aced out the far-more-visible Dillinger Four and G.B. Leighton for Best Rock Band. And second, someone set out to make Sarah Harris, artistic director of Patrick's Cabaret, Best Local Girl Made Good. And how. In a late flurry of ballots that included votes cast by various family members (not to mention the winner herself), Harris absolutely blew away the competition. Evidently she wanted the honor pretty bad. So we offer our hearty CONGRATULATIONS.

FINALLY, before we move on, now seems an especially appropriate time to mention that last Monday, April 22, staff writer G.R. Anderson was presented with the Minnesota Journalism Center's Frank Premack Memorial Award,for his reporting on the consequences of Qwest's purchase of U S West. The Premack judges had thisto say about Anderson's story, "Chump Changed"(published January 17, 2001 and available at "This piece brought insight and balance to a complex issue of vital importance, the weakness of the federal laws to protect people's pension funds."Cheers to Anderson.

And three cheers for the Twin Cities!

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