Best Bookstore (with furniture for discreet public napping)
As much as I love the magnetic pull of Barnes & Noble’s discount section, its furniture is a) always occupied, b) not too cushy, and c) far too exposed to the general traffic for public napping. Public napping is a shameless activity, but some discretion relieves the staff of instigating an awkward “move along” nudge, and allows you to curl in a fetal position for 30 minutes on your lunch break. I’m not proud, only honest.
Best Street (with an adjacent bike lane)
For every Twin Cities biker who swiftly navigates allotted bike lanes, there is one who rides the middle of the road at leisure speed, fails to make any signals and careens into moving traffic without warning. I love wide, distinct bike lanes because they cut my chances of accidental manslaughter while driving 25mph to the grocery store. They also discourage morons in cars from hogging the road.
Best Grocery Store (pay-by-the-pound deli buffet)
Does anyone really need a “to go” pint of garlic clove stuffed olives? Is it really that tough to slice your own veggies and throw together a fresh salad? Thanks to grocery store deli buffets, the laziest and busiest of shoppers can still enjoy fancy appetizers and fresh vegetables!
Best consignment shop (that will accept the rattiest of offerings)
What’s more discouraging than carting a sack of unwanted clothing into a consignment shop and having every item rejected? Seeing a stained, faux fur mini skirt for sale on your way out. What exactly are the industry standards here?
Best Public Restroom (for overall ambiance)
I know I’m not the only one who enjoys a snazzy restaurant bathroom. Not only am I a stickler for cleanliness, but the delight I take in artisanal sinks make of suspended copper bowls is a true testament to joy found in “the little things.” This is something you will appreciate more after spending a full 30 seconds in the public bathrooms at Hard Times Café. You make a mean pancake, Hard Times, but the dim lighting, Sharpie-scrawled abortion poetry on the wall, and soap shortage aren’t doing you any favors.
Best Movie Theater (to sneak booze/food into)
I am proud to say I once successfully snuck 12-inch sub and a pint of ice cream into a movie theater, without a purse. To prevent such trafficking, some theaters actually check bags for snack smuggling. Sorry, silver screen, not everyone wants to pay $5 for a bag of M&M’s or $9 for a glass of chardonnay to get through the emotional overload of Titanic in 3-D. The ticket taker who turns a blind eye is an unadorned hero.
Best Metro Transit (Bus Driver)
I’m all for public transportation, but it’s hard to tell if some of Twin Cities bus drivers are drunk, or just in a manic hurry. Too often I find myself screaming and swerving without signal into another lane to avoid a bus side sweep. By “best” in this category, I mean a driver who uses signals, eases onto on ramps and doesn’t barrel down the interstate like an army tank.
Best Parking (with meters that police don’t enforce because dammit you’re out of quarters again)
I know I have some somewhere…here! Wait, no…why do I keep all this crap in purse, anyway? How old is this granola bar? Why can’t these things just take nickels and dimes?!
- Katya Karaz