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Baltimore Living Winners 2009

Best Use of Taxpayer Funds

Nate Evans, Bike and Pedestrian Planner

Biking in Baltimore got a little less anarchic in the past two years. Sure, we're still dodging death-trap storm grates, getting pelted with Styrofoam cups and insults, being paranoid about chronic assholes, and all the rest, but at least we have this small promise from the city that it cares: Nate Evans, official bike czar. Look forward to more bike lanes/sharrows, even more bike racks, designate ... [MORE]

Find Best of Baltimore winners on our interactive map

Best Reason to Live Here
You're already prepared for the collapse of society
If you've been around Baltimore for a while, you were probably a little freaked out five years ago o...

Best Food Pantry
Donald Bentley Food Pantry
Established in January 1990, the Donald Bentley Food Pantry began as a student effort to celebrate a...

Best Non-Profit Organization
Community Conferencing Center
The concept is simple: Rather than having police, social workers, and courts telling people how to r...

Best Do-Gooder
Ogun
Local MC Ogun has been a City Paper favorite son for years, thanks to his feral live show, lithe flo...

Best Way to be Part of the Solution
Volunteer with the Jericho Re-entry Program
More than 8,000 individuals return to Baltimore from a period of incarceration each year. Studies sh...

Best Free Air Conditioning and a Movie
Jury Duty
Not only is it free, you get paid $15 to be there. While sitting in a jury selection room may not be...

Best City Service
Once-a-week recycling
OK, so the increase in recycling pick-ups from once every two weeks to once a week came bundled with...

Best Pleasant Surprise from the Department of Public Works
Online request tracking for bulk-trash collection
Many have heard tell of the magical CitiStat wonder that chews up statistics and spits out reports o...

Best Misuse of Taxpayer Funds
Public ownership of the Convention Center hotel
The City of Baltimore used to own a hospital and an airport, but got out of those businesses back in...

Best Monopoly
Comcast's cable contract with Baltimore City
In 2005, the City of Baltimore entered into a 12-year contract with Comcast Cable, giving the compan...

Best Reminder of the Boom
Silo Point
In 2006, when Baltimore's appetite for all things waterfront seemed insatiable, the announcement of ...

Best Watching Paint Dry
Waiting for a slots parlor to open in Baltimore
Baltimore is full of gamblers, and not just on things like whether or not they're going to catch a s...

Best Use of Taxpayer Funds
Nate Evans, Bike and Pedestrian Planner
Biking in Baltimore got a little less anarchic in the past two years. Sure, we're still dodging deat...

Best NIMBY
Canton's Red Line opposition
Opponents to the city's proposed Red Line frequently cite the nearly quarter-century-old light rail ...

Best Transit Change
MTA's Smart Card
Have you ever looked at the little smart card coming soon placard on MTA's light rail ticket machine...

Best Retail on Wheels
The Crazy 8
The No. 8 bus barreling up and down York Road/Greenmount Avenue, sometimes three-at-a-time, often wi...

Best Motorcycle Association
The Teamster Horsemen
These are some righteous motorcycle men. These leather-clad tough guys might seem a bit intimidating...

Best Running Club
Baltimore Road Runners Club
Running can seem like quite an isolating pursuit. The Baltimore Road Runners Club was founded to pro...

Best Sports League
Baltimore Sports and Social Club, inc.
If you've ever driven through Canton on a summer afternoon, you've surely seen large packs of simila...

Best Place to Watch Soccer
Clifton Park
The official sports of Baltimore may be football and baseball, but there's a surprising amount of pi...

Best Skatepark
Carroll Park
Back in our day, skate parks were virtually non-existent. If you could find one, it was generally il...

Best Batting Cage
Stansbury Park
You'd be surprised how often we get asked by out-of-towners where the nearest batting cage is. Like ...

Best Bowling Alley
Stoneleigh lanes
Descend the stairs at Stoneleigh Lanes on a rock 'n' bowl night and you've entered the eternal realm...

Best Oriole
Adam Jones
We realize that it's difficult to be an enthusiastic Oriole fan--sometimes it seems like we've been ...

Best Raven
Ed Reed
Ed Reed is one of the two best safeties in the NFL--Troy Polamalu being the other--and has been for ...

Best Park
Patterson Park
There was a time, not too long ago, when being in Patterson Park after dark was a surefire way to ge...

Best Urban Wildlife Spectating
Robert E. Lee Park
If you've ever seen a real live great blue heron, raise your hand? Crickets. Well, it's the official...

Best Hiking
Patapsco valley State Park
For being the most industrialized node of the Mid-Atlantic metropolis, Baltimore offers up a good sl...

Best Biking
Gwynns Falls Trail
One of the most important aspects of surviving any city is getting out of that city. And in Baltimor...

Best Place to Run
Waterfront Promenade
Although it at times feels like running through a shopping mall, the seven-mile Waterfront Promenade...

Best Place to Paddle
Ferry Bar Park
The most prevalent places for paddlers to put in their craft to explore Baltimore City's portion of ...

Best Place to Swim
Baltimore City public pools
Sure, you can join some expensive private pool, suffer through the frigid temps of local waterways, ...

Best Place to Walk Dogs
Lake Montebello
If you're just looking for a leisurely place to stroll around with your dog, where you wander aimles...

Best Place to Take Kids
Maryland Science Center
Kids learn through playing, and playing with the fundamentals of science makes the experience all th...

Best View
From the top of the American Brewery Building
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Best Place to Take Out of Town Visitors
Lexington Market
Raise your hand if you're sick of people who've never been here asking if Baltimore is really like T...

Best Day Trip from Baltimore
Pennsylvania Dutch Country
This year sucks. Work sucks. Life sucks. Need something--anything--to break up the weekly cycle of d...

Best Car-Free Weekend Getaway
Bolt Bus
Being both cheap and harboring delusions of being cosmopolitan, we've always enjoyed traveling to Ne...

Best Festival
Artscape Midway
For the second year in a row, the aptly named Midway transformed the Charles Street bridge into a pl...

Best Non-Art Museum
Baltimore Public Works Museum
On Sept. 29, the Baltimore Public Works Museum reopens its doors after being closed for extensive re...

Best Library Branch
The nearest one
No matter where we have lived in this fair city, we have made it a duty to patronize the nearest pub...

Best Post Office
Main Branch
Baltimore's Main Branch has saved the skin of many a lazy artist and last-minute grant writer. If yo...

Best Building
American Ice Co.
Really, Baltimore's full of best buildings, hulking giants left over from the city's industrial heyd...

Best Local Landmark
Domino Sugar
So much of the Inner Harbor has been eaten up with condos, office buildings, and tourist attractions...

Best Monument
Billie Holiday statue
Yes, we know we gave this statue Best Monument last year as well, but we have good reason to give it...

Best Statue
"Orpheus"
Ever wonder what that big statue of a naked dude holding a lute at Fort McHenry is all about? It's O...

Best Eyesore
Inner Harbor pollution
Thanks to the continuous runoff of sewage, fertilizers, and other nutrients into our local waterways...

Best Area We'd Like to See Revitalized
Pennsylvania Avenue corridor
Yes, we know. There are multiple groups and organizations working on it, and the Pennsylvania Avenue...

Best Proof that Nobody likes a Quitter
Nicotine patches on the sidewalk
At first, we thought it was limited to Mount Vernon sidewalks and streets, but lately we've noticed ...

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