By Amy Silverman
By Olivia LaVecchia
By Monica Alonzo and Stephen Lemons
By Chris Parker
By Michael Lacey
By Weston Phippen
Best Place for Kids to Play: A pink sign that says "Danger Keep Out" is taped up on the front of this bombed-out wreck of a building, but that sounds like an invitation for adventure (and maybe even tetanus) if ever I heard one! Tons of broken glass, big hunks of charred wood and metal, and lots of stuff hanging down from the ceiling in a fun, creepy way! Let's face it--vandalism is impossible here; the place is already trashed.
Sure, it's dangerous, but if it wasn't, it wouldn't be any fun, right gang? And, best of all, even though this delicious urban playground is located on a busy, major thoroughfare, it's in kind of a bad neighborhood, so it's doubtful anyone will stop to hassle you. The sign may say "Keep Out," but just look at the picture--the front door's wide open!
Best Liquor-Store Man: Most folks shopping for liquor want to grab their booze and get home, but I don't mind a little old-fashioned courtesy when I stop for a beverage-to-go.
The name of the place may be In n' Out, but don't let that fool you; if you're anything like me, after a rap session with the man behind the counter, you'll tell him he oughta change it to Stay n' Chat. And chances are he'll laugh and smile, and then chat some more with you! That's Sam Naiman, and, whether you're looking for Blends, Straights, Bonded, Creams or Ripple, he's got what you and your liver need. When you finally decide to leave, rest assured that Sam'll still be laughing and smiling, probably waving "see you later!" Just like in the picture.
Best Cat: Chimpy. Tell me this cat isn't the best.