Best Tunnel - 2008
Biltmore Fashion Park + Esplanade
It used to be that our hands-down favorite tunnel was I-10's four-lane passageway under Margaret T. Hance Park, until our friends at Westcor built the one under Camelback Road, just east of 24th Street. Sure, they did it primarily to lure office workers from the Esplanade directly across the street for lunchtime shopping and dining at the Biltmore, but we don't care. There's a pretty terrazzo mosaic down there that we could stare at for hours, and we love how "big city" it feels to go briefly underground, only to emerge at the other end at a shopping mall. The Camelback Tunnel (well, that's what we call it, anyway) is a great place for eavesdropping, and most nights there's a guy down there who plays keyboard and sings songs he wrote for himself in a private, one-man cabaret.
When we tire of playing Subterranean City Dweller, we head north and, within seconds, arrive at the Biltmore, where we pig out on Häagen-Dazs and browse Borders Books, feeling ever so slightly more urbane because we've gotten there from someplace underground — someplace pretty and nicely lit and there expressly for our enjoyment and convenience.