Best Of 2005

BEST TREE: The Kapok at The Museum of Fine Arts

Downtown St. Pete is booming — every high-rise shooting up is taking property values with it — and cheap places to hang out are getting harder and harder to find. But chilling at the kapok, on the corner of Second Avenue N. and Beach Drive, is still free. A gorgeous tree with long thick limbs that grow just feet from the ground, the kapok draws a diverse array of St. Pete contingents: The punk kids there on Saturday nights, mingling at the tree instead of at BayWalk a few blocks away; protective mothers happy to let their kids climb just above the grass. And with its level limbs, the kapok is an ideal place to take a nap — check it out after midnight and you’re bound to see someone using it as a motel. 225 Beach Drive N.E., St. Petersburg.