Best Of 2013

Best way to conquer the parking meter
Larry Biddle

Ever pull into a parking space and realize you have no change for the meter? Or suddenly have to run out of a business meeting because you realized the time on your meter was almost up? Then you need to get the Parkmobile app. Available for most smartphones, Parkmobile is now in use in close to 400 cities across the U.S., including St. Petersburg, St. Pete Beach, and (in more limited fashion) Tampa. You just look for a meter with the Parkmobile logo, type the zone number of your location into the phone (the number’s posted on the meter), pick a desired parking duration, and then — if that meeting goes longer than expected — add some time from your phone. “Parking made simple” is the company slogan; when you compare the cost (around 35 cents a transaction vs. $25 for a parking ticket), it’s “Parking made slap-your-forehead simple.” parkmobile.com.

Goods & Services

Goods & Services
Best Apartment Complex

Runners Up: Post Apartments, Lamdmark at Grand Palms

Best Apple repairman especially if you’re like Mitch and knock a bottle of water  into your computer

Who among us hasn’t knocked their coffee/water/wine onto their computer’s keypad and freaked out? Good news… there is a saint in our community, a savior of information who keeps us from slashing our wrists at the realization that we’ve been too lazy to back up our info for three months and that the project we’ve been slaving over is toast unless he works his miracles on our behalf. Steve Bush, at Screwbox, is the man for Macs. He epitomizes competence. Bless him. 3117 W. Columbus Drive, Tampa, 813-784-4178. thescrewbox.com.

Runner Up: Andrew Winchell of Mark Dalton, Inc.

Best Auto Repair Shop

Runners Up: Marpena Auto, Bill's Family Garage

Best baby momma health center

Whether you’re looking to get a bun in the oven, already baking, or looking for post-bun delivery advice, Thank You Mama has you covered, from fertility and pre-natal acupuncture to massage, tinctures, teas and all that’s in between. There’s even a boutique of earth momma-friendly supplies. And the ladies that operate this network are incredibly connected goddesses, hip to the earthiest information on how to rear and raise in harmony with nature. 1511 4th St. N., St Petersburg, 727-289-7250. thankyou-mama.com.

Runners Up: Chase, Regions

Best Barber Shop

Runners Up: H20, Gandy Barber Shop

Best big box
Larry Biddle

It’s where you’ll find the best little box, best medium box, and best you-didn’t-know-you-needed-it-till-you-saw-it-in-The-Container-Store box — itself a big shiny white box whose ambience is so bright and playful, its employees so genuinely cheerful, that it may make you rethink your anti-big-box-store bias. But the best part is the merch, a dazzling range of items in a variety of price ranges to meet all kinds of storage needs, like the find we made on a recent visit: an ingenious drop-down spice rack that solves once and for all the problem of shuffling through all those little jars from Savory Spice Shop. 4720 W. Spruce St. (corner of Spruce and Westshore across from International Plaza), Tampa, 813-774-4060. containerstore.com.

Best Bike Shop

Runners Up: Velo Champ, Chainwheel Drive