Best Of 2014

Best Old Florida meets the New Hip

Newbs may celebrate a renaissance of old-meets-new culture at St. Pete’s historic playfield of the aged, but the truth is, these courts have consistently been a meeting ground of the ’Burg’s old and young for the better part of a decade, if not longer. And the folks that pick this storied spot as the location of shows, beer tastings, fundraisers and more deserve some kudos for their canny balance of classic God’s-waiting-room tropes and new art. When the weather cools, there’s no better place to see some bands and shove a biscuit around, more often than not for the benefit of local arts and nonprofits. Have your thing here — you won’t regret it. 559 Mirror Lake Dr. N., St. Petersburg, 727-822-2083,

People & Politics

Best "I'm gonna miss that guy"

Don Zimmer was one of the few Yankee or Red Sox players that Rays fans adored, and that’s because the effervescent, super-cuddly “Zim Bear” spent 10 years on our side as a coach and advisor. Zim — who died in June at the age of 83 — got a touching tribute when Rays broadcaster Todd Kalas announced his death during a game against the Miami Marlins. “I felt like I was getting a gift every time we talked,” Kalas said as he choked back tears. “Really sad news.” Deadspin ran this video clip of his remarks.

Best beach

Runners-up: St. Pete Beach, Pass-A-Grille

Best beach town

Runners-up: St. Pete Beach, Treasure Island

Best bizarro local news story

Runners-up: Jill Kelley, Mystery Monkey

Best Bucs player

Runners-up: Vincent Jackson, Doug Martin

Judge Luis Garcia.
Judge Luis Garcia.

“This court concludes that a citizen’s right to marry is a fundamental right that belongs to the individual.” Those were the words of Judge Luis Garcia of the Monroe County Circuit Court, whose July ruling was the first in a slew of similar decisions by “activist judges” that may eventually wind up toppling the state’s anti-gay marriage amendment. Fun fact to rub in the face of John Stemberger Republicans: Garcia was appointed by Republican Governor Jeb Bush.

Best change in Tampa Bay since last year's Readers' Poll

Runners-up: Water Works Park, more breweries

Best city

Runners-up: Tampa, Clearwater

Best city park

Runners-up: Vinoy Park (St. Petersburg), Crescent Lake Park (St. Petersburg)