The "And the Rest" section is what we call "just for fun." No official winners, no prizes given. But it is a good measure of what's going on in the city. For instance, in the current-affairs department, crime fighting came in number two in "Best Memphis Failure," surely a reference to Memphis' appallingly high homicide numbers, and at number three in this same category is the FedExForum garage scandal. Under "Best Success," the Japanese prime minister's visit to Graceland got more than a few votes as did the early-voter turnout in August.
And check this out: Steve Cohen, now in an increasingly nasty race for Congress, tied Elvis for third for "Best Memphian." In the same spot last year? Harold Ford Jr.
Best Memphis Success
Steve Cohen Election
Farmers Market downtown
While there's no clear winner in this category, politics and sports dominate the top vote-getters.
Best Memphis Failure
1. Memphis mayor Willie Herenton
2. Crime Fighting
3. FedExForum Garage
Mayor Herenton has been keeping a relatively low profile these days but not low enough to avoid "winning" this category.
Best Category Left Out
Tour To Take
Strip Joint (Gentlemen's Club)
No clear winner in this category, but a couple of usual suspects -- bartender and strip joint, to name two -- show up once again. We've tried "Best Bartender" before, resulting in an uncountable single vote for about 1,000 different bartenders. (What can we say? Memphians love their bartenders.) But never once have we put up "Best Strip Joint" as a category. Maybe in 2007.
1. Shelby County mayor A C Wharton
2. FedEx founder Fred Smith
3. Elvis -- tie -- Steve Cohen
No "Impeach Wharton" bumper stickers we've seen.
Best Locally Produced Product
3. Gibson Guitars -- tie -- Brim's
In Memphis, we know spring has sprung when national TV shows feature Memphis' oh-so-quaint barbecue culture in conjunction with the Memphis In May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest. But, outside TV-land, we all know that barbecue here is serious business. (Back away from the ribs and nobody gets hurt.) Barbecue has become as inseparable from Memphis' image as Elvis.
3. Central Gardens
In the last decade and a half, Cooper-Young has blossomed into a thriving neighorhood, with some of the best restaurants in town, affordable housing, and a strong neighborhood association.