Best doors: The solid bronze works of art leading into the Plummer Building have only closed eight (or so) times in their 81-year existence.
Oldest fire pole: The same brass poles that firefighters slid down in 1898 are in use today in Rochester.
Best secret garden: It once was mostly garden, but it's mostly parking lot now on the north side of Fourth Street between Fifth and Sixth avenues southwest.
Best all-brick road: Odds are you don't ride a horse and buggy like early Rochester residents (if you do, we want to hear about it).
Worst place to merge: Merging, we've decided, is a lot like that first steamy date.
Best place to get a one-minute lesson on the history of Rochester (and best urban waterfall): Along the Zumbro River Trail, directly behind the Government Center and under the footbridge that crosses the river, might seem the kind of spot where local kids would congregate for lessons of a more dubious nature, but it is, in fact, the best place for a quick lesson on our fair city's history.
Place where Northeast is really Northwest: You might not have noticed it unless you were trying to find that garage sale down in River Court.
Best church exterior: The First Presbyterian Church (512 Third St. SW), with its rugged stone facade, imposing twin towers, massive oak doors, and serene rose window has beautifully graced the corner of Third Street and Fifth Avenue SW for the past 77 years.
Best church interior: The lighting alone, a unique, soft, majestic glow that emanates from the diffusion of the sun through amber cathedral glass, in the 400- seat chapel at St. Marys Hospital, makes this the church with the most beautiful interior in Rochester.
Best invisible downtown cemetery: The superstitious may want to whistle when they walk through the garden area of Calvary Episcopal Church (111 Third Avenue SW).
Place where I got so lost I had to call my wife on the cell phone and have her get a map and talk me home: It's sort of a driving roulette for confusion when you motor around in the neighborhoods north of Assisi Heights.
Best place to hitch your horse downtown: Where does a rider park his horse when he visits downtown?
Best silo: A limestone relic of Rochester's old State Hospital, which closed shortly after its centennial celebration in 1979, our most prominent town silo stands, alone and mystery-cloaked, on the fringes of 40 acres of former farming land now owned by RCTC.
Some of Rochester's most infamous inmates: The first inmates arrived in Rochester's Federal Medical Center in 1984. And we've had some doozies.
Favorite mayoral edict: During his first stint as Rochester mayor (from 1947-'51), Claude "Boney" McQuillan, the former pro boxer and Green Bay Packer...
Turn of the screwed: The Talking Heads sing about the "Road to Nowhere." We've found the left turn to nowhere.
Best intercity basketball game ever played: In the 1968 District Three boys basketball game, Mayo beat John Marshall 61-59.
Rochester's greatest heavyweight boxer (with the most mediocre nickname): In his heyday from 1913 to 1918, Rochester's Fred Fulton-known as the "Rochester Plasterer" (he had started out as a construction worker)-was a major figure in heavyweight boxing...
Favorite architectural touch: Architect Harold Crawford's distinctive style appears in elegant homes, schools, churches, even commercial buildings all over southeastern Minnesota
Rochester's worst parade float, by far: It was, judging from the grainy black-and-white photo, a relatively standard float.
Grave site most worthy of a baseball/movie pilgrimage: He was glamorized by Hollywood in a movie set in Iowa. And buried in Rochester.
Best interspecies kiss by a Rochester actress (or at least an actress who was born in Rochester): Born in Rochester in 1961, Lea Thompson spent the first year of her life living with her family in one room of the Starlite Motel.
Our favorite big-hair band video with a Rochester tie: And, yes, the Bon Jovi video rumor is true.
Best china plates stuck into the walls next to an adult book store: The china plates embedded in the brown brick walls of Downtown Book and Video belie the building's previous use...
Favorite area guy with a city named after him: In 1966, Owatonna-born Don Laughlin bought an eight-room motel and bankrupt bar on a dirt road 20 miles from nowhere.
Our favorite "eponymous nodule": Born as Julia Dempsey to Irish immigrants in New York in 1856, Sister Mary Joseph Dempsey joined the order of St. Francis in Rochester...
Best hieroglyphics: They aren't just fancy pictures on the walls of the Plummer Building...
Favorite starting point: At the front steps of Residences of Old City Hall...
Local inventor who almost invented the Slinky: Otto Haling was a born tinkerer.
Best monument to "individuals who have donated their bodies": Oakwood Cemetery is the cemetery that holds many of the city's famous names on its markers...
Best cave rediscovery: In late April of 2004, landowner (and retired Mayo Clinic neurologist) Don Layton discovered-or at least rediscovered-a 150-foot-long, 30-foot-wide, 50-foot-deep cavern in rural northeast Rochester.
Rochester museum in which you would have been most likely to see a "collection of swallowed objects": In 1933, Dr. Will Mayo created a medical display for the Chicago World's Fair.
Best place to see six-foot man with see-through skin: Created in Dresden, Germany, in 1933, the 6-foot Transparent Man centerpieced Mayo Clinic's medical display for the 1933 Chicago World's Fair.
Best field of dreams: Rochester's Paul D. Johnson Miracle Field, an adaptive baseball diamond designed for ballplayers with disabilities...
Two of our favorite golf stories: In July of 1945, while visiting Mayo Clinic...