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Best of Savannah: City Life 2013 

Best Celebrity Sighting

Best Savannah Moment in the National Spotlight

Alan Rickman and the CBGB shoot

The great British actor — best known to the world at large as Severus Snape from the Potter films — was ready for his closeup all around downtown during shooting of this film based on the exploits of New Yorker Hilly Krystal, legendary owner of the equally legendary Manhattan punk club CBGB.

click to enlarge The CBGB shoot on Congress Street
  • The CBGB shoot on Congress Street

An interior set at Meddin Studios was transformed, down to the most minute detail, into a near-exact facsimile of the club itself. High-resolution digital prints simulated the hundreds of stickers on the walls. The actual doors of the actual club were incorporated into the set.

So how's the movie? Well... there's not a lot floating out there other than the poster and a few stills. It's set to screen at Cannes, with a tentative release date of this year if they can get a distributor. — Jim Morekis

Runner-up, Celebrity: Paula Deen

Runner-up, Spotlight: St. Patrick's Day

click to enlarge The Owens-Thomas House
  • The Owens-Thomas House

Best Historic Building

Owens-Thomas House

The best example of Regency architecture in the United States is also a major downtown tourist attraction, with careful restoration and meticulous historic research continuing throughout the year.

Runner-up: Cathedral of St. John the Baptist

Best Local Revitalization

Most Underrated Neighborhood

Starland District

Slowly but surely this area at the edge of the Victorian district has become a vibrant center of commerce and culture. Further development along its southern border at Victory Drive, including Hugh Acheson's new restaurant project, can only mean more and better things.

Runner-up, Revitalization: SCAD Museum of Art

Runner-up, 'Hood: Baldwin Park

Building Most in Need of Revitalization

Savannah Civic Center

Despite a recent band-aid "renovation," the much-maligned Civic Center — which replaced a real architectural gem, the City Auditorium, in the '70s — is increasingly an embarrassment to a city with aspirations to be a world-class destination.

Runner-up: Hungry World

Best Bike Path

Rails to Trails

We thought for sure the newest bike path, Price Street would win. But what do we know? You guys get to vote...

Runner-up: Lincoln Street

Best Neighborhood

Ardsley Park

Perennial winner in this category combines suburban peacefulness with closeness to downtown.

Runner-up: Historic District

Best Apartment Community

The Merritt at Whitemarsh

These gated condos are equidistant from downtown and Tybee. Sweet!

 Runner-up:The Oaks at Wilmington Island

Best Place of Worship

Cathedral of St. John the Baptist

The iconic spires are wrapped in scaffolding for a huge renovation, but the Cathedral remains the spiritual heart of Savannah's Catholic community, especially the Irish-Catholic community.

Runner-up: Savannah Christian Church

Best Pastor/Priest/Rabbi

Rev. Billy Hester

The pulpit at Asbury Memorial UMC is in capable hands with this charismatic show biz vet and outstanding clergyman.

 Runner-up: Rev. Cam Huxford

Best Private School

St. Vincent's Academy

 Best Principal

Mary Anne Hogan 

A perennial winner in this category, SVA has educated Savannah's young women for 166 years. Ms. Hogan is the school's first principal not to be a Sister of Mercy.

Runner-up, Private School: Savannah Country Day

Runner-up, Principal: Charles Wooten, Charles Ellis

Best Public School

Savannah Arts Academy

Energetic, innovative leadership and a strong commitment to academic as well as artistic excellence keeps SAA at the top of this category year after year.

Runner-up: Charles Ellis Montessori Academy

Best Charity Event

Hospice Savannah's Tree of Light

 The first Sunday of each December since 1991, Hospice Savannah has held this annual fundraiser to benefit their Full Circle bereavement program, providing services to anyone who has experienced a loss by death.

Runner-up: Relay for Life

Best Tour Company

Old Savannah Tours

These are the nice white trolleys! They give all kinds of tours, from the basic unlimited on/off to the Paula Deen tour.

Runner-up: Savannah Slow Ride

Best Street Character

John Sandifer (Forrest Gump)

 Life is like a box of ... oh you know.

Runner-up: Savannah Dan

Most Eligible Local Bachelor

Trent Kissinger

This teacher at Charles Ellis has actually been in at least one actual bachelor's contest locally, so he had a leg up in winning this one.

Runner-up: Jordan Mooney

Most Eligible Local Bachelorette

Melissa Norman

Her rink name with the Savannah Derby Devils is Emm Jay, but you might know her better as "Sweet Melissa." Actually we made that last part up. Don't hit us, Emm Jay.

Runner-up:> Jean Coleman

Best Gala

Telfair Ball

Months of planning goes into this ornately festive yearly fundraiser. This year's theme was an Italian Villa motif based on the huge and internationally significant exhibit of masterworks from the Uffizi Gallery. Next year? We don't know, but we bet they're planning it already.

Runner-up: Cathedral Ball

RIP: Local Person You'll Miss the Most

Marcia Clanton

The widely respected former principal of the Savannah Arts Academy passed away of cancer at her home in North Carolina.

Runner-up: Ron Higgins

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(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)

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