Runners-up: Little Red School House, Wooden Skate
Runners-up: Mackerel Sky, Kresge Museum
On the “Antiques Road Show,” they call it “provenance.” It’s a combination of priceless authenticity and old-shoe comfort you can’t manufacture. Old Town’s Creole Gallery began life in the late 19th century as the Creole Cigar Factory, and later became a hub of Old Town’s music and art life in the 1990s. Its peeling walls have housed a lot of musical and artistic passions. They don’t sell jewelry or greeting cards here — it’s all art for art’s sake, produced and presented by artists, from student shows to veterans of Old Town’s bohemian past. 1218 Turner St.
Schuler Books, Eastwood
Runners-up: Barnes & Noble, Curious Books
What’s on my shopping list today? OK, a copy of Jean-Paul Sartre’s “Being and Nothingness.” And an audiobook of “The Kissing Hand” for my niece. That new biography of L. Frank Baum is supposed to be terrific, and I’d love to read it while listening to the out-of-print soundtrack to that Katie Holmes’ movie “Disturbing Behavior” and a vinyl copy of the Alan Parsons Project’s “Turn of a Friendly Card.” Looks like I’ll be running all over town to get all that — or I could just stop at Schuler Books’ Eastwood location where I found all of those items within easy reach. Used books, new books, used CDs and LPs, kids’ stuff: They’ve got it all. Plus, if I get hungry I can stop off at Chapbook Caf' for a slice of quiche or a personal-size pizza. By the way, don’t get any ideas about picking up that Alan Parsons LP. It’s spoken for. Mine. 2820 Towne Centre Boulevard, Lansing. (517) 316-7495.
Runners-up: Goodrich, L&L Okemos
Ever get beef jerky from a gas station? Judging by the taste and texture, it’s cut from whatever is left of the dinosaur after the gasoline is pressed out of it. To experience the smoky, salty, beefy, porky, elky taste of true jerky, you have to go to Merindorf’s. This family-owned meat shop is jerky heaven, and smoked meat paradise to boot. Of course, they’ve got the moist red stuff too, arrayed in a real, old-fashioned meat counter, with real meat experts who can lop off every cut imaginable, from a humble soup bone to a whole side of beef. 500 Williamston Center Road, Williamston; 2289 W. Barnes Road, Mason.
2nd Time Around
Runners-up: Scavenger Hunt, VOA
Designer clothing at a low price? Who can say no to that? If you wish to consign some clothing of yours, you simply set up an appointment or mail your items in. High-end designer fashions and name brands are accepted, and consigners receive 40 percent of the sale proceeds on all items sold. Accepted designers include Calvin Klein, Betsey Johnson, Bisou-Bisou, Dolce & Gabbana and many more. If you’ve got some old designer labels cluttering your closet, sign up for consignment at 2nd Time Around today. 4737 Marsh Rd., Okemos. (517) 349-2151
Runners-up: Horrock's, BA Florist
Your local Lansing florist, Smith Floral & Greenhouses, has much to offer. From professionally designed flower arrangements and gift baskets to flower delivery, Smith Floral only uses the freshest flowers, and uses excellent customer service to help you cheer up anyone’s day. You can even order your arrangements online at www.smithfloral.com. Smith Floral offers flowers for every occasion, including anniversaries, birthdays, get well and many more. 1124 East Mount Hope Ave., Lansing. (517) 484-5327
Runners-up: Goodrich's Shop Rite, Meijer in Okemos
After walking the aisles at Horrock’s, one might expect to run into a farmer unloading a tractor full of produce in the parking lot. But Horrock’s is much more: It’s the farmer’s market that delivers like a supermarket. Aside from whatever type of soil-generated bounty you’re looking for, Horrock’s also offers local dairy products, plenty of meat, a candy section that would make Willy Wonka take pause, and a wide variety of beers and wines. Add in the hundreds of plants, trees and potted flowers (not to mention gardening equipment) for sale throughout growing season, a floral section and gift baskets, and Horrock’s delivers like Mighty Mouse — more than you’d expect from a little package. 7420 W. Saginaw, Lansing. (517) 323-3782.
Linn & Owen
Runners-up: Medawar Frandor, Wheat Jewelers
Oades Big Ten
Runners-up: Goodrich, Tom's Okemos
Runners-up: Marshall, Music Manor
Runners-up: Officemax, DBI
Dicker and Deal
Runner-up: Capital Discount
The selection is huge and the goods are cheap. Wear the ring. Shoot the gun. Sit on
the couch. That stain on the cushion will probably come out with some vinegar and lemon juice. Dicker and Deal. 1701 S. Cedar St., Lansing.
Place for sweets:
Runners-up: Roma Bakery, Sugar Shack
What do you feed a chocolate Easter bunny? Chocolate carrots, of course. But where can you find chocolate carrots? Look no further than three-time winner in this category Fabiano’s, a cozy candy store with enough sweets to make Willy Wonka envious. In addition to dozens of different kinds of truffles, Fabiano’s also stocks a rainbow of Jelly Belly flavors (even roasted garlic — no, I’m not kidding), candy bars, gumballs, jawbreakers, and marshmallow and caramel creations. Your dentist may have nightmares, but you’ll have very sweet dreams indeed. 1427 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing. (517) 482-7871.
Runners-up: Lansing City Market, Meijer
Flat, Black and Circular
Runners-up: Schuler, Record Lounge
From rare 45 RPM singles to the latest indie-rock LPs and CDs, Flat, Black & Circular has been fully stocked since 1977. If you need a musical suggestion or hope to figure out what that mystery song is, look no further. 541 E. Grand River Ave., East Lansing.
Runners-up: Playmakers, Dunham's
Volunteers of America
Runners-up: Goodwill, St. Vincent Catholic Charities
Runners-up: Goodrich's, World Market