Remember how I said last week that I’ve never given a writer an assignment and then failed to run the article he or she wrote in the paper, even though the copy was top-notch. Well, that’s still true. See, the Best of Charleston celebration is not just a one-week thing; it’s like a two-week thing. And I’ve been holding on to these so that you can have a surprise Best of Charleston flashback right about now. You don’t have to thank me.

Here’s a few Critics’ Picks from freelancer Stratton Lawrence:

Best Way to Get Your Bike Fixed for Free

Holy City Bike Co-op

Creating a bike-friendly city takes more than just politicians and projects; it takes community support. Over the last year, Holy City Bike Co-op has organized Charleston’s most activism-inclined bicycle enthusiasts into a group that’s motivated to make two-wheeling both safe and desirable in the city. In addition to hosting impromptu races and pub crawls, and weighing in on road projects, the members host a monthly bike workshop at Marion Square, where anyone and everyone can come get their rides repaired, free of charge, and learn how to maintain them in the future. Check the site for upcoming workshops, meetings, and how to get involved. —Stratton Lawrence

Best Date for People Collecting Unemployment

Half-priced wine at Five Loaves Café

43 Cannon St. Downtown

(843) 937-4303

1055 Johnnie Dodds Blvd., Suite 50 Mt. Pleasant

(843) 849-1043

You can only cook her dinner at home so many times. Eventually, she’ll want to be taken out. But you just got laid off, and unemployment checks don’t exactly leave much in the way of an entertainment budget. If it’s a Tuesday or Friday, both Five Loaves’ locations offer their full wine menu at half price during dinner hours (until 8 p.m.). Coupled with their soup and sandwich deal (about $8), you’ve got a delicious, romantic dinner for two, out on the town, for just about $30. That’s enough for the truly broke and unabashedly cheap to celebrate together. —Stratton Lawrence

Best Example of Quick Motivation to Tackle an Environmental Obstacle

(3-way tie) Save the Angel Oak, Islanders for Responsible Expansion, Charleston Waterkeepers,,

Samantha Siegel was late coming to the fight to stop a dense development from encroaching on the Angel Oak tree she so vehemently loved. The project had been approved when she learned of it — all the developer needed was a permit to cut down trees in the land around the park. It didn’t faze her. She started a website and a petition (with 6,500 signatures to date), and the project is currently stalled after being denied a permit for its conceptual design by the Commercial Corridor Design Review Board in January. Similarly, Amy Fabri was incensed when she learned of Walmart’s plan to expand on James Island. A petition, a website later, and hours of research and grassroots lobbying later, the retail giant backed down. And on the harbor, young environmentalist Cyrus Buffum realized the need for more watchful eyes on our estuary. He sought and received approval to begin a Waterkeepers organization in Charleston and acquired a donate boat. And now he’s out patrolling for polluters on the harbor. —Stratton Lawrence

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