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Most original boutique: Pink

In a word, it makes you think spring: pink. And for a host of trendy Richmond women, it's as much a state of mind — and of couture — as it is a place. That's why you've voted Carytown's Pink as the city's most original boutique. With names like Milly, Kate Spade, Trina Turk, Nanette Lepore and Betsy Bowley blooming forth with the season's latest fashions, its racks are ripened by designs hardly found in your garden-variety dress shop or, God forbid, department store. That Pink is in Carytown and staffed with svelte and stunning peony-like salespeople who can promptly tell you if you need a size two or four seems only fitting, as are the pretty-penny price tags.



Most intimidating salespeople: Pink

You rank Pink, the up-to-the-minute chi-chi boutique in Carytown, as the most intimidating place to shop. We're not sure why, except that the salespeople, themselves, are terminally chic. Perhaps we're not used to our sales personnel being better dressed and accessorized than their shoppers.

Second place goes to the Hall Tree, where counter girls have perfected "the sniff," as in: "You can't possibly expect us to consign that Escada pant suit. It's so last year." After all, they are the queens of used clothing. Following up in third place is Haynes, the furniture store where there's always a sale. Always. This is guerilla salesmanship. And if you don't believe it, check out the retail zealots on Haynes' TV commercials. A little less enthusiasm, please.



Most overpaid workers in Richmond: City Councilmembers

Is this really fair? Receiving a salary of $25,000 — $2,000 more if you're mayor — our poor City Council members are forced to take second jobs. For example, three of them spend their off-hours as attorneys! (Well, make that two — see "Most uninspiring public official.")

It appears readers are trying to make a point here. We'll let you be the judge of whether you're satisfied with what you pay for. Still, considering inflation, councilmembers haven't received a raise since 1997. And they're not getting royalties for TV broadcasts of their meetings.

In second place, meter maids and Capital One employees tied for the title of most overpaid workers. You may be upset because they both give you bills — or else you're jealous of their unstoppable power.



Most desirable job in Richmond: Governor

If you enjoy draught, flooding, defending yourself against a huge army of political enemies and presiding over a fiscal crater (for which you give up 20 percent of your salary) then we have the job for you. Gov. Mark Warner — or at least his job — is your pick as the most enviable position to have in Richmond.

Then again, there is an upside. "From Mark Warner's perspective," press secretary Ellen Qualls points out, "getting to bring some business and tech savvy to a $26-billion-a-year enterprise, lead an innovative and dedicated work force, and bring a diverse group of people into the process who historically have not had much of a voice in Virginia's governance, is all pretty great stuff."

And there are perks. "I don't think he's gotten over the fact that people stand every time he enters a room," Qualls adds. "Plus, he lives in a lovely house right here in Capitol Square ... which means a 24-second commute, a sledding hill for three daughters, and a built-in dog park for Buster."



Most puzzling local store name: Mongrel's

Is Mongrel's the "most puzzling" name of a local store? To Stan McCulloch and Mark Burkett, who own the eye-popping Carytown card and gift shop, it makes perfect sense. "When visiting New York's Greenwich Village or Chelsea we'd see great names for stores and wanted something atypical," McCulloch says. "We wanted a word that would make people stop and want to check us out." McCulloch says that "mongrel" describes the store's eclectic customer mix, and that he and his partner aren't "pure-bred" Richmonders: He is Charlotte-born and Burkett is from Roanoke. But what really resonates is the fact that mutts are integral fixtures at the store. Clara, 13, who has roamed the store almost since it opened, now has company, mongrels Olive and Alma.



Most interesting place to be stuck in line: Ukrop's / Byrd Theater

If they're going to be stuck in line, Style readers prefer two places: Ukrop's (unless there's snow in the forecast) or the Byrd. There's a comfort level to the oneness of Ukrop's, demographically speaking. The op-posite is true of the Byrd, where the variety of its clientele is what makes line-languishing there so interesting.

At Ukrop's you can catch up on soccer gossip or Little League scores, or find out who's fooling around with whom at the Country Club. Then, at the Byrd, you can swap movie recommendations with the elderly couple behind you or pick up Fashion Don'ts from the skate Nazis blowing out of Glass &

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