Editors’ choices

Best distraction while idling in traffic

If you’re one of the thousands of people who commute to and from Spanish Springs every day, you know how maddening it can be to wait at the corner of Pyramid Highway and McCarran Boulevard during the morning and evening rush hours. It seems you always get the red light after waiting for what seems like an eternity for the other 100 or so cars ahead of you to make the turn north onto Pyramid. But the wait doesn’t seem as long this time of year when the trees and shrubs that decorate the Sparks Mercantile perimeter start turning the vivid red, plum and gold colors of autumn. As far as shopping centers go, this one has one of the best-looking landscapes in the Reno-Sparks area, particularly between late July and early October. Sometimes, the view can look so pretty that you almost wish the traffic jam would last just a minute longer.

Best place to spin and dry

So you don’t own a washer or dryer. There’s not even one in your building. Let’s face it: Life isn’t going so good for you. No problem, Launderland is there from 7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. at 680 E. Second St. Located next door to a 7-Eleven and across the street from a Jimboy’s Tacos, they make no promises that you’ll be able to fit into the clothes you brought in after indulging in Jimboy’s greasy Mexi-fare, but they do offer free dryers. Free! And the staff is friendly enough.

Best place to look at copper doors

On May 21, 1906, Catholic officials purchased the Sol Levy home at the corner of Second and Chestnut (now Arlington) streets in Reno for $10,000 to be the site of a church, possibly a cathedral. It became the site of St. Thomas Aquinas Cathedral, 310 W. Second St., which was dedicated June 21, 1908 (though it is celebrating its centennial now, because the cornerstone was laid in June 1906), and has long been a striking downtown feature. One need not be Catholic to appreciate the building as art. Its architecture nearly did not survive at all—a fire on Dec. 21, 1909, caused major damage, including collapse of the ceiling, but it was salvaged and reopened in 1910. A renovation conducted in the 1950s added the most striking interior feature—a wraparound mural that surrounds the altar. Since that renovation, the interior has become a bit run down, but St. Thomas remains a work of art.

Best little arts organization in need of a hand

The Holland Project. They double-dutched their hearts out for donations, they held concerts, they got the city of Reno to sell them a warehouse off Keystone for a dollar. $1! Some things are too good to be true. Turns out a strum from an electric guitar turns the building into a tin megaphone, and that it’s not up to fire code, even though the city told them they were good to go. Before they were shut down in the spring and left searching for a new place, they had some of the coolest bands, arts events and activities for youth going in Reno. They haven’t given up, but they’re still looking for a space to call Holland.