Letters from the Issue of May 30, 2002

Best of this, best of that

So Stupid They Must Work for Castro

Who? Those idiots over at Vigilia Mambisa, that's who: While I always cringe at New Times articles criticizing el exilio, I must say Alfredo Triff's "Anatomy of Suppression" (May 23) was well deserved by those idiots over at Vigilia Mambisa.

In no way does that organization represent all Cuban Americans here in Miami. On the contrary Miguel Saavedra and his cohorts probably represent a minuscule minority that is stuck in the Nineteenth Century. Most Cuban Americans I know roll their eyes whenever you mention Vigilia Mambisa. In a way, the conspiracy theorist in me thinks these people have to be paid Castro agents, because nobody could be that stupid and counterproductive to the cause they say they represent -- freedom and liberty, supposedly.

Alberto Gonzalez

Hialeah

Best Response to a Special Issue

Mystery solved! With regard to Best Miami Mystery in the 2002 edition of "Best of Miami" (May 16): After much pondering, most of it while sitting in traffic, I think I may have solved the mystery of the inexplicable congestion of westbound traffic on SR 836 just beyond Le Jeune Road.

If you look carefully as you drive, you'll see that the road is not flat but actually undulates over a series of fairly small rises and dips. Having grown up and learned to drive in New York (don't worry, I hate the Jets), I recognize these for what they are: large, slow-motion speed bumps that can be safely ignored as you drive. But to all those people raised here these small hillocks must look like veritable mountains. Not having learned to drive in the mountains, the natives fear what may be on the other side. Godzilla? Killer bees? Joe Carollo after he's been bitten by a radioactive, genetically enhanced spider fighting the good fight against the dark forces of sanity, good taste, and decorum? Paralyzed by fear of what lies on the other side, local drivers naturally slow down until they reach the summit of the mountain, at which time they realize they can now speed up again -- at least until the next peak.

You're going to have to trust me on this, folks. Drive at a reasonable speed and there will be time to react to whatever's on the other side. You will have time to dodge Godzilla's stomp, to roll up your windows and keep out the bees, or take aim and try to clobber Carollo with your sideview mirror. (Note: In no way do I personally advocate trying to clobber Joe Carollo with your mirror. If indeed he has been bitten by a radioactive, genetically enhanced spider, you'll need to hit him head-on to even have a chance.)

Errol Portman

Coral Gables

Best spreading of the word: We at the Miami Beach Community Development Corporation are very appreciative of the recognition given to the Seymour as Best Renovation in "Best of Miami." While our roots and our home are in the Art Deco District, the Miami Beach CDC now strives to demonstrate the economic value of historic preservation in urban communities throughout Greater Miami. This recognition encourages us in our efforts to make the Seymour a resource for our neighborhood and our region.

Roberto Datorre, president

Miami Beach Community Development Corporation

Best credit I can't take: Thank you so much for your kind words. I'm very flattered and proud to have been named Best Local Solo Musician. I hope your readers continue to find such inspiration whenever they come to hear me perform. That is exactly why I'm up there.

Just a little note: My collaborator's name is Lou Duvin (not Duzin), and it was he, not I, who wrote "Red, White, and Blues" and "Just Like Me." But Lou always told me to "make those songs my own," so I guess he got what he asked for!

Nicole Henry

Miami Beach

Best bare bottoms: I've noticed over the years that whenever there appears a "Best of" list that includes beaches, Haulover Beach never gets mentioned, much less wins anything. Stephen Leatherman, the Florida International University professor better known as Dr. Beach, annually names the top twenty beaches in America. One or more Florida beaches are always included -- but never Haulover. (See this year's winners at www.drbeach.org.)

In August 1999 the Miami Herald listed every beach in South Florida from Key Biscayne to Deerfield Beach and somehow drove past Haulover Park without realizing there was a beach there. In July 1998 and July 2001 our own local Miami Beach rag, the SunPost, in its "Best of the Beaches," neglected to mention Haulover. I later suggested it include the category "Best Nude Beach," which Haulover would always win by default.

Well, our favorite clothing-optional beach has finally gotten the recognition it deserves. The 2002 New Times "Best of Miami" listed Haulover Beach Park as Best Beach. You noted that "Haulover is tops not just because it includes South Florida's only official nude beach." While that obviously is a plus, Haulover got points for being a great place to fish, watch boats in the cut, picnic, and find solitude on the long stretches of sand south of the clothing-optional area. The award went on to point out that "besides being a destination spot for people who hate tan lines, Haulover is one of the few beaches popular with African-American families. Add to that ample parking at a reasonable rate (four dollars all day) and you have a clear winner."

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