For days you've been seeing more boats on land than you've ever seen at sea. That can only mean one thing: The Miami International Boat Show has dropped anchor through Tuesday, February 18, at the Miami Beach Convention Center (1901 Convention Center Dr.) and the Sealine Marina and Yachting Center (1633 Bayshore Dr.). More than 2000 exhibitors will be showing off engines, electronic devices, nautical accessories, and powerboats, of course. Those who prefer to let the elements propel them on the water should check out Strictly Sail, also going on through Tuesday at Miamarina at Bayside (Third Street and Biscayne Boulevard). On display from more than 200 exhibitors: all sorts of sailing stuff, especially boats and catamarans. Sailing workshops, boat-building seminars, and demo rides will also be offered. Boat lovers with big budgets will be most interested in the Yacht & Brokerage Show (on the Indian Creek Waterway, 41st to 51st Street and Collins Avenue, Miami Beach), which features vessels that range in price from $100,000 to $25 million. Admission to the Boat Show and Strictly Sail is $25 today and $15 all other days; the Sealine exhibition and the Yacht Show are free. Call 877-476-7683 for Boat Show and Strictly Sail details. Call 800-940-7642 about the yachts.
The pretty flowers and yummy chocolate you didn't get today would have gone really well with an evening of song and laughs. At least you can still enjoy the latter if you attend the Funny Valentine Club Night at 8:00 tonight at the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center (6161 NW 22nd Ave.). The funny comes from comedian Benji Brown, a veteran of the top-rated BET show Comic View. The mushy valentine stuff comes courtesy of vocalist Ruby Baker, who will croon today's love songs, romantic standards of yesteryear, and timeless blues. Admission is ten dollars. Call 305-638-6771.
Taking that leisurely bicycle ride through Coconut Grove was the wrong move today. That is, unless teeming crowds don't faze you and your bike is big enough to strap some art to, because not one but two art shows are going on. From 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. today through Monday, the Coconut Grove Arts Festival and St. Stephen's Coconut Grove Art & Craft Show (which ends Sunday) will fill the streets of the Grove (McFarlane Road, South Bayshore Drive, and Pan American Drive) with paintings, photographs, sculptures, jewelry, ceramics, glass, and more. Of course, all that walking and shopping works up an appetite. Food from fine eating establishments will be available, and musicians such as Carmen Lundy, Rabanes, Diane Ward, and Manolin will keep your ears entertained throughout the afternoons. Admission is free. Call 305-447-0401.
It's been a long time since this country fought in a war. Before we know it, though, war will be upon us once again. Tom Cole's one-act play Medal of Honor Rag offers a little insight about the consequences of such actions. This time around it's the war in Vietnam. In 1971 a veteran who was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for bravery in battle returns home and finds it impossible to adjust. He seeks the help of a psychiatrist and they begin to butt heads over survivor guilt, racism, and post-traumatic stress, to name just a few issues. Meshaun Arnold and Richard Waugh play the principal roles in M Ensemble Company's production. Kwame Riley co-stars. The play runs through March 16. See it at 8:00 p.m. Thursday and Saturday, and at 3:00 Sunday at M Ensemble's Actors' Studio, 12320 W. Dixie Hwy. Tickets cost $20. Call 305-895-8955.
Historian, author, and district director of admissions and registration services at Miami-Dade Community College, Sam La Roue was also a true collector. He owned thousands of pieces of memorabilia, most notably a 1932 Coral Gables passenger bus, which he rescued from a junkyard and lovingly restored. Twelve years ago, he helped co-found the Miami Memorabilia Collectors Club and it's at the group's meeting this evening at 7:00 that La Roue, a polio sufferer who died two weeks ago at age 57, will be remembered. Bring memorabilia and memories to Central Christian Church, 222 Menores Ave., Coral Gables. Admission is free to guests; become a member for $15 per year. Call 305-559-3967.
February is Black History Month and the Florida Moving Image Archive offers its take on the subject with its latest Video Rewind, centering on the civil rights movement in Miami and across the state of Florida. Each Tuesday and Thursday, a different topic is covered. At 1:30 this afternoon unspools "St Augustine: Fountain of Dissent," a four-part series of reports from 1964 made by WCKT (now WSVN). Watch as the nation's oldest city attempts to move forward with the times and desegregate via the work of Martin Luther King, Jr. Screenings take place in the auditorium at the Miami-Dade Public Library, 101 W. Flagler St. Admission is free. Call 305-375-1505.
Why the heck do writers write what they do? Well, we're certainly not telling, but a quintet of local artsy types will spill their guts at 7:30 p.m. during an Arts Writers' Panel at the expansive Dorsch Gallery (151 NW 24th St.). Coming clean about the sometimes dirty business of covering the art world will be the Miami Herald's Elisa Turner, Art in America's Roni Feinstein, Art Papers' and Flash Art's Gean Moreno (a fine fine artist himself), and Miami New Times's very own Alfredo Triff. Joel Weinstein, who pens stuff for Art Nexus and Sculpture, moderates the chat. Attention, any disgruntled artists who might have gotten a bad review thanks to one of these folks: This is not the time to create a "performance piece" with a barrage of nasty comments. Admission is free. Call 305-576-1278.