Letters from the Issue of June 5 - 11, 2003

Best Drag Queen, Best Free Publicity, Best Party Pooper

Best Sincere Modesty

It's about time my magnificence was acknowledged: Thanks to all the lovely people at New Times for choosing me, Shelley Novak, just a humble actor/comedian/talk-show host/singer/psychic/feng shui advisor/megastar as "Best Drag Queen" ("Best of Miami," May 15). I had already written my hate letter in preparation for my annual loss, but was completely surprised and had to toss it for this -- a chance to thank all the people who have influenced and helped me in my meteoric rise to the top of free-weekly-newspaper celebritydom.

I hope I remember them all and don't leave anyone out: My thanks to Shelley Winters and Kim Novak, Mark Leventhal and Jody MacDonald, Adora, the Back Door Bamby folks, Bill and Joan Keller of the Muffin Man, Divine, Eddie Izzard, Freddie Mercury, Kenny Everett, Barry Humphries, Julie Christie, Dusty Springfield, Chrissie Hynde, Robbie Williams, Megan Mullaly, Elaine Paige, Patty Lupone, Betty Buckley, John Waters, Desi, Michael Abbot, Nicole DeWeese, and the entire staff and management of crobar -- people who make a dude who looks like Barney Rubble in a dress feel like a star!

Now it's off to start e-mailing Suzy Buckley over at Ocean Drive magazine. Did you know I have never been profiled in "The Beach Patrol" section of that wonderful magazine? After all, I've been on the Beach for twelve years and I'm an institution. I made drag what it is on South Beach ... I ... Did I mention I'm an institution? Love and kisses!

Shelley Novak (Tommy Strangie)

Miami Beach

Best Overhead Smash

Obviously you guys know nothing about the game of tennis: Is New Times crazy? Flamingo Park ("Best Tennis Courts") has the worst tennis courts I have ever played on. Not only is the staff very rude, but the courts are in terrible shape. (New Times calls them clay courts, but they are not.) There are bumps everywhere, and the courts don't have the proper amount of "top dressing" that proper Har-Tru courts should.

The "Best of Miami" award indicates to me that no one on the New Times staff has ever played there -- or if they have, they have minimal skill at tennis. Any good tennis player would never, ever play at that crummy facility. Try the North Miami Beach Tennis Center (Arthur Snyder). Those are what real Har-Tru courts are supposed to be like.

Josh White

North Miami

Best Credit Where It's Due

Every poem has an author: I really enjoyed the "Best of Miami" issue and was thrilled to see an excerpt from Jonathon Rose's poem "Whisperings" from the anthology Irrepressible Appetites as part of the award for "Best Open-Mike Night." I heard Jonathon Rose read this poem at the South Florida Writers Conference on May 16. I was upset to see his words unacknowledged.

Further, the sponsor of the open-mike night is Lip, Tongue, and Ear Poetry Productions. This went unmentioned. As professional writers, we may not always be paid for our work, but we must receive credit for our words.

Connie Goodman-Milone

Miami

Best Husband

Who just happens to have great taste in wine and other good things: I wish to thank New Times and its staff for the beautifully written words regarding my husband's hard work and accomplishments at Laurenzo's Italian Market ("Best Wine Store").

Rest assured his good taste extends to more than wine. There is a new and exciting project in the works. You will be hearing more from and about Matt Adler soon.

Nora Adler

North Miami Beach

Best Effort at Free Publicity

Hope you don't mind if I plug my restaurant, which just happens to be great: I'm curious if our restaurant/lounge was considered for the "Best Happy Hour" award. The Seahorse restaurant, located at 3590 NW 79th St., just east of Hialeah Hospital, has happy hour from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and Sunday from 1:00 to 9:00 p.m. Draft beers are 49 cents, fresh oysters are 25 cents, and chicken wings are 35 cents. Kids eat free on Sundays. Great seafood, too.

Okay, so we're not on the Beach or in the Grove or near UM. But perhaps you'll consider us for next year's "Best of Miami."

Eric Schulte

Miami

Second-Best Effort at Free Publicity

Yes, people still want yogurt, and I have yogurt: As usual "Best of Miami" was packed with great information. One item, though, I feel must be addressed. Quoted in the "Best Frozen Yogurt" award was this: "Try to find dulce de leche at your nearest TCBY franchise." As the owner of TCBY Sunny Isles Beach, I must correct New Times. I have dulce de leche yogurt on a monthly basis.

David Fambrini

Sunny Isles Beach

Best Bow from an Impresaria

In gratitude I'd like to sing for you my favorite aria: Whoever wrote that beautiful item about our concert series ("Best Concert Series") deserves a huge thanks from me. You have no idea how gratified I was to read it. Oftentimes one thinks nobody notices anything.

When "Best of Miami" came out, it did my heart good. Also, when I went to Azul restaurant, three waiters came up to congratulate me! That issue really reached a lot of people. Thanks once again.

Judy Drucker

Concert Association of Florida

Miami

Best Party Pooper

No trance, no drugs, no extended hours, no fun at all: I write to you as counsel for Space 34, LLC, doing business as Space 34. A recent edition of your newspaper rated our client "Best Place to Roll on Ecstasy." We write to you to point out significant inaccuracies in your article and to insist that your publication publish a retraction.

By way of background, Space 34, LLC operates a nightclub located at 34 NE Eleventh St., Miami, Florida, the location mentioned in your article. It has been in operation for one and a half months. However, contrary to the implicit statements in that article, our client does not countenance the use of unlawful drugs on its premises. Indeed the principals of Space 34 make extraordinary efforts to keep unlawful drugs out of their premises.

As evidence of the significant inaccuracies in your letter, I would point out the following: 1) Our client does not play "trance music" as described in your publication; and 2) our client is currently only open on Saturdays and has not ever been open from Friday night through Sunday morning as described in your publication.

It appears that your confusion stems from your assumption that Club Space, formerly located at 142 NE Eleventh St. in Miami, is the same as Space 34. For the record, Club Space was owned by Parkwest Nightclub, LLC and, as referenced above, our client, Space 34, is owned by Space 34, LLC.

It is apparent that your publication failed to adequately investigate the facts set forth in this article. We demand that you retract the claims in that article so they are consistent with the content hereof.

Stuart A. Rosenfeldt

Rothstein, Rosenfeldt, Dolin, & Pancier, P.A.

Fort Lauderdale

Best Website Oversight

Only a hyphen separates a corny cowboy from a true artist: I agree completely that Jorge Moreno is one of Miami's talented sons ("Best Local Boy Made Good"). I saw him in concert and fell in love with his talent and charm, but I was very confused when I looked him up on the Web using the Website address provided (www.Jorge-Moreno.com) in "Best of Miami."

A Jorge Moreno I did not recognize, sporting a large cowboy hat and cheesy horse icons, appeared on my screen. I then checked Yahoo and noticed that our Jorge Moreno's URL is www.jorgemoreno.com. You see, there is no hyphen between Jorge and Moreno. Just wanted to set it straight for all the Miamians who are like, "Quién es ese vaquero?"

Damaris Pereira

Miami

Best Radio Rave

We may be a small college station, but we rock: We here at WVUM-FM's (90.5) Hip-Hop Shop greatly appreciate New Times for recognizing our show as the "Best Hip-Hop Radio Program." It is an honor to receive this accolade, and we look forward to continuing the tradition of real hip-hop culture.

George "g3" MTtellus

Miami

I Remember Hood

It was way back when South Beach was still quaint: Tristram Korten wrote a great article about John Hood ("The Dull and Dreary Nightlife," May 8). It reminded me of my meeting with John. I was new in town and working for Prince at Glam Slam. Late summer in 1994 the Beach was so different. It was like a sleepy little town with some very colorful characters we all looked out for. John was one of them. He wanted to host a reception in August or September 1994 for Tony Bennett. He was wearing the trademark hat and blazer, very nervous and jumpy. His ideas were all over the place and not in sync with what Prince was trying to establish at the time. The reception never came together and John never came back for a meeting.

I left South Beach and returned to Minneapolis in November 1994. I happened to be at home watching daytime television one day. Geraldo Rivera was on with a show about modern-day pimps. I looked up to see John Hood representing Miami -- as a pimp!

Thanks to Tristram for bringing back some great memories.

Beth Gillies

New York, New York

I Remember Hood's Genius

In a word, it was wasted: "The Dull and Dreary Nightlife" is the kind of article I look to New Times for. Having gotten a taste of John Hood myself, while representing crobar, I often wondered what happened to him. I admired his genius and definitely thought it was wasted.

Keep up the great work. Articles such as this will keep me reading the paper.

Dindy Yokel

Miami

I'd Like to Remember Hood's Escape

That's it -- he breaks out, heads back to the Beach, and crashes on your sofa! Tristram Korten's article was an excellent assessment of John Hood's personality. I hope Hood gets his book together in the clinker. Then somebody should get him outta there! Better yet, he should escape and come back to Tristram's sofa!

Rudolf Piper

Miami Beach

Hialeah Dreaming

Imagine that idyllic world in which public servants actually serve the public: I applaud Francisco Alvarado's article about Hialeah City Council candidates Vanessa Bravo, Cindy Miel, and Adriana Narvaez ("The Hialeah 3," May 1). It revealed the uphill battle faced by people who oppose Hialeah Mayor Raul Martinez. The number of those people grows on a daily basis in our city. Here I want to add my response to the letters New Times published from Martinez ("Factual Error: I Do Not Control Absolutely Everything that Happens in Hialeah") and Hialeah Councilman Eduardo Gonzalez ("I Am Not Raul Martinez's Henchman").

Over the years Mayor Martinez has accepted nothing but total allegiance from his city council people. He does control the city council. Everybody in Hialeah knows this, to the point that, for some time now, laws proposed by the city council include this verbiage: "Ordinance of the Mayor and City Council."

The mayor is supposed to represent the executive branch of city government. He has no business passing ordinances, as stated in public announcements. I'm sure there is a sharp attorney out there who could have all these Hialeah ordinances advertised in the above manner tossed out for misrepresentation.

Hialeah's "Charter of the 21st Century" was the biggest fiasco in the city's history. This revised charter, which passed by a margin of only three percent, allowed the mayor and city council to appoint new members to the council whenever vacancies occurred. The mayor stated that only the city council has the power to appoint new members, but both of the "appointments" mentioned in Mr. Alvarado's article (Eduardo Gonzalez and Willie Zuñiga) were in fact interviewed by the mayor in his own office prior to the council voting for approval.

Incredibly, these two appointees shortly afterward voted to give the mayor $1.2 million for his public-corruption legal expenses and a $100,000-plus yearly retirement benefit. In addition, the famous mayoral pay raise, approved by the above two officials in September 2001, left much to be desired. Councilwoman Carmen Caldwell had to choose between serving the people versus serving the mayor. Once her choice was made (the people), Martinez recruited Julio Ponce, who then defeated Caldwell and went on to vote for the mayoral pay raise.

To a certain extent it is true that Raul Martinez does not control absolutely everything that happens in Hialeah. Recently he did allow Hialeah City Council president and real estate developer Julio Robaina to represent himself as a Hialeah public official for the $100 million double-density project in Hialeah Gardens, along with the lucrative real-estate annexation deal west of Miami Lakes. Ironically Mr. Robaina is currently Martinez's first pick for Hialeah mayor when he leaves office.

It sure would be nice for Hialeah one day to elect for mayor and city council individuals who will look out for the people's best interests first and their own interests last. Removing the above incumbents would be a step in the right direction.

Phil Secada

Hialeah

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