By Michael E. Miller
By Allie Conti
By David Villano
By Jose D. Duran
By Michael E. Miller
By Allie Conti
By Kyle Swenson
By Luther Campbell
Jesus! The Bitch thought soul-selling was easier in this town.
Mikey Meets His Match in Midtown
Traci Cloyd, star of the Tom Joyner Morning Show on Hollywood's Hot 105 (WHQT-FM), almost stole the show at the opening Friday of Midtown Design Studios. Almost, because the very tall, very stunning, and totally hilarious radio personality had The Bitch's undivided attention until Cloyd's tiny Brussels Griffon, Mikey, peeked furrily around a corner.
Sensing the presence of a sucker, Cloyd coached Mikey through a series of petite canine tricks, including a very convincing moonwalk. The studios at 400 NE Second Ave. in Miami are the new home to a collective of marketing agencies, developers, and design companies. Guests explored the building -- once the home of the Red Rooster Bar, which held one of Miami's oldest liquor licenses -- and honored the past by leaving no free Bacardi beverage unconsumed.
Not all PRmy events are cause for celebration, much less successful; such was the case at what was possibly a groundbreaking event for Mosaic, another rarefied high-rise condo soon to hog the ocean view at 39th Street and Collins Avenue. A strange pitch involving hula dancing and whiskey sours confused a crowd so unaccustomed to the sight of food that some guests actually ambushed servers coming through the hors d'oeuvres prep area, and the message to buy overpriced real estate was lost in a medium-size bout of ennui.
People in Suits Have Drama, Too
A lawsuit filed May 28 in Miami by Stephen Van Drake against his former employer, theSouth Florida Business Journal, seeks damages for the journalist, who claims editors there inflicted "severe and extreme emotional distress" upon him. The suit comes in the wake of additional Florida turmoil at the 41-paper, North Carolina-based chain. Veteran Orlando Business Journal editor-in-chief Pat Beallcleaned out her office at the beginning of the month, following the departure of Gordon McKerral, who held the same position at the Tampa Bay Business Journal.
The sixteen-page complaint (filed in Miami-Dade Circuit Court before Judge Roberto Piñero) contains standard legalese from Van Drake's lawyer, Miami's Mark Vieth, but the attached 25-plus pages of exhibits are rich in workplace intrigue of Office Space-y magnitude.
Van Drake and SFBJ editor Kevin Gale went round and round over everything from microwaving fish and broccoli in the Deerfield Beach-based paper's break room to the interpretation of Van Drake's comments about being in the market for an AK-47.
Van Drake, who lives in West Palm Beach with his wife, a dog, and 28 cats, told The Bitch: "I really didn't quite understand why they set out to keep me off balance and mystify me." Fired in March of this year, he also claims that Gale and managing editor Alexis Muellner caused him to have severe depression, panic attacks, and insomnia, requiring psychiatric care.
"There are many wild accusations in Mr. Van Drake's complaint. We take issue with them and we intend to fight them in court," Gale read Tuesday from what he described as a statement from the company, adding that the newspaper was seeking to have portions of the complaint dismissed.
One More Reason The Bitch is a Vegetarian....
Axleigh Whereabouts, a multidisciplinary artist based in Miami, specializes in the exploration of alternative forms of sustenance. This past Saturday at the PS 742 black box installation space in Little Havana, Whereabouts demonstrated how to cook meat with hydrogen peroxide. In several small pans enclosed by an acrylic shield, she whipped up a froth as she cured meat with the disinfectant, making a bloody, sudsy mess.
The exhibit inspired both wonder and revulsion. Whereabouts, who had promised to eat some of the peroxide-beef tips, reneged. The audience was thus challenged to either accept the performance as a work of art unto itself, or retreat in reality show-withdrawal bitterness.
Susan Caraballo, the executive director of Artemis, the arts group that manages PS 742 and has produced the series of Surreal Saturdays of which the Whereabouts piece was a part, said the event was one of the best-attended and successful to date (though the presence of many autism-aggravating strobe lights caused The Bitch to nearly have a seizure).
"In many ways, we have outgrown the space," Caraballo told The Bitch, adding that the present Sixth Street home of PS 742 will close at the end of August. Events will continue around town, though, as a new, larger, permanent home is sought.
The Bitch has noted before the usefulness of "public" radio station WLRN's (91.3) copious broadcasting of the Motley Fool's investment-guide program and A Prairie Home Companion to the many poor, non-English-speaking potential listeners the Miami-Dade County Public Schools-owned outlet is supposed to serve. It is pleasing to further note that some station associates are also doing what they can to change the global climate.
The enormous, candy-apple-red 2002 Ford Expedition bearing the Florida vanity license plate "WLRN" belongs to Friends of WLRN, Inc. senior corporate marketing representative Michael Peyton. Peyton, spotted by The Bitch heading south on U.S. 1 in the sun-blotting-out-size SUV, says he just likes people to know about the radio station.