Ghost Repeater

Ecstasy swoons on the radio, plus pimp documentation and flag desecration

Silky, Adelman explained, went along with the project because he thought there'd be a film made about his life. Instead the New Yorker, who is now about 60 years old, was arrested for tax evasion.

"The women, though, were intelligent, witty, charming — surprising normal, not what you'd call neurotic," Adelman recalled.

"How do you define intelligence?" demanded a red-haired woman in the crowd who earlier had been bemoaning the presence of a Cold Stone Creamery in her neighborhood.

Hard to understand, what a hell of a man; this cat of the slum had a mind, wasn't dumb
Powerhouse publishing
Hard to understand, what a hell of a man; this cat of the slum had a mind, wasn't dumb


"What about the violence — from the pimps against the girls and pimps against each other?" inquired a serious-looking fiftyish man in dad shorts. Finally a striking, long-haired blond who identified herself as "Susanne with an s" asked what most people seemed interested in: "Are you still in touch with Silky and the women?"

Turns out Adelman has intermittent contact with many of the women and with Silky and his family. But the photographer did not come away from the documentary experience with a completely positive impression. "In a perfect world, I'd have to say I wish there was no prostitution at all," said Adelman. Over the years, Adelman, who is well known in the archival photography world for his portraits of the Rev. Martin Luther King and documentation of the civil rights movement, has been associated with a number of progressive social causes including the ACLU and NOW. "I don't think paying for sexual acts is a way for men to interact with women or vice versa."

But Adelman admitted, "There's been prostitution since the beginning of human history. At least making it legal, as it is in Germany and even Nevada, would make it legal, taxable, and would eliminate the need for pimps altogether."

Baby's in the Mountains

Though our city brims with Hispanic (or is it Latino?), Caribbean, and even European flair, we are located in the United States. After 9/11, variations on Betsy Ross's theme were flying from every pole and plastered on every fossil-fuel-sucking SUV, as well as on city vehicles across the nation. But as time passes, fads — like flags — fade, and this past week the U.S. Senate couldn't rally enough votes to pass an amendment banning flag-burning.

Of course the anarchic Bitch is not the most patriotic of dogs — you'll never see the pup sporting a Stars and Stripes bandanna — but when she learned of some decal dirt involving Miami Beach's public works department, she went sniffing around the flagpole.

"It wasn't really an American flag, but a red, white, and blue insignia that looked like a flag," Manny Viera says of the sticker slapped on some public works vehicles. "It looked like a badge that was red, white, and blue, and it said 'All-American City' on it. You see, we were an All-American City in 2004, and now it's 2006." (Actually, according to the Website for the National Civic League, the organization that bestows the All-American City Award, Miami Beach was a winner in 2003.)

Initially Viera did think he was being told to remove the American flag by a department supervisor. "That's what I thought, and I was mad, so I asked about it."

So does this mean we're not an All-American City anymore?

"No, we're just back to being the same old Miami Beach again," Viera laughs.

Power to the PR Firm

The Bitch barely has the mojo to operate a battery-powered screwdriver, so she didn't expect to make the cut for South Florida CEO magazine's 2006 Power Issue. The 112-page April glossy documented the 45 most powerful South Floridians, devoting to each authority figure a full-page photo.

The Power Issue included the folks you would expect, such as land baron Ron Bergeron, lobbyist Ron Book, WSVN Channel 7 owner Edmund Ansin, Florida House Speaker-Designate Marco Rubio, and University of Miami president Donna Shalala.

One comparatively underwhelming name leaped out at The Bitch: Jami Reyes, a local PR executive who is a partner at Gordon Reyes & Co (that's Gordon as in Seth "Chancellor Palpatine" Gordon). Sure, Reyes might be a fine media operator, but she's no Carrie Meek (who also made the Power Issue). But then The Bitch noticed a pattern: Six of the 45 Power Issue inductees are — now this is unbelievable — clients of Reyes's PR firm.

There's former U.S. Attorney Kendall Coffee and Miami Mayor Manny Diaz, whose law firms are clients. Donald V. Browne, president of Telemundo, made the list. He's a client. And there are the construction types: Latin Builders Association president Gus Gil, Terra Group chief executive Pedro A. Martin, and, of course, ubiquitous Related Group honcho Jorge M. Perez. Yep, they're all clients too.

Reyes and South Florida CEO editor William Plasencia didn't respond to The Bitch's obvious question: If this dog hires Reyes, will she land a spot in next year's Power Issue?

Some Unfriendly

An oft-heard gripe about the Magic City is that customer service disappears south of the Broward County line. Ohioans and other rubes tend to blame diversity. South Florida natives attribute the politeness deficit to a particularly superficial culture that is both transitory and selfish. Regardless, The Bitch has noticed that the rudeness nexus seems to be Miami International Airport.

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