Ask a woman who loves a man in uniform, and she'll tell you a sooty, sweaty firefighter is the ultimate "working man" fantasy. But there's no better way to ruin the illusion than to reveal a thick pelt of nasty back hair under the flame-proof garb. Pay homage to our hardworking rescuers and simultaneously make fun of the sexy stereotype at Miami's Hairiest Firefighter Contest. Shirtless contestants will strut their stuff at the Sandbar Grill (3064 Grand Ave., Miami) in an effort to win the lustiest roar from the eager crowd. The furriest fireman will score a $2500 gift certificate to Sutera Medical Spa as well as a 42-inch flat-screen plasma TV and a cool new grill for the firehouse. Don't cry for the dudes who won't be getting waxed: Each of the five finalists will receive a $100 gift certificate to Houston's. The irreverent competition begins tonight at 7:00. Admission is free. Call 305-667-7888, or visit www.suteraskin.com. (PEGY)
They've been at it for five years now, longer than the shelf life of some of the clubs where the party's been held. "Aquabooty has a solid following because of the way we treat people," explains Tomas, one of the weekly event's organizers. Together with his partner Joe "Budious" Gray, Tomas has been helping Miamians shake their groove things in a unified spirit. "Our crowd is genuinely diverse. We've got everyone gay, straight, black, white, whatever all having a good time together. We've never even had a fight at a party," Tomas says with pride. Report to the Nocturnal rooftop (50 NE Eleventh St., Miami) for lessons on The Art of Moving Butts. Visiting New York DJ Nickodemus will man the ones and twos with backing from live percussionists. Doors open at 11:00 p.m. Admission is $20. RSVP to email@example.com to get on the guest list. Visit www.aquabooty.com. (PEGY)
For an up-and-coming filmmaker, Sam Turcotte is pretty muscular. "My bodybuilding roots started when I was a little kid, working out at my friend's garage in Miami Shores. I was scrawny, and I started lifting weights to get some self-confidence," he explains. The director combined his passions to create the bodybuilding drama No Pain, No Gain. Turcotte faced some unique challenges when casting his first feature film. "You can take any good actor and make him a credible baseball player, or whatever, but you can't have an actor work out for six months and look like a credible bodybuilder. The lead actor [Gus Malliarodakis] has been working out for twenty years," says Turcotte. So far, No Pain, No Gain has been doing amazingly well, scoring Turcotte the Best Director, First Feature award at the Houston Film Festival. See this homegrown film at 3:00 p.m. at Regal South Beach Cinema 18, 1120 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach. Tickets cost $10.25. Call 305-674-6766, or visit www.nopainnogainthemovie.com. (PEGY)
Dear Santa: We know Christmas is still three weeks away, but the Dol-Fans down here in Miami would like to know if you and your eight tiny reindeer (and Rudolph, of course) could fly over Dolphins Stadium (2267 Dan Marino Blvd., Miami) today and give us an early gift. You see, we've been really good this year unless you count slamming down our visors and cursing when Gus Frerotte throws an interception as naughty but the Dolphins haven't been doing so hot. The last victory we had on our own turf was way back in September (against the Carolina Panthers), and we want a win badly. So, Santa, if you could help the Dolphins beat the Buffalo Bills, we'll let you scratch one of the other presents off of our list. Kickoff is at 1:00. Tickets begin at $51. Call 305-573-8326, or visit www.miamidolphins.com. (LO)
Joan Nathan spent five years traveling around the United States, visiting organic farms, bakeries, cheesemakers, and scores of restaurants to compile 280 recipes for her new cookbook, The New American Cooking. When Nathan is asked about the latest food trends, her response is music to a vegetarian's ear: "I predict fresh, grilled vegetables and more Latin American influences." The author of nine cookbooks, Nathan also appears on the PBS program Jewish Cooking in America with Joan Nathan. "I've always been interested in Jewish ethnic and other ethnic foods," says Nathan, but she notices that ethnic influences are going mainstream. So what's on the menu for the holidays? "I'm making string beans with pesto and a sweet-potato-and-pecan recipe from Arkansas," she states. But she's still deciding between an apple crostada or Vermont apple pie for dessert. Get out of the kitchen tonight at 8:00 at Books & Books, 265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables. Admission is free. Call 305-442-4408, or visit www.booksandbooks.com. (LO)
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Twenty-nine years ago, when the Miami Design Preservation League started the annual Art Deco Weekend, vintage architecture was in trouble. The flamboyant Thirties-era hotels that set the extravagant South Beach scene were being razed in order to make room for new buildings with a lot less razzle-dazzle. Now Art Deco has received the respect it has always deserved. This year's festival will take place from January 13 to 15, but you can celebrate early at the launching of the official Art Deco Weekend poster. Artist Bradley Clark will be on hand to sign his aesthetically pleasing creation. Besides the great art, enjoy free Bacardi cocktails and a performance by Kimona in D'Lounge at the National Hotel, 1677 Collins Ave., Miami Beach. Call 305-674-1736 to RSVP. Visit www.artdecoweekend.com for more information. (PEGY)
The calendar gals have long been schlepping to Aventura to shop for fresh produce, delectable baked goods, gourmet coffee beans (with yummy flavors like vanilla hazelnut sundae and crme brle), bulk goodies, imported cheeses, tempting prepared foods, and specialty grocery items at The Fresh Market. Now we have to go only as far as Coconut Grove to get our groove on in the freshest grocery store around. Today's Fresh Market Grand Opening will feature interactive cooking demonstrations with fabulous chef Domenica Catelli (who has appeared on Oprah), and free baby-back ribs will be smoking on the grill outside the store right next to a live Calypso band. There should be plenty of samplings throughout the store. The festivities begin at 10:00 a.m. at 2640 S. Bayshore Dr., Coconut Grove, and the first 2500 customers will score a free coffee brick. Call 305-854-7202, or visit www.freshmarket.com. (LO)