A different kind of daily grind
Friends and skateboarders on the West Coast of Florida, Chris Williams, 31, and Ed Selego, 26, ran World Market skate shop and rode the rails at Skate Park of Tampa. But after traveling and visiting skate shops all over Florida, Williams wondered: "Why has there never been a good shop in Miami?" So the business-savvy skaters found a primo location and M.I.A. Skate Shop (229 Ninth St., Miami Beach) opened on July 4, 2003. In the short time M.I.A has been around, it already has become the place to visit when skaters come to town. "People come from all over the world to skate and take photos of skaters. The store becomes a central meeting point for the professionals," says Williams. In addition to boards and DVDs, the shop also carries clothing from Zoo York and Earth Products and shoes from Vans, Nike SB, and Adio Footwear. Selego, a professional skater, is sponsored by Adio and will soon have his own shoe with the company. Move over Tony Hawk, there are new skater dudes in town. M.I.A. Skate Shop is open noon to 9:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 8:00 p.m. on Sunday. Call 786-621-3511 or visit www.miaskateshop.com. -- Lyssa Oberkreser
A Simbang Gabi celebration
The Novena of Masses, a traditional 9-day celebration leading up to Christmas, was first introduced in Mexico in 1587. The tradition was brought by Spanish missionaries to the Philippines in the Seventeenth Century, where the masses were held before dawn to accommodate the farmers. The entire community would be up at 4:00 a.m. to celebrate Simbang Gabi, which means "Dawn Mass." Although they've kept the name, the Mass is now held in the evenings. Locally, the Filipino Apostolate of the Archdiocese of Miami invites the community to take part in its visually and spiritually beautiful festivities at various parishes in the area. Enjoy the final evening of Simbang Gabi celebration tonight at 7:00 at the St. James Catholic Church, 540 NW 132nd St., North Miami. Tonight's theme is "Witnessing and living the message of the Eucharist to the world." Call 954-981-7843 or visit www.miamiarch.org. -- Lyssa Oberkreser
A nightmarish holiday party
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Vampire wannabes, goths, and a myriad of dark, mysterious types will be basking in a ghoulish screening of Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas and other unseasonable horror movies, tonight at I/O (30 NE Fourteenth St.) starting at 11:00. The macabre decadence continues deep into the night as DJs Dracula's Daughter, Danny Bled, and Carlos Saint Germain throw down classic Gothic and industrial music in the main room, where trench coats and black lipstick will be plentiful. Awaken from somber bereavement by strolling over to the Bar Room where DJs Tommy Gunn and Chris Halo will be spinning Brit-pop and New Wave jams to ease all nightwalkers into a Merry Christmas. Call 305-358-8007 or visit www.iolounge.com -- Kris Conesa.
Make It Yourself
A CD for your sister, a video game for your brother, and another tie for Dad. If your Christmas list reads like uninspired rehashings of what you gave everyone last year, come original. Make cool, unique presents like necklaces, picture frames, and rhinestone-decorated cell phones, then fashion a pretty pair of dangly earrings for yourself at Designed by Me, 5802 Sunset Dr. Call 305-667-5747. -- Patrice Elizabeth Grell Yursik